2020, the year of hope

We are just beginning one of the more crucial years in our young democracy. Since the early 80s, our political system has become more and more divided with little hope for change unless the system itself is revised to get back to “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

The last decades of “obstructionist “ politicians in positions of power has prevented any real progress in current issues confronting us and, more importantly, addressing the next generation’s inherited problems left over from “do nothing” legislators.

This is not to say, many good legislators of both parties put forth policies that, if acted upon in regular order, would have major benefits for all people. Despite being labeled  as a “do nothing congress,” the Democrat-controlled house passed nearly 400 major bills that have been ignored by the Senate and executive branch. These plans and policies, adopted by a majority in the “people’s”  House of Representatives, get immediately blocked without debate or discussion in the Senate by one man, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, who is a pawn of special interest groups.

How can that cycle be broken? First, the public must become aware of the dangers “Single Man” rule poses in a democratic society. This applies to all levels of government, which, in our 50 state country, has a president, Senate majority leader, Speaker of the House and 50 governors, who can single-handily block new laws from being considered and also roll back good legislation, regulations, treaties, etc., unless stopped through our election process, the courts and watch dog authority given to our oversight  committees.

The last three years has seen an erosion in respect  for our Constitution and the laws, rules and regulations emanating from that great document. Circumventing laws, rules and procedures has become the norm. Obstructionism has become something to cheer if done by your chosen party or person.

A prime example is arbitrary disregard of subpoenas to appear before congressional investigation committees and decisions to disallow witnesses in a Senate trial. Don’t know how to respond but to a simple, plain person, it is obstruction of justice in plain sight.

The impeachment process and hearings are an essential element in the checks and balances deemed paramount by the founders of our democratic form of government. One of their biggest fears was an imperial president acting like the kings we fought hard to separate us from. Another fear was the influence of foreign governments on our internal affairs. Elections were a primary concern.

Hard to know where all this division and policy stalemate will take us but we are wasting a bright future in this age of scientific, technical and engineering  advances applicable to almost every major issue for the “common good.” All progress must now wait on the sidelines as other advanced countries pass us by and become the dominant forces in the global affairs.

This election is an important opportunity for voters in both parties to question their own candidates and let them know it is their duty to represent them, independent from the dictates of a single or small group of political operatives. They have sworn to uphold the constitution, the law of the land.

Just do it. They will sleep better. I know [Mitt]Romney will.

Lee Purrier

Park Rapids

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