It’s hard not to be misled by misleaders
As Dr. Seuss noted in a commencement address, one has to be careful when eating popovers to not swallow the air. It’s hard not to be misled by people who are anxious to mislead. We have a regular diet of it from our homegrown politicians. That’s been exacerbated by foreigners. The way out of this confusion is to establish principles.
One of those for me is democracy. Of course, what we have in the country is a constitutional democratic republic. It’s not just one of those; it’s all three. President Trump won. He’s the best politician in the country. As shown by the fact that he won. But, we have three branches of government and arguably maybe a fourth with the bureaucracy. Each branch needs to do what it is charged with under the constitution and as those responsibilities have been interpreted.
So, President Trump can’t divert money from appropriated funds to build his wall. Congress can’t stop President Trump from ordering the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Syria. Or make treaties that reduce the amount of methane in the atmosphere, which may be the single most material contributing to elevated temperatures with resultant severe weather, like the ridiculous amount of rain we have experienced this year. The judiciary can’t rewrite legislation, only limit its applicability. So, Obamacare may not survive the federal Texas judge’s decision, but only Congress can fix it.
So, democracy. Rule by the people. The people pick representatives, including President Trump, and hope that they have vision, because without vision, the people perish. As Bush the elder was fond of saying, “It’s the vision thing.” So, as Jefferson said, “The price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance” — we each have to exercise vigilance. Don’t eat the air. We each have to look to our principles, examine them, adopt and adapt and improve them as circumstances change and refine them until they become the mag- nifying glass through which we examine what our leaders tell us.
Therefore, for me, any effort to suppress voting is a violation of my democratic principle. Anyone who suggests that should happen is suspect of subverting democracy. Let me be clear, gerrymandering is dangerous to democracy. Taking felons off the voting rolls is too. Limiting access to voting machines in poor neighborhoods is too. Claiming people voted illegally without proof first is too.
Please pick out your principles, test them regularly and decide which leaders you should support. William Wetmore, Waldorf