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Charles Meredith: Political backlash not easy to take


Dear Friends,

Good morning. “Illegitimi non carborundum,” as said in Latin. “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”

That’s what I offered to my friend Francis “Frank” Licopoli the other day when he sent me a note about Father Fred Riegler, the recently retired pastor of St. Isidore’s Catholic Church in Quakertown. Frank was referring to the political backlash that Father Fred experienced when he mentioned to his parishioners that President Obama was a good man.

Here’s the email that Frank Licopoli sent: “Early in the campaign, I had Obama stickers on my car and suffered similar outrage by members of our church. Tough nut to crack; there is no room for debate! We face such today. Trump supporters are locked in, do not accept any opinions or facts contrary to their hardened loyalty.”

Trump supporters tell me the same thing. So I say again, “Illegitimi non carborundum.”

Last weekend, Mighty Betsy and I attended the juried art show at Phillips’ Mill, just north of New Hope on River Road. Phillips’ Mill is celebrating 90 years … the art show is open every day from 1 to 5 p.m. and it’s worth seeing.

There, we saw our friend George Anthonisen who was exhibiting a beautiful sculpture, “Five Women.” We laughed about the visit that Larry Grim, his companion Kathleen O’Dea, MB and I had several years ago at George’s studio near New Hope. Some of his sculptures are so realistic, you’d swear they were alive.

I asked George whether he’d ever exhibited at the Michener Museum? I was surprised that the Michener has yet to pay attention to this remarkable sculptor. George is a Bucks County fellow … and deserves notice. And, like me, George is no spring chicken. Fortunately, he’s in excellent health. Still, he’s 84.

Turning to other subjects, when you’re in the Quakertown area, be sure to see the new marker on Main Street (between ninth and 11th). It was erected by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and honors Richard Moore, a Quaker, who helped Southern slaves escape to Canada during the 1830s through 1861. Quakertown was one of the “stations” on the underground railroad.

Meanwhile, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that Charlie Dent, the former congressman from Lehigh County, has joined a roster of more than 440 former senators and House members from both parties who now use their connections to attempt to sway public policy on behalf of clients. That’s exactly what former Bucks County congressman Jim Greenwood did about 15 years ago.

It’s understandable that a bright, able congressman would turn to lobbying. In the private sector, they’ll make tons more than their $174,000 annual salary. Still, I’d be happier if a congressman would return to her or his trade or profession.

Finally, one of President Trump’s rallying calls was “Drain the Swamp!” Little did we realize back in 2016, that he would become part of the swamp. Or, I should say that he is the swamp. There’s no doubt in my mind that Donald Trump’s state and federal tax returns will be revealed.

The public will finally understand what kind of businessman Donald Trump was, and is today.

I still believe that he will resign before he’s impeached.

On the other hand, I think that Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden are less likely to win the Democratic nomination. Their days may be numbered. Bernie’s health has become a liability and Joe’s son, Hunter, will make life difficult for his father. While it’s true that neither Biden is guilty of wrong doing in the Middle East, Trump allies will constantly remind voters that the younger Biden had a cushy deal with Ukraine’s energy tzars.

So whom will the Democrats choose? How about a ticket of Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg? Warren’s an aggressive female with no apparent scandals in her background. And Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a young, combat veteran, and very bright young man. The fact that he is gay should not hurt him. We’ll see.

Sincerely, Charles Meredith

By the way, Did you see that Zane Stauffer of Quakertown died? At age 87, his memorial service was Oct 15. Zane was a very active Upper Bucks resident. He served in various offices of the Quakertown school board, Upper Bucks Technical School and Richland Township Water Authority.

Zane was a member of Quakertown Masonic Lodge and the Grunsow (groundhog) Lodge where everyone must speak in the Pennsylvania German language. He was a trumpet player in the Allentown Band and a singer in area choruses and churches. Zane was an active member of the First United Church of Christ, Quakertown.

In his 50s, he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in accounting from Ursinus College. Throughout his 54 post high school years, Zane worked as the financial secretary of the W.M. Moyer Company in Quakertown.

He did his best to make his community better.