Just recently I was reading “Legends & Lore of Southern Illinois” by John W. Allen.
One passage particularly struck me: William Edgar Borah, born in 1865, native of Wayne County, became dean of the United States Senate.
From his first appearance in the Senate, Borah showed his independence. Though many disagreed with him at various times, few questioned his sincerity or integrity, and all alike respected his great ability. After the close of World War I, Borah opposed ratification of the Treaty of Versailles and led a bitter attack on the League of Nations. In none of his attacks on the Treaty of Versailles, the League of Nations or any other measure advocated by President Woodrow Wilson, did Borah make personal attack on the president as so many others did. Though he strongly opposed many of the policies that Wilson advocated, Borah respected the president and treated him with the utmost dignity.
President Wilson and a companion, driving on the streets of Washington shortly before the death of the former president, passed Borah. Wilson turned to his companion and remarked, “There is one irreconcilable man whom I can respect.”
Couldn’t Borah’s attitude of respect be emulated in today’s political atmosphere? Or are we becoming, or have we become an uncivilized country?
Agnes G. White, Hoffman