Governor Brian Kemp; Real-Life Hero

Election Integrity Hero Brian Kemp

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp explained the controversial election integrity legislation recently enacted in his state. According to some, he is one of many modern day heroes in political circles. 

“This legislative session there are certainly a wide range of issues our office has tackled alongside members of the Georgia General Assembly,” the governor said.  “Few are more important than the bill I signed into law moments ago.”

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Modern Day Heroes

Modern day heroes like Kemp are often overlooked in the rush of breaking news.  Looking back on real life heroes, like my own father in his life working among brutal gangsters, it is easier to see the heroic action in hindsight. Also, our polarized politics makes one person’s hero into another person’s villain.  It can, and does, get complicated quickly. This is often because we see the man, but fail to see the hero within

Modern day heroes can also be harder to spot because they can go from hero to zero with their next decision. That is why it is worth examining what seems a small decision to some. True heroes are often created and destroyed the next moment where the conflict is greatest. Heroism exists in large and small actions.

Consider the book below for your further reading in modern political courage. 

Governor Kemp continued, “With Senate Bill 202 Georgia will take another step toward ensuring our elections are secure accessible and fair. We quickly began working with the House and Senate on further reforms to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. The bill I signed into law does just that. First and foremost, S.B. 202 replaces the signature match process with a state issued ID requirement to request and submit an absentee ballot.”

True Heroes

The issue of requiring state identification (ID) is one of the most hotly contested issues today. Democrat Party supporters contend that ID makes it difficult for poor people and people of color to vote. This new law requiring ID that was passed by the Georgia Senate and House and signed by the Governor may alienate many current constituents.  This may threaten the political future of these lawmakers, particularly the governor who may become a target of the opposition party.  To many people the Governor is a true hero.  

“When voting in person in the state of Georgia you must have a photo ID. It only makes sense for the same standard to apply to absentee ballots as well by moving to a state-issued ID requirement instead of a signature match,” the Governor explained.

“Georgia will dramatically streamline the verification process on absentee ballots and contrary to the hyper-partisan rhetoric you may have heard inside and outside this gold dome, the facts are that this new law will expand voting access in the Peach State.”

It should be noted that Governor Kemp had also come under intense fire from his own Republican Party for not more forcefully supporting President Trump in the 2020  presidential election. At issue was the certification of disputed invalid ballots. By taking a principled stand against partisan influence, the Governor again may one of the true heroes revealed in the 2020 election.

“Every county in Georgia will now have two mandatory Saturdays of early voting and the option of two Sundays of early voting. Georgians will no doubt be soon overwhelmed with fancy TV ads mailers and radio spots attacking this common sense election reform measure.”

Hero Within

In real life heroes, common sense is one of the qualities that is often missed. It is this ability to maintain composure under threat that often reveals a hero within.  The video below reveals a real life hero under extreme threat, and even certain of his impending death. Yet, he continues his heroic mission undaunted. Note: this is a full length documentary.  I recommend you review it after reading this article. 

Examples of Heroes

Governor Kemp continued,”In fact left-wing groups funded by out-of-state billionaires are already doing that now. They’re using outrageous false rhetoric to scare you and put millions of dollars in their own pocket. They’re threatening to boycott Georgia businesses in the middle of a pandemic because they oppose election integrity. According to them if you support voter ID for absentee ballots you’re a racist according to them.”

“If you believe in protecting the security and sanctity of the ballot box you are quote, ‘Jim Crow in a suit.” and tie,’ end quote.” Governor Kemp should be commended for his heroic stance against intimidation and the threats levied against him by a vicious and determined opposition. He is one of the many examples of heroes emerging in the state of Georgia in 2021. 

For another hero short story, click here

Real Life Heroes; Return to Blue

My niece, Johanna, writes of the death from Covid of her father  and my friend of 50 years, Jim Kodlick – a hero short story. He was a real life hero to me. He was a lot like my own father who danced at Jim’s wedding, free for a moment of all worries. 

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The Story of the Song “Return to Blue”

In March of 2020 things turned dark. One week after the COVID lockdown went into effect; my father called and said he needed help. 

He knew his health had taken a turn for the worse, and he could no longer stay at home alone. I brought him to our home and within a matter of days and multiple phone calls and tele-med visits with his doctors, they instructed me to call an ambulance and send him to the ER. “Don’t you take him. Call an ambulance” they said, “the risk of COVID at the ER is too great”. I can still see the medics wheeling my Dad out of our front hallway and into the ambulance as clear as day. As we waved goodbye, I knew it was different. I think he did too. It was the last time.

Within two months of that ambulance ride, my father was gone, and due to COVID restrictions, my siblings and I were never able to go into the hospitals or nursing home while he was suffering and nearing his end. A stroke of grace allowed him to come home to us for a few days in hospice before his passing, but he was unable to speak, so final conversations had already occurred without our knowing. My siblings and I never left his side as he rested peacefully in my sister’s home along the Penns Creek during those sacred few days. 

There was another guest with us the entire time – as if he was checking in and waiting until my Dad was ready. It was an eagle. He would perch in the tree above the creek in front of the house, and as he soared in and out of view, we would catch glimpses of him. On the day of my father’s passing, the eagle was there, waiting and watching from the tree at the end of the driveway. As the white hearse quietly rolled away at dawn, the eagle watched over protectively, and then flew with him along the creek, showing him the way.

Veiled in great heartache, I went to Mother Nature for answers. In the summer, while kayaking on the Susquehanna River with my sister, the eagle showed up again and we knew it was Dad letting us know he was with us. By the fall, I was still aching, and doing my best to function. I continued to return to the river for peace, often with my daughter. One day at the river’s edge, my daughter sensed my anguish and tension and urged me to Just. Sit. Down. Meditate, and feel the spirit of Mother Nature, the river, the sky, the eagle. She was right.

Now it is winter, and while I still grieve, just like so many of us during this odd time of COVID, I am at last hopeful. Thanks to the wisdom shown to us all by Mother Nature, I know that, particularly with the coming of spring, this darkness will turn to light. From discord, we will return to harmony. My heart will continue to heal. And even when the sky is grey, it will always return to blue.”

Jim was a quiet man and an example of a hero within that I will always keep with me. 

Hear Johanna’s beautiful song for her father “Return to Blue” here. See #16 > http://www.middlesusquehannariverkeeper.org/song-project.html

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