Recently, there have been a series of setbacks to American civil life:
1. Refusal by the Senate to hold hearings on a Supreme Court nominee designated by a president.
2. The rules change in the Senate allowing a Supreme Court Justice to be confirmed by simple majority.
3. Flagrant gerrymandering of Congressional Districts by state legislatures.
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4. The president’s failure to abide by the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
5. The president’s embrace of dictators who have broadly violated the human and civil rights of their citizens.
6. The suggestion by the president that our free press is reporting “fake news.”
7. The personal attacks made by the president on federal judges.
What is happening to our democracy? Where is the sense of self-restraint and the ability to negotiate in a calm, rational and disinterested way for the greater good? Our elected officials have ethical responsibilities that extend beyond their political self-interest. Tragically, this form of patriotism seems to have been replaced by naked tribalism and silent acquiescence in the face of the most appalling behavior. In the trials to come, will our leaders be willing to carry out their duties despite the political cost? Judging by recent history, it is hard to be optimistic.
Ward Loving, Hailey