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Keep government’s checks and balances
Public Forum.jpg

To the editor,

As always, this year’s Presidential election is a choice about morality and allegiance to the institutions of government that define our nation. 

The Senate will confirm the nomination of Amy Barrett to be the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice. The balance of the Court will be six to three to the right. The contention that our moral obligations require us to reelect President Trump in order to shift the balance of the Supreme Court no longer exists. 

Trump labels his political opponents with cruel, belittling, demeaning terms. He has used unprintable vulgar terms to boast that he has grabbed women by their genitals and to describe Haiti, El Salvador and African nations. Any argument claiming Trump displays morally desirable personal conduct has to start from a very deep hole. 

As a contrast in personal conduct, consider that in his elaborate funeral process, John McCain, a lifelong, staunch, combative Republican, chose Joe Biden, a lifelong Democrat to give a eulogy. And he ensured that Trump, the sitting President of the United States, came nowhere near his funeral. 

The transcript of the eulogy is at the following link. It is long and it is a politician talking, but it is well worth reading. 

It is beyond imagination that Trump would even pretend to promote and live the kind of service to country above self that McCain and Biden have. That is our choice about morality. 

Few of us agree with everything Biden proposes. I’ve never agreed with everything proposed by anyone that I voted for. With our government’s heritage of checks and balances it has not been a problem. 

Congress members who started at the time Biden and McCain did, understood, respected and nurtured this heritage. They recognized it for the safeguard it is.

For Trump, checks and balances are not a safeguard of democracy. They are impediments to getting what he wants. Congress allocates funds for service member facilities and vote only limited funding for a wall. Trump takes money Congress legislated be spent for service members and spends more money on a wall than Congress legislated. Congress levies taxes and designates funding for Social Security and Medicare. Trump stops collecting the tax, stops funding Social Security and Medicare and (falsely) promises to make it permanent. 

Republicans in Congress used the authority granted to them by the 150 million of us who put them into Congress to vote for this legislation. When Trump effectively says, too bad, I’m doing what I want, they pretty much say nothing, do nothing. No checks and balances. No safeguard. 

As president, Biden would get some of what he wants, but he will be limited by checks and balances as he has during his entire career. As a second term president, there is no expectation that Trump will do anything but accelerate gutting the checks and balances that have been the safeguard of our government. That is our choice about allegiance to our nation.

John Sturn