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AAC F A M I L Y & F R I E N D S GROUP


not only with the public we serve, but also with each other. We must stay unified. President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “Tere are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.” Tere is no one who has all the right answers. I was recently reading President Gerald R. Ford’s book


“Humor and the Presidency” and was quickly reminded of how so many of us in government have used humor to help us get through the tough times. President Abraham Lincoln would often begin cabinet meet-


ings by reading the satirical stories of Artemus Ward. Tis ir- ritated some politicians, who felt the president should be more sober and serious. One such critic, a Congressman Arnold from New York, complained to Lincoln about the practice, asking: “How can you sit there and read those stories know- ing the casualty figures that are coming in from Gettysburg?” Lincoln flung down his book of Artemus Ward stories and turned to Arnold, tears streaming down his face. “Mr. Arnold, were it not for my little jokes, I could not bear the burdens of this office,” he replied. Will Rogers once told the story of visiting the White House and being greeted by Eleanor Roosevelt. “Where is the presi- dent?” Rogers asked. “Wherever you hear the laughter,” the First Lady replied.


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Roosevelt’s White House was like Lincoln’s in its reliance on humor as a way of lighting a path through dark times. Dur- ing the recent Arkansas legislative session I saw a number of legislators, county officials and other leaders that wisely called upon humor to help guide them through the tough times and on to success. Sadly, I saw others that saw no need — or maybe did not realize the availability of humor to help themselves and those around them. Humor sustains everyone connected to politics and can help span differences. Tough times never last, but tough people do. No one is tougher than those who serve in local government — those serv- ing in the county courthouses. You are there for the right rea- sons. Te people who make the difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones with the concern — those of you serving in the county constitutional offices of this great state. Te strength of unity is what keeps counties in the game.


President Woodrow Wilson said, “We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.” Counties provide vital services that keep society function-


ing, even if they are not recognized every day. We are not just another special interest group. Te totality of what county government does remains the foundation upon which our state and nation were built and not the other way around.


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COUNTY LINES, SPRING 2015


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