It’s the kickoff to daylight saving time, and the preponderance of red covers in my pile of magazines makes me feel so spry it might lead to mischief and a few episodes of British soaps before the month is out. Thumbnail sketches of these “dresser birds” are simply too small.
Here are the themes that are consistently present in editorials over the years for Liberty Weekly, as collected in the current issue:
• “Universal suffrage” is a worthy goal—but I doubt that attitudes have evolved to justify giving the greatest number of votes to the wealthiest society as a whole. A country that champions the rich will always make government rules in order to protect the bottom.
• Better education seems a goal that can achieve universal health care. But getting to the children of the poor is expensive. “I never cared for statistics,” Eliza McDowell advised Mrs. Stewart. “You got one thing the dollar can’t buy; education.”
• The right wing is always a hotbed of paranoia. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the nonsense promoted by political talk-show hosts, writes Roger Eddy: “Worn out by the vast rhetorical assaults aimed at convincing people to hate homosexuals, Muslims, non-Christians, and atheists, at very little cost to the defenders of liberty, these people’s natural inclination is to speak out, vent, and ultimately look for substitutes for regular electricity.”
• Clarence Thomas is spouting off: “By approaching this issue with such a balanced emphasis, [the Warren court] is not suggesting that the larger point is about equality but about debate,” says Arthur Miller. “Equalization of rights has little to do with equalization of liabilities. It is the larger point.”
• A classic warning. “The government of D.C. gives us knowledge that, just as the men who ruled it grow older, so we tend to forget their wisdom.”
What can we expect over the next month?
Anticipating the starting of daylight saving time the first time I was about 10 years old. I recall heading to catch the train at 8 a.m. with my dad. With my friends ahead of me, I said I’d go to the playground at Norfolk Elementary school across the tracks from my home. My dad gave me the compliment of growing a “cockapoo” haircut. From his seat, we followed a predetermined route home. I finished the job before breakfast, but that might have had something to do with his effort to keep everyone on schedule.
From that point, many memories of experience in ways that have progressively, and with occasional strain, changed politics, education, and culture, are mostly beginning to fade from my recollection. I have tried to keep the enchantment alive. That’s why I began this season by bringing back “Curious George.” Good books make us happy. No wonder they sell.
Tom Horton’s “Liberty-In” has been picked up by Slate, National Public Radio, NPR.org, MSNBC, the Huffington Post, USA Today, MSNBC.com, and the Associated Press.
The previous Liberty Season was filled with the surprising (e.g., the murder of Mary Todd Lincoln, President Lincoln’s son.)
This year it’s in rhyme (a “clear winter day”).
A “glorious little night” …
And the news of the success of the Erie Canal “runs like hot water…
Silver toil the boys will have in their fingertips
And the rakers of the snow sit days when they’re free”
And sunshine “forever…”
Because politicians have begun to recognize the importance of the idea.