Wrong people in charge
To the Editor:
Lady Justice holds up scales as a symbol of balance. It’s hard to detect balance in political life.
Here we have the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam. In his younger years, three decades ago, he may have pulled a dumb joke (or not), when he may have put black shoe polish on his face (or not), donned a KKK-style pointed hat (or not). And whether he should resign. Or not.
Then we have that other guy who, also 30 years ago, admitted drinking too much beer and very likely committed the crime of attempted rape on a fellow student. He is now a justice on the Supreme Court, for the rest of his life – and the rest of the lives of half of the American population.
Which brings me to question the way federal judges are appointed. All judges are expected to be unbiased, right?
If so, then why is the appointment of federal judges such a partisan game?
I really don’t care about Northam. Virginia’s problem is not that important. I’m only questioning our collective judgment of what’s right and what’s not.
Is our moral compass out of whack? Or are we OK and our only fault is that we elected the wrong people to represent us?
A powerful lesson
To the Editor:
America was recently treated to a powerful lesson in democracy. During a tense encounter Native American Nathan Phillips inserted himself between opposing groups. I am not sure what he was trying to do, and I’m not sure he is either. His intentions probably evolved as the circumstances of the situation unfolded. But his intentions were clearly peaceful. Not so those of Nick Sandmann.
Mr. Sandmann “faced off/stared down” Mr. Phillips. This was an aggressive, threatening and ultimately violent act, notwithstanding what his PR firm had him say to try to rehabilitate his reputation after the video went viral. Brave stances are easy when one is supported by a mob of 100 against four opponents and an elderly man armed with a drum. Hopefully, the Covington High School administration, after failing to properly chaperone their students, will use the event as a teachable moment.
Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham had a similar experience. She tried to shame one of the survivors of the Parkland high school shooting because he challenged the NRA. Eschewing a direct response to this attack, the young man appealed to her sponsors asking if they wanted to be associated with a person who would do what she did. They dropped her like a hot potato. She finally got back on the air after apologizing for her stupid, insensitive remarks.
There is an important lesson in all of this. In a democracy we have a lot of freedom regarding what we can say and do. But we don’t have the freedom to avoid the consequences of our actions. Mr. Sandmann learned this lesson. Ms. Ingraham learned it. And Donald Trump is learning it.
The stage is set
To the Editor:
Paraphrasing only slightly, President Trump recently (late January) said in regard to the wall, “I have set the stage for what I am going to do.”
So, you thought Trump has only set us back 80 years to the days of fascist dictators like Franco of Spain, Mussolini of Italy and Hitler of Germany? Think again. It sounds to me like Trump is thinking more like the Pharaoh Khufu 4,000 years ago who probably said something like, “I have set the stage for what I am going to do; build a great pyramid to honor myself and memory forever.”
To go back even 80 years, Trump still has to eliminate the last lingering shreds of the Democracy that we fought so valiantly to establish 250 years ago, and protected so determinedly 80 years ago.
Thank goodness we still have at least half of the Legislative branch of government functioning more or less in the way our founders intended. The rest of the Legislative branch is so polluted with political party and Trump worshipers that it is no longer functioning independently as a true democracy requires.
Our democracy depends on us voters making sure that our representatives in government know what we expect from them. Very simply, that is nothing more than them working on our behalf and that of the nation, not a political party or some individual such as the President.
Besides that, we all must have, as stated in the opening paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.” This requires us to relate to others with reasoning as well as our instinctive emotions. Reasoning along with our personal emotions can help bridge the chasm between individuals and political parties, at least in a democracy like ours.
A not-so-smart wall
To the Editor:
A “Smart Wall” won’t stop illegals from crossing our border. It only assists in their detection when it’s nearly-impossible to send them home.
Advocating a “Smart Wall” conceals the desire for open borders by those wanting continued low wage workers and to increase their political power base.
There are many-millions of potential immigrants wanting to come to America. Currently we have over 20 million illegal immigrants and more on the way.
Many immigrants prefer to remain loyal to their home culture and style of government; want dual citizenship; and, flout their home flag. Our nation and culture, as we know it, will be lost forever if too many come. We need to vet those we do accept in order to insure our underpaid and low-skilled labor force does not explode and further reduce the availability of low-cost housing and jobs needed by legal citizens. Many illegal immigrants fearing deportation have become indentured servants, subsist on entitlements, become part of our underground economy, and pay no taxes. That will only get worse.
We are the world’s most powerful and longest lasting democracy based on a philosophy of individual responsibility, selflessness, earned personal property and wealth. In order to preserve those values, we must require immigrants earn their citizenship, understand the value of our constitution, and enter our country legally.
A “Smart Wall” is a nebulous money pit that will require continued expensive upgrades: Silicon Valley likes it. Our bureaucrats know that without continued funding it goes away: A well-built solid wall will better survive their budgetary fluctuations.
We can no longer ignore our immigration problem because of racial divisions, political correctness, divided government, and self-interest obstructionists. China, and others, are watching us destroy our Democratic Republic from within. They will continue to seize on our weakness.
Daniel W. Strader