Letters to the Editor — Sequim Gazette, Nov. 23, 2016

Fourth Estate needs to step up

A couple months before election day, the Peninsula Daily News published a short letter to the editor explaining how the U.S. Government operates, i.e., “the president proposes and the Congress disposes.”

For the past six years, almost whatever the President proposed, the Congress summarily trashed (“disposed”), led by Sen. (Mitch) McConnell and Rep. (John) Boehner and their ilk.

But now, even though Washington state voted “blue,” many more states voted “red,” so Trump won the Electoral College vote but not the USA’s popular vote.

Some readers might not know that our democracy is based on checks and balances, honest disagreement and compromise among our elected leaders to achieve the best interests of and security for our nation and its citizens.

The following word picture exemplifies the adage: “Be careful what you wish for” — because there will be no checks and balances in the federal executive and legislative branches nor in the judicial branch, beginning in 2017.

That could leave us with the original intent of “All men are created equal,” which was “all property-owning white males are created equal.” All others (in 1791) had no rights.

From 1791-2012, USA’s citizens had progressed enormously in civil rights: electing a black president twice; women can vote, hold elective office, have a legal abortion; accepting gay marriages; widely accepting all minorities with rights to hold elective offices; and protection by The Rule of Law, to name a few.

I am seriously concerned that much of (all of?) our civil rights progress in 225 years for all our citizens and our Athenian democracy may be at risk.

With no checks and balances in our 2017 governmental system, one might ask, is the USA too big to fail? The Roman Empire thought so in 476 AD, as did the USSR in 1991.

The only checks and balances remaining for the people is the Fourth Estate. Question: Will this entity speak out to protect citizens’ civil rights?

Richard Hahn

Sequim

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