Forget, for a moment, how you feel about the Affordable Care Act. Forget about what you think about the national debt, government spending, entitlements for the disadvantaged, national defense, public education or protecting the environment. All of these issues are important, but not one is anywhere near as important as what you think about the principles of democracy in a world where powerful men and women can force a government shutdown to get what they want.
The underlying premise of the Constitution was to prevent the powerful from usurping the will of the people just because they have the power to do so. The Constitution was meant to protect the American people from despotism under any guise, even in the disguise of elected officials who strive to exert their will when they disagree with a decision that was lawfully and constitutionally determined. Make no mistake; forcing a government shutdown is an act of despotism.
Imagine a future in which the tactics displayed today by a political minority become the accepted way of conducting the business of the people. How long will our right to vote matter in a world in which powerful men and women can disregard the voice of the people and use coercion to get what they want?
Letter to the Editor, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
October 7, 2013
MEL HAWKINS Fort Wayne