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Letter: Sometimes leaders need advice from ‘Formers’

Sometimes leaders need advice from ‘Formers’

I’m 91 years old. I should not be writing this piece. However, as I look back at my life – school in Corning, Marine Corps in World War II, work at Corning Inc. for 35 years, congressional service for 18 years – I think, hey, I have just as much right to express myself publicly as a millennial – so go at it Houghton! So, here is my “go at it” statement for my friends and fellow citizens.

It is no secret that we find ourselves in a bit of a mess. We’ll emerge from our difficulties because we’re Americans, but the agony the process forces on us is needless, demeaning and dangerous (think of Korea).

Our president is a disciple of Roy Cohen, the principal lawyer for Sen. Joe McCarthy years ago. His philosophy was never look back, never apologize. What that does is bring dissension and a clouded view of our country. We are blessed with a wonderful place to live – ask others from other nations. We’re now missing the joy of living in these sacred states. It’s becoming a dour place to live and most of the signals are coming from Washington.

As a congressman, I used to resent the “Formers” giving us their wisdom when they didn’t have to worry about the next election. So, I plead guilty – whoever you are, whatever might be your party affiliation, you do us all proud so please let us help you in your mission. I have a sneaking suspicion that you need all the quiet backing you can lay your hands on. We are the troops – very old, or almost old, who want to help you.

The vital area now is the presidency. What can we do to shore it up, or change it if need be? No country can be headless. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that “an institution is but the elongated shadow of its leader.”

Each of us can play a part. This is our country.

Amory “Amo” Houghton Jr.

Former U.S. Representative


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