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Opinion

October 18, 2013

What would will say about that?…For the Common Good

CHICKASHA —

The homespun humor and wisdom of Oklahoma native Will Rogers has fascinated America for nearly a century.  His unique insight, accurate analysis and fearless delivery “plain-talked” himself into the hearts of millions.  When the California Legislature formed the California Bar Association to regulate the conduct of lawyers in the Golden State, Rogers said, “Personally I don't think you can make a lawyer honest by an act of the Legislature. You've got to work on his conscience. And his lack of conscience is what makes him a lawyer.”

In his no nonsense way, Will was quoted as saying, “What this country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.”  Will Rogers, in the oft quoted words of Finley Peter Dunne, regularly and routinely, “comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable.” In speeches and syndicated articles, our State’s favorite son, spoke on a multitude of subjects, hashed no words and always smiled as he conveyed a truth that was sometimes hard to swallow.  Although William Adair Penn Roger’s 134th Birthday will take place in a just a few days, his remarks are timeless, having uncanny application to current events.

This great American icon spoke of congressional gridlock and used terms like the “little guy,” the “big guy” and “the Normal Majority.” He poked fun at Democrats and Republicans and everyone in between.  His audience appreciated the clarity by which he spoke.  

Two of his particularly relevant quotes from the 1930’s were, “Doctors should make enough out of those who are able to pay to be able to work for the poor for free. One thing that a poor person should never be expected to pay for is medical attention and not from an organized charity but from our best doctors. Your doctor bill should be paid like your income tax, according to what you have” and “There is nothing that keeps poor people poor as much as paying doctor bills.”

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