The Edina I Knew
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A Good Representative
Jerry Litton was a Missouri Rancher from Chillicothe, MO. It was his notice that as a state, as a nation, that we had too many politicians and too few statesmen. Jerry felt that this was a problem that we could reconcile and decided to run for representative of the 6th District of Missouri. The public was quick to notice that this candidate was not only that he was a great speaker but also a charismatic with a brain. Jerry won the election quite easily. Jerry was a Democrat at a time when most Democrats were still Democrats.
When Jerry reported for duty in Washington and settled in his office, he was soon visited by the majority whip who congratulated him on winning the office. He then presented him with a list of pending bills and told Jerry how the party was to vote on them; to which Jerry responded by saying; well now just wait a minute. “You see I represent the 6th District of Missouri and I will vote the way my district wants me to vote.” To which the whip retorted, “Well Mister you won’t get far in this town.”
Litton surrounded himself with some aides of career persuasion and some fresh off the farm. He stayed in constant contact with his district. Jerry purchased TV time, and once a month held a 30-minute question and answer session with the voters. On each occasion, Jerry had a guest with him which might be either a Dem or a Rep. There was nothing planned about it. It was for real. It was at one of these sessions that he delivered his, “Groceries are high… compared to what?” He drew the comparison that groceries are a disappearing product. The housewife would spend $150.00 for food on Friday but on Thursday of the next week they were gone. While the TV she bought three years ago was still standing in the corner of the room and still working.
Meanwhile, Jerry had caught the eye of his cohorts for positive and negative reasons and especially since he won a second term by a landslide. Missourians statewide had formed Republicans for Litton clubs and some were referring to Litton’s Home – Which was a 4 pillars plantation house as the “Little White House.” This was of grave concern to the eastern seaboard “powers that be.” Here is an upstart living not 80 miles from Harry Truman’s home. A young charismatic man with a brain, and what’s this? He’s going to try for Stewart Symington’s senate seat! Yes, that’s right. It was Symington’s wish to pass the senate seat to his son, who was a member of the house. But that’s not all. Former Missouri Governor Hearnes was also in the running. This eased the concern of the established east coast power brokers. It should be a concern of Litton’s that both Symington and Hearnes had deep pockets and both had statewide organizations and name recognition. The old political machines and their power brokers saw Litton as a handsome, young, smart, and charismatic with a touch of Jefferson, Madison, Cleveland, Teddy Roosevelt, and Harry Truman in his blood. If he was ever to become president some heads would roll.
Well, they had reason for concern, Jerry won the three-way race getting 45 percent of the vote. Trouble was, he won the election but lost his life, along with his wife and his two children. Jerry and his family were on their way to Kansas City to accept the nomination for Senator when his twin-engine plane crashed shortly after take-off. Investigators said one of the crankshafts broke – very rare.
My question is, why did it break?
What set Jerry apart from the rest – He was a statesman in a field of politicians.
-Contributed by Bill Lewis