This month, a new President takes the solemn oath of office in our Nation’s Capital amid a confluence of costly crises rarely seen in our history. It will be his job to make the best of it. Likewise, a new Congress convenes in our Capitol, facing challenges with few precedents. It will be their job to make the best of it.
In Trenton, Governor Corzine and our Legislature confront awesome tests of talent and character. It will be their job to make the best of it.
And all around our Garden State, local officials will wrestle through the usual thorny thicket of tricky issues. But the difficulty of this year’s trek will be augmented, as never before, by problems that can only be solved by officials at the state and federal levels. It will, as always, be their job to make the best of it.
Some see that phrase—to make the best of it—as advice to merely muddle through, to settle for a little less, to accommodate the mediocre. But a careful consideration of the words makes it clear that it is, instead, a challenge to rise above, a plea to refuse to compromise, a counsel to strive for more than excellence—to strive for the best possible results. It is a phrase devalued by the jaded ‘worldly wise,’ and only spoken truly by those emboldened with (to steal a line) the audacity of hope.
In different ways, but no less truly than during the waning days of 1776, these are surely soul-trying times. At that time, hope alone sustained a desperate independence. A young leader inspired his people to hope and forged among them a death-defying commitment to their ideals and to each other. And a victory in Trenton turned the tide.
Last year as our President, Mayor Bob Bowser of East Orange reminded us that we must all—urban, rural, suburban, North, South, Central, Republican, Democrat and Independent—we must all hang together...
This year, our new President, Mayor Tim McDonough of (where else?) Hope, will strive to do the same. If we all, at all levels of government and all around our Garden State, can maintain our commitment to our ideals and each other, we know that we can make the best of this rare opportunity to serve the common good
Editorial from New Jersey
Municipalities, Volume 85, Number 6, June 2008