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Jeers from Terry Wintroub for April column

Dear Editor:

I agree with the headline on Paula Walter’s column in The Tomahawk of 4/24/13: “A country should respect its leaders regardless of political affiliation” []. No, “leaders” [which are not to be confused with “politicians” or “elected politicians”] should not be disrespected for their political affiliation. They should be disrespected for their actions and their words.
I find almost nothing in the rest of Paula’s column that I can agree with or respect.
The president is not the “leader of our country”. He is hired help. A majority of presidential electors hire him to head the Executive Branch of the U.S. government. That branch’s job is to execute the laws enacted by Congress and signed by the president.
In spite of Paula’s claim to the contrary, “we” have not elected United States senators and congressmen to do what is best for all Americans. We know this is true because there are no criteria for determining what is “best” for “all Americans”. In fact, it is impossible for any law or regulation to be “best” for “all” Americans. Even laws punishing murderers are “bad” for murderers and their families. Laws against illegal aliens (or, “undocumented immigrants” if you prefer) are really bad for people who hire them.
Furthermore, members of Congress don’t swear an oath to “do what is best for all Americans” or even for most Americans. Their oath is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, bear true faith and allegiance to the same and well and faithfully discharge the duties of their office.
Let’s pretend that 91% of Americans really are “in favor of background checks for the purchase of all guns.” Let’s pretend further that that 91% is in favor of the specific bill that was recently defeated. Their being in favor doesn’t make it a legitimate law, any more than 91% in favor of reinstituting slavery or requiring IQ and political sophistication tests would make doing so legitimate. The central government – aka “Washington” – has no constitutional justification for dictating the terms for me to sell one of my guns to Paula.
That bromide about voting the rascals out is just empty rhetoric. The gangs known as “political parties” don’t give you the power to do that. If you don’t like the dude running for reelection as a Republican gangster because he voted against “universal” [yeah, right] background checks, your choice is a Democrat gangster who will empower Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi to raise your taxes, mess with your medical insurance, tell you you can’t smoke, tell you how much sugar you can have in your beverages, stack the Supreme Court with adherents of “a living constitution”, etc.

Terry Wintroub
Mountain City