I always thought the point of government and law and order in America was to serve justice. By justice I mean fair and equal treatment under law. Justice was not served when Obama, a president elected by the “American people,” with almost a year left in his term, was denied a hearing — by one senator — for his moderate Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Justice will not be served if Trump, also an elected president with much less time before the election, secures a hearing for his conservative Supreme Court nominee with the blessing of that same senator. Even those Americans who call themselves Republicans know that. It will be another stolen appointment.
While Trump, Mitch McConnell and the Republican Senate might have the power to install another conservative judge, they do not have the power to force Americans to respect that decision, or to respect any law decided by a blatantly politicized Supreme Court. Without balance, the Supreme Court speaks for less than half of the American people.
Using the power of government position to deny justice undermines the whole point of our government. It undermines even further the integrity of the U.S. Senate, the Supreme Court and respect for law itself. Should they do this, the president and the Republican Senate will continue to prove they are about power for power’s sake and are ready to do anything to get and keep it. With contempt for truth, law, justice and the people, Senate leader Mitch McConnell smirks at his own hypocrisy as he gleefully anticipates another “win” for himself and his party over the bedrock and sacred values of our country.
Voting by mail has been under attack, mainly by the Republican Party. They rely on scare tactics to try to dissuade us from using this convenient method of voting in hopes that this will somehow work out in favor of their candidates. Mr. Trump is obsessed with “rampant” voter fraud (which is almost non-existent, statistically speaking), and insists that mail-in voting favors Democrats. There is no evidence that either of these things is true.
After studying voter fraud for years, the Heritage Foundation (a right-leaning think tank) submitted a report that stated that “proven voter fraud cases swell to 1,295 in America” (in all of America, and that was over several years!). This is not enough to swing an election. And the task force that Trump created to investigate the issue after his 2016 election was disbanded after the first year because they found so few cases that it wasn’t worth it.
Vote-by-mail is necessary and helpful. This year going to the polling place is a potentially dangerous undertaking, so why not employ a service that we already have? We can do it this way so why not do it this way? So many more people would be interested in becoming part of the process instead of being a victim of it if they could avoid the risk and perhaps intimidation of voting in person. You can still request a mail-in ballot by going to https://servicearizona.com/ or https://azsos.gov/votebymail, which gives deadlines and ways to request a ballot.
We’ve all seen the video of George Lloyd’s last moments and the knee on his neck. Unbelievable. But the problem isn’t only with the knee guy, it’s with the other three who stood around and did nothing. But that’s us. All of us. We are afraid. We are brought up to “go with the flow,” “don’t make waves,” “stay out of it."
Where does this cowardice come from? Why don’t we possess the same amount of ferocity in defending what’s right as we do of complicity in approving the treatment of someone who is getting the life squeezed out of him?
Recall how many opportunities we’ve had to counter injustice on a small scale: when the bully is tormenting the wimp, when the boss repeatedly insults an employee in plain view, when we consistently ignore a member of the group as if they are invisible.
We can stop this. Yes, you will probably be punished. Just ask former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and any number of this administration’s former officeholders.
We can begin by teaching courage to our kids and by being an example of bravery to our peers. Then this would become the norm and displace the perverse inaction that looms over these reprehensible behaviors.
If just one of those three officers had shown courage to stand up for what was right, Mr. Lloyd would probably be alive today.
Have we, as a country, worked through the mistaken notion that a “businessman” will be a successful president? It was always a mystery to me why so many people thought this was a legitimate way to assess someone’s talent and ability to take on the massively difficult job of running the U.S. government.
Sure, entrepreneurial talent is valuable, but does it prove any real understanding of economics or even government? Businesses are competitive — that’s the whole point of a free-market economy, and that’s a good thing. But why do we believe the myth that success in business translates directly to competence in politics? It sounds like we think that politics is simple, that anybody can just get in there and fix everything just because he is the “outsider,” that he’ll come in and shake things up and get everything straightened out. We’ve lent legitimacy to the idea that success in politics comes from things like “common sense” and “American values,” and that’s absurd. This isn’t a family of four — it’s a country of 328 million.
Politics is extremely complex, and that’s what makes it interesting. And yes, there are the standard depictions of politicians as snakes, bottom feeders, knuckleheads, scammers, money-wasting scoundrels, crooks, etc., but there are businessmen who could fit into those categories too.
So let’s hope that we’ve learned our lesson that real estate familiarity can be helpful, but we might get a little closer to what we want if we take other qualifications into account, like political experience, education, general knowledge of history and government, years of service to our country, and yes, overall decency.
It is disturbing to read a letter to the editor that depicts the Democratic Party as suppressing votes. That’s an example of “both-sider-ism,” which is just not true. Despite the admirable loyalty that Sanders followers display, this is no time for Democrats to help re-elect the most despicable man that has ever held the office of the president by not voting and not getting behind whoever the Democratic candidate might be.
It takes time to change a party, especially a party with a big tent like the Democrats. It took 40 years for the Republican Party to become what it is today. It was once the party of Lincoln. Look at what it is now.
There's only one party that believes that government has a role in solving problems; there's only one party that is focused on equality for all groups of people; there's only one party that is working to provide equal pay for equal work for women; there's only one party that believes that science should be trusted rather than faith-based hope; there's only one party that is fighting to expand and save voting rights; and there is only one party that believes that our planet is in trouble and is willing to do something about it — and that is the Democratic Party.
So be angry about your guy not getting in, but take that passion and work toward helping others understand your reasoning and position. Help the party move forward so that there can be a more progressive candidate elected in the future. Baby steps.