Governor Rod Blagojevich Affirms Innocence: Quotes Kipling’s “If”

Governor Rod Blagojevich proclaimed he had done “nothing wrong” at the James R. Thompson Center office building in Chicago’s Loop on December 19, 2008. Referring to the unseemly campaign of Lt Governor Pat Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan to force him from office, he referred to their shameful “thirty-second sound bites” on “Meet the Press” on December 14. I am pleased he is fighting this inquisition and has the courage NOT to resign under pressure. His vulgarity and lack of popularity appear to be more important to the political elites, than the questionable practices and gratuitous arrest by the United States Attorney for Northern Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald.

While the governor’s wiretapped phone calls are hardly the substance of political greatness, it is always a concern when the government intrudes upon a citizen’s privacy and then releases the information in such a public manner. Big government has a responsibility to use its power with restraint and maturity. This was so egregiously violated in this instance that one may opine that the public interest is indeed enhanced when a defiant governor demands his day in court prior to bending to the will of his politically ambitious enemies to resign or surrender his authority.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

The Democratic governor’s quoting the first verse, except wisely for the last line, of the British poet Rudyard Kipling’s “If” was a clear affirmation of his determination not to be forced from office without the benefit of a trial or an appropriate response in a judicial setting.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son! 

~Rudyard Kipling

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