To the Editor:

I am confused, disappointed and deeply distressed by the seeming lack of knowledge or regard for the historic development of our democratic form of governance by many of our elected representatives and the general public. What ARE our core beliefs and WHO really speaks for us?

In our world today, there is a need to "go back to the books," to contemplate the words and wisdom of real leaders in our past who looked to the future with more than a 24-hour news cycle in mind. In the mid 1880s, a young Theodore Roosevelt, "ranchman" and writer, was asked to deliver a short address to the residents of Dickinson (Dakotas). On July 4, 1886, he outlined the democratic principles of Republicanism then — and valid more so today.

David McCullough, in his biography of the young Roosevelt — "Mornings on Horseback" — saw fit to quote this address in full (pages 349-350). I find it much more informative and inspiring than any of the current "tweets" or bombastic rhetoric flooding our airways.

PS — If you are unfamiliar with this speech (as I was), may I suggest you read it.

MARION E. DONNELLY

Clifton Springs

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