We had trouble coming up with the right subject line for this note. “Who Does Alan Grayson Look Up To?” Nope – that’s an object, not a subject. “Whom Does Alan Grayson Look Up To?” Nope – that a dangling participle. “To Whom Does Alan Grayson Look Up?” Well, Alan is 6’4”, so Shaquille O’Neal, maybe, but not many others. Given the grammatical and elevational difficulties, we threw in the towel, and went with “Whom Does Alan Grayson Admire?” And now we’ll tell you the answer to the question.
A few weeks ago, Team Grayson invited you to become a campaign “sustainer” – a supporter who makes monthly contributions – to Congressman Grayson’s re-election campaign. In exchange for your support, we offered you the opportunity to “Ask Alan Anything.” We posed your questions to Alan, he answered, and we recorded his answers. Steven in Florida asked Alan, “Since you tower over most people, who do you look up to?” Here is Alan’s answer:
Congressman Alan Grayson: [The question is,] since I “tower over most people, whom do I look up to?” I look up to the man who sits in that chair in the Lincoln Memorial, my personal favorite President. You know, we’ve had 44 of them. I know that a lot of people are very fond of the current one. But I will tell you that the man who towers above me when I stand there at his feet – literally at his feet, at the Lincoln Memorial - is the man whom I respect the most.
I respect him the most because he had to preside over this country during a time of terrible, almost unbelievable, conflict. The country had been literally split in two, in the months before he was sworn into office. He had to fight a war to keep this county unified, and to free the slaves, and to resolve the greatest social issue of his time. He did it with dignity, he did it with grace, he did it with humor, and he did it with humanity.
I’ll never forget the fact that when President Lincoln was President, he decided, as the Commander in Chief, to absolve dozens, if not hundreds, of people who had been convicted of every kind of offense up to desertion in our military, and let those people live. I gave a speech about that a few years ago. He decided that these people, whatever their crimes, were still human beings, and had lived through the worst experience one could live through, seeing their brethren fall and die right next to them, in many cases.
He decided to let those people live because, as he put it, there had been enough death, there had been enough killing. He used his power to keep those people alive. And he helped to bring the country back together again, and to unify [us], and to give us the county that we have today. So he’s the one I look up to.
[To see the video, click here.]
Whom do you admire? Tell us your answer; maybe we’ll share it with our audience. And if Congressman Grayson happens to be one of those people whom you admire, then please sign up to become a monthly sustainer of our campaign today. Our goals are Lincoln’s goals: Justice, Equality and Peace.
Amicalement (“In friendship”),
He saw my complications,
And he mirrored me back, simplified.
And we laughed how our perfection,
Would always be denied.
“Heart and humor, and humility,”
He said, “Will lighten up your heavy load.”
- Joni Mitchell, “Refuge of the Roads” (1976).