Democracy is a fulltime job

We think of democracy as elections, but democracy goes on between elections, in fact it goes on all the time, and it’s going on now in a big way with the Democratic call to impeach President Trump.

For the average person, the Constitution is a distant abstraction that has little to do with a life of working, paying your bills and taking care of your family, yet its provisions are the things that let you live your life, work your jobs, pay your bills and protect you somewhat from somebody arbitrarily taking that away from you. And the bedrock of all of that is voting. We are a representative government; we choose our representatives by voting and communicating to them our concerns.

But why vote if Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have already decided the winner or Trump and Rudy Giuliani have already decided who the candidate will be? No matter your political leanings, I think we can agree that is what happened; it’s just that some people are OK with that or cynically think everybody does it.

Back before he was president, Trump joked that he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. And everybody laughed and late-night hosts still joke about it.

Well, everyone in Nelson County has just been shot, and the people who did it think they are going to get away with it. Democracy will be what stops them.

LOUIS HARPSTER

Shipman

Where do we go from here?

Well, no one can complain that this past week was an uneventful one. The Democratic Party has now climbed off the fence and has reluctantly started an impeachment proceeding against the most unlawful president of my lifetime. The president is now even more confused, vicious and vexed than ever.

I wrote many months ago that he had no business accepting the presidency as he had zero knowledge of how the system worked. I felt he would continue to screw up until those who treasured the great experiment in government started by the likes of Washington, Franklin and Jefferson would have to seek his removal from office through impeachment. When it became apparent that he was blatantly using his office to extort a foreign leader to interfere in a second U.S. election, the Democrats could ignore his ignorance and arrogance no further.

Where should the country go from here? No matter how much he squeals, the Republicans will only justify those who wonder if they are even Americans anymore if they continue to line up behind this unlawful leader. They need to convince the president to resign immediately. If President Trump resigned, I would expect a President Pence to continue many of his policies, such as further enriching the richest donors while ignoring the common man. Pence would also bring his straight-laced religious fervor to the Oval Office to help placate the disappointment of many of Trump’s evangelical supporters.

Trump, who endeavored to use the Republican Party to raise his TV ratings, would be discarded before completely destroying the party. He would become an embarrassing footnote to American history instead of the despicable end of the great experiment in government.

This would also force the Democrats to move in a progressive direction to win the coming election, rather than just demonizing a Republican Party saddled with a lawless thug as leader. I believe this would also be very good for our country.

Also during this past week, we witnessed the movement of the British government away from the abyss of Brexit. Boris Johnson will probably face a vote of confidence this week and may have his short chaotic stint as prime minister ended. What the British people need most of all is a second referendum on Brexit now that they have some idea of the massive disruption this will cause in their way of life. Before all they had to go on was the BS those that would most benefit from Brexit spread throughout the media. Now they are not so ignorant: Let them vote again. If they still chose to go, so be it.

Last week, there was also the joy of watching Greta Thunberg tell the leaders of the world that they are failing her and the millions of others in her generation and beyond. She was right on with “People are suffering, people are dying. … How dare you.” She continued, “The eyes of all future generations are upon you, and if you choose to fail us, I say, we will never forgive you.” I wish my grandchildren were as knowledgeable and involved as she is. I’m working on that.

We adults must get serious and cease our mantras to endless economic growth and more money. We have worshiped at the altar of the dollar for way too long.

Finally, this week I’d like to ask the Nelson County Sheriff’s Department and the Virginia State Police to get much more serious in enforcing our speed limits. A person is passed so rapidly while doing the speed limit on U.S. 29 in Nelson County it is downright scary. Respect for the law should be mandatory in Nelson County and flaunting it should be very, very, expensive. We can do better.

MIKE TABONY

Gladstone

2020 election is pivotal

What a time to be a citizen of the United States of America. November 2020 will decide the fate of the nation. We as a country will either continue to fight to reaffirm the Christian, self-governed nation envisioned by our Founders or sit before our “telescreens” and accept the edicts of “Big Brother.”

Congress seeks to be George Orwell’s “Inner Party,” the “Dark State” causes the executive branch to be the “Outer Party” and “We the people” bow and accept the station of “Proles.”

The intended role of the federal government, as articulated in the Constitution’s “Enumerated Powers,” has been put aside. The 16th Amendment removed any interest a citizen might have in what the House of Representatives is doing by removing the relationship between taxation and representation. Most citizens today don’t even know who their representative is. In Congress, the national governing role of the several sovereign states was removed by the 17th Amendment. The American citizen’s political affiliation is irrelevant. Good people at the local level champion their chosen party’s alleged goals with little understanding as to who is driving the train.

This 2020 election is not about a political party or a particular candidate. It is about the future of our country. Will we be a nation “Of, By and For the people” as envisioned by our Founders, or will we be ruled by a “Washington Cabal”? It is not important that “We the people” vote for a particular political party or candidate. It is important, by our voting participation, that our elected officials understand that they were elected to represent us and not some clandestine political power. It is up to us to reaffirm the power of the vote. But, voting is not enough. “We the people” must become engaged with governing.

BOB DEWEY

Wintergreen

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