The G20 summit is over. Leaders of the top twenty economies gathered in Hamburg, Germany to display the brightest minds in government, business, and banking. The wattage in the city had to exceed that of a 60-watt bulb.
As a reminder of how astute and articulate people in positions of power can be, I offer some of these classic lines:
- “Things are more like they are now than they have ever been.” President Gerald Ford
- “And what is more, I agree with everything I just said.” Piet Koornoff, South African ambassador
- “That’s part of American greatness, is discrimination. Yes, sir. Inequality, I think, breeds freedom and gives man opportunity.” Lester Maddox, former Georgia governor
- “Wherever I have gone in this country, I have found Americans.” Alf Landon, presidential candidate
- “My fellow astronauts …” Dan Quayle, Vice-President at Apollo 11 ceremony
- “That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jack-ass, and I’m just the one to do it.” Congressional candidate in Texas
- “This is a great day for France!” President Nixon at Charles De Gaulle’s funeral
- “If I never get to Mexico again, it wouldn’t bother me. I don’t like the food or the climate.” Dan Eddy, member of the Texas Good Neighbor Commission, charged with promoting Texas-Mexico good relations
- “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for me.” Dr. David Edwards, head of the National Committee on Language
Sometimes it would be better if we just keep our mouths closed. James had good advice: “You must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” After all the blustery rhetoric spewed by our leaders, it would be nice to leave all the spin behind. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that we should treat others as we wish to be treated. How would that change the headlines? Naïve? Simplistic? Of course. I can dream, though … and pray.