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At Veterans Day event, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft shares thoughts on equality, prosperity

John Ashcroft
Gage Skidmore
Creative Commons

Former Missouri Governor and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft spoke at an event honoring veterans in Springfield. He thanked veterans and commented on social issues of the day, including freedom of speech and income inequality.

Ashcroft spoke to members of the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast, where he thanked veterans for securing what he called the three liberties of religion, speech, and opportunity.

Ashcroft stressed free speech, telling the audience he’s concerned about “a culture that’s so offended by everything that’s said.” He also stressed what he called the “liberty to prosper,” saying the government should focus less on disparity and let individuals succeed through hard work.

“We don’t need any more equality," Ashcroft said. "What we need is prosperity, and prosperity comes when you have some capacity for disparity, which provides motivation.”

In telling the group of his admiration for the Rotary Club, Ashcroft appeared to refer to getting the COVID-19 vaccine as a “duty.”

“My father was a Rotarian through and through," he said. "He could not have been more of a Rotarian if he had been inoculated with a rotary pin at the time of his admission to grade school. Speaking of inoculations, I hope that you’ve all done your duty.”

Josh Conaway is a graduate of Missouri State University with a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in International Affairs. He works as a news reporter and announcer at KSMU. His favorite part of the job is exploring the rich diversity of the Ozarks and meeting people with interesting stories to share. He has a passion for history and running.