A Teachable Moment

Editor’s note:  Freeholder Director Lillian Burry submitted this column back in February. In light of the recent “push polling” negative campaign tactic on the part of the Monmouth County Democrats and what looks to be an ugly seven weeks coming before election day, we thought it might be a good idea to run her column again.


By Lillian G. Burry, Monmouth County Freeholder Director

Photo by Vinnie Amessé © www.amessephoto.com

Photo by Vinnie Amessé © www.amessephoto.com

When Vin Gopal launched his latest attack, I heard from friends with two different types of advice.  Some said I should fight back immediately because silence would suggest I had no defense.  Others said I should do nothing because to respond to bullying would make me just look defensive.  I thanked them all for their kind thoughts but told them all the same thing.  I see this as a teachable moment to be shared with everyone who may be thinking of someday entering public life.

You may see public office as I do – a way of giving back to society and being thankful for the success you’ve had in your professional life.  In an ideal democracy opponents would challenge you by putting forth a competing vision of the future they would work for and offer up their record of accomplishments so people could judge whether or not they had as good a record as yours when it comes to getting things done.  Unfortunately, that’s not how our democracy has evolved.

Instead of thoughtful, accomplished candidates we are too often faced with political attack dogs whose sole purpose is to try to destroy the reputation of people in the opposing party.  Lies, distortions and bullying are their stock in trade.  If anyone you have ever dealt with in your public life is ever accused of wrong doing in their private affairs, rest assured that the partisan hounds will come barking after you even though you are in no way involved.  That’s just the way it’s done on every level be it federal, state, county or local.  So what are you to do?  The answer is simple.  Whether you are a little league coach or a first responder, whether you feed the hungry, lead a troop of girl scouts or serve on a school board you have a record on which you can stand.  Every person you have helped, every dollar you have saved or raised, every public asset you have fought to preserve, everything you have done in your public life speaks for you.  We are all entitled to be judged by our true record.  All the barking of all the hounds cannot drown out the truth.  At the end of the day the weight of solid accomplishments will balance well against empty accusations from a poisoned pen.

Stand strong with high standards.  Keep firm in your commitments.  Speak dearly of the brighter future you are working to create.  Do this all resolutely and leave those attack dogs to do their howling at the moon.

Posted: September 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Lillian Burry, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth Democrats, New Jersey, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

2 Comments on “A Teachable Moment”

  1. The Italian said at 6:43 pm on September 14th, 2014:

    Lorenzo e Giuseppe non potrebbe anche iniziare a riempire le scarpe di Lillian Burry & Gary ricca. In realtà, essi non appartengono alla stessa fase, poiché sono un piccolo popolo, sia di statura e con la mente. Tanto è vero che essi sono in realtà delle ombre. Che potrebbe anche iniziare a pensare che questi due Democratici Hack offrono la professionalità e l’etica che il candidato Repubblicani portare in tavola. Non sono nient’ altro che una che, oltretutto, possono essere in politica.

  2. trouble in marlboro said at 8:47 am on September 15th, 2014:

    this smells of the chicago thug tactics that the mayor of marlboro uses. they just keep sending negative story after negative story out. And if you are clean as the driven snow, they will make things up. These chicago thugs, aka johnny and frank, need to spread out in the county, because they are running out of money to feed the de cotis law group. they already raided the money out of the water auth, but can’t get their hands on the sewer auth , because they share it with manalapan. so johnny is spending a lot of time in manalapan trying to fill county committee and getting candidates to run, so he can get his and de cotis”s foot in the door, and start taking over those utilities that they can get their hands on. so i hope the leadership in the republican party starts to take this threat seriously, they are coming to a town near you and going to turn monmouth county into middlesex, and bergen counties soon.