Letter to the editor: Partisan politics creates gridlock

Published 9:16 am Thursday, August 4, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

To the editor:

I am a huge fan of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. I am doing my best to daily practice love, acceptance, and forgiveness. It is a difficult challenge sometimes, and that is why it was a commandment, not an option. If it was easy, everyone would do it, right?

I have learned over the past few years that many of us do not really understand how our government works and so please indulge me as I remind those folks that the federal government, as set up by the founders, is three co-equal branches of government, our Executive Branch is the President, the Legislative Branch is Congress, and the Judicial Branch is the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The founders spelled out the roles and responsibilities to prevent tyranny by unscrupulous people, before there was a two-party system and before there were Republicans.

If the President abuses power, the House of Representatives in Congress can impeach that person, and if the Senate agrees, that President can be removed from office. If that fails to happen, the President’s own Cabinet can use the power in the 25th Amendment to have the President removed. That Amendment was created after the assassination of President Kennedy so the Vice President could assume the duties of President. The US Constitution is a living document designed to evolve with the times. All of those safeguards depend upon integrity, commitment to the US Constitution’s protection, and courageous, accurately informed citizens actively holding their elected officials accountable.

Today, we need this living US Constitution to reflect the majority opinion of Americans. Sadly, too many people think that our US Constitution is set in stone, and that is simply not true. The wise founders knew that times would change in ways they could not anticipate, and the guidelines for this experiment in democracy would require amending. Prohibition of alcohol was the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution and it set off one of the most violent periods in our nation’s history 1920-1933, when gangsters got into the alcohol business and killed anyone who threatened their business. We The People responded by reversing that Constitutional Amendment and legalizing the sale of alcohol for human consumption. Look it up if you do not believe me. When we know better, we do better.

As I have written before, being divisive is an ancient war strategy to divide and conquer, and is not in the best interests of We The People. So when our elected officials have nothing to offer, no positive plans or intentions, and resort to demonizing others, I cannot support them. Because I know that the US Constitution depends upon an active, and accurately informed citizenry, I research the issues instead of accepting one source of news, and write to our elected officials when I think something is important. Our elected officials should be held accountable by We The People.

Recently I wrote to our US elected officials, and as usual, Senator Burr and Rep. Budd did not bother to acknowledge me, but Senator Tillis did. In short, this is what I wrote to him after receiving his letter: “When I wrote you about my distress regarding SCOTUS and No. 39’s irrational decision to rule against the EPA, you replied that you supported that decision as “reigning in Federal overreach by unelected bureaucrats” which is nonsense. Our US Congress established the EPA to protect our environment and nation’s health from polluters and climate change because that requires scientific research to establish appropriate policies and enforce them. The Congress appropriately delegated that responsibility to the EPA since they are lawmakers, not environmentalists. I asked Senator Tillis to stop his deceptive propaganda of blaming either the Federal Government, of which he is a member, or the Democrats, and begin serving the needs and concerns of his constituents who need clean air, clean water, reductions in carbon dioxide, affordable and accessible healthcare and medication, human rights and bodily autonomy regardless of gender, race and religion, a living wage, affordable childcare, and a fair immigration policy.

Partisan politics has created gridlock in Congress making it impossible for them to actually serve the people who elected our Senators and Representative. Congress must start working across the aisles or We The People will suffer more.

Bonnie D. Clark