It’s hard not to be mis­led by mis­lead­ers

The Calvert Recorder - - Community Forum -

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

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