Letter: Our rights still exist in an election year

Our rights still exist in an election year

To the editor:

From the March 31 New York Times: A spokesperson for the ANC (African National Congress) said "It will use its parliamentary majority to quash any impeachment motion... It's not going to happen in an election year. It's not in the interests of the ANC even if it's the right thing to do."

I was struck by the statement made by the ANC regarding the response to South African president Jacob Zumba being found guilty of corruption by a South African court. How lucky we are we do not live in a country where doing what is right, ethical and constitutionally sound is trumped by party or personal expediency. Where the party does not become the "golden calf" and the American people are left to bow down to those in power.

Yes, how lucky we are that we hold our leaders to a higher value that binds them to the truths of justice, equality, and mercy. To not see compromise as a weakness, to not mistake arrogance and shamelessness of speech for courage. To know that leadership means putting what is right for all ahead of party loyalties and personal gain.

We live in a country and world whose needs, markets, beliefs, relationships, jobs have been drastically changing for many decades. It is as if we were put into a pot of water and the temperature was slowly raised until boiling. We would not react until the temperature got to a point that we began to be uncomfortable and at some point we would begin to complain.

Such is the state of our country's citizens — the changes occurring around us have now raised the heat to a point that many are saying it is too hot. Many who are disempowered emotionally, spiritually, economically, educationally to make the necessary shifts and changes needed feel they will boil and die. They are scared, fearful and angry.

Our political leadership has convinced itself that power and money do not corrupt. It believes that regulations and monitoring of institutions and people with power and influence can be removed. It fails to see that it can become blind to that which they gave oath and pledged themselves to protect when elected — to care for the American people.

And we end up with the same statement, "It's not going to happen in an election year. Its not in the best interest of the party." They will back and vote for people they despise and feel would be bad for the country. They will twist their explanations and rationales under the guise that the Constitution is on hold during an election year. Except they aren't honest enough to add, "Even if it isn't the right thing to do."

Craig Clemow, Williamstown


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