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God Give Us Men

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During these difficult times, as the holiday season approaches and we contemplate the forthcoming national elections, the words of Josiah Gilbert Holland penned over a century ago speak to our shared desires for able and worthy leadership:

God give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor, men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue,
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, Lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting justice sleeps.

- Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1891)

Al Checchi is chairman of Join Together America, the former chairman of Northwest Airlines, and a former candidate for Governor of California. His new book is The Change Maker.