My Kinda’ Politician


Politics are not my thing. However, the combative tenure of the elections occurring in Alaska and Wyoming today is discouraging. Radical contention has replaced reasonable compromise. The “One Nation Under God” our founding fathers envisioned is sadly becoming two nations under political division.

As an octogenarian I’ve been privileged to witness times when “reaching across the aisle” was often the political norm, not the exception, and I grieve for the political tenure our children are inheriting. I continue to pray for our Nation’s leaders in both parties to contemplate their agendas with a “We” not “Me” focused perspective.

That said, I came across the story below about a former politician whose “We” political perspective was refreshingly encouraging, and pass it along optimistic that our Nation can come together and heal  . . .

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia

During the worst days of Great Depression and all of World War II, five-foot 4-inch Fiorello LaGuardia was the mayor of New York City. A colorful character, dubbed the “Little Flower” by his adoring constituents for the carnation he always wore in his lapel, he was known to ride New York City fire engines; accompany the police on speakeasy raids; take entire orphanages to baseball games; and read the Sunday funnies to children on the radio whenever the New the New newspapers were on strike.

One bitterly cold, January night in 1935 mayor LaGuardia showed up at a night court in the city’s poorest ward. Dismissing the judge for the evening he took over the bench. A raggedy old woman, charged with stealing a loaf of bread was brought before him. Pleading her case, she told the mayor her sick daughter and two children had been abandoned by her husband, and her grandchildren were starving.

The shopkeeper from whom she had stolen the bread refused to drop the charges. “It’s a bad neighborhood your Honor. She needs to be punished to teach people around here a lesson!

LaGuardia sighed and addressed the woman. “I’ve got to punish you. The law makes no exceptions. Ten dollars or ten days in jail.” As he pronounced the sentence he reached into his pocket and tossed a 10 dollar bill into his famous sombrero.

Here’s the ten dollar fine, which I now remit; furthermore, I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.”


The next day New York City newspapers reported $47.50 was collected and given to the gratefully bewildered old lady who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her starving grandchildren, 50 cents of which was contributed to the embarrassed, red-faced shopkeeper. The seventy some petty criminals, people with traffic violations, and New York City policemen present in the courtroom that evening, each who had paid 50 cents the mayor ordered, gave him a standing ovation.

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!