Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Feb. 14

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“Be Kind” billboard in Frankfort

Centre professor David Anderson has a message for everyone, especially those leading our state: “Be kind.”

Anderson made that message loud and clear last week, when he paid to have a billboard on U.S. 27 in Frankfort adorned with those two simple words.

“If I can do anything to help the legislature make decisions with kindness in the back of their minds, the decisions will be a lot better,” Anderson told us.

We couldn’t think of a better message to send to our elected leaders right now. The trick will be whether those who read the billboard take it as constructive criticism toward themselves or if they think it only applies to others.

When Republicans see the billboard, they should think about their own actions and the resulting complaints that many including women and workers have voiced. They should be putting themselves in the shoes of young women in tough situations. They should be putting themselves in the shoes of workers with shrinking paychecks. They should be asking if they couldn’t be doing something to mitigate the potential pain created by their reforms. They shouldn’t be thinking about how Democrats should be kinder.

That’s because Democrats should be thinking about how they’ve treated Republicans in the past (not very kindly). And they should be asking themselves whether they are executing their role as minority party properly: Are they trying to offer constructive criticism and improve implementation of Republican goals, or are they digging in their heels and hoping for failure?

We hope everyone who sees the “Be Kind” billboard accepts its message as an internal one — “are YOU being kind?” — and not an external one — “are THEY being kind?.” And we thank Anderson for spreading a positive, encouraging message.

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Perros leads by example

Danville Mayor Mike Perros was a role model for good civic behavior last week, when he took responsibility for his dog that likes to escape.

Perros was charged because the puppy made a habit of escaping its electric-fence boundary. On two charges of not vaccinating or licensing his dog, he provided proof that he had done both. Then he showed up for his court date and accepted a $50 fine.

Perros told us a fine was appropriate because it had cost taxpayer funds to take care of his dog when it escaped.

At The Advocate-Messenger, we don’t make a habit of reporting on minor charges concerning things like escaped dogs, but we do report when elected officials and public leaders are charged with anything beyond a speeding ticket. That’s because our officials and leaders should be held to a higher standard.

In this case, we think Perros met that high standard of conduct and provided a good example for others to follow.