Political partisanship always existed, but it’s much nastier today
As a young girl I spent many summer days in my family’s antique shop in Latham. It was a gathering place for Albany and Schenectady politicians from different levels of government, including party leaders.
My father would encourage me to listen, and I did with great interest. There were debates, which were frequently heated, but never did the level of discourse become sarcastic or disrespectful, much less personal. They were gentlemen.
Some of those I remember were Hy Sevits, the Schenectady County Republican chairman and Matt Poersch, the Schenectady County Democratic chairman, both good friends and law partners. Sam Stratton, Mayor Corning, and off-duty officers from the FBI and state would occasionally stop in for coffee, antiques and conversation. They all had different points of view.
I remember heated debates sometimes lasting for hours. Once finished airing their views, the participants would often say goodbye, arm over shoulder, headed out for lunch or a political event. They were friends who respected each other. While they may not have agreed on political positions, I never heard name-calling or disrespectful remarks made. They enjoyed each other, listened with respect and sometimes agreed their original position was in need of more consideration. They truly cared about their constituents and were dedicated public servants.
It saddens me to think that the golden days of political parties are gone. Parties try to make each other look bad and stupid. Campaigns dig into the personal lives of incumbents and embellish on facts. Members of the same party stab each other in the back. No one seems to want to come together and get the people’s work done. Everyone is too busy trying to make his or her opponent look bad. “Never mind what they stand for or what they have accomplished, just go after the other guy.”
It seems truth is meaningless and perception is everything. What a shame. No one should compromise his or her values or beliefs, but name-calling and sarcasm are not the way to accomplish the work of the people.
We are a country governed by law. When a question regarding the proper role of government arises, we must make arguments based on our founding documents, not someone’s broad interpretation of them. We must make our arguments based on the rule of law, not the whims of men in either party.
If and when the people want to change the Constitution, there is a mechanism in place to accomplish that goal. It is deliberately not easy to do, which I am very thankful for. If it weren’t, our politicians would undoubtedly be up to even more mischief than they already are.
We need to keep them in check. When the rules are followed properly, politicians are kept in check. That’s the point. If they aren’t checked, we’ll have tyranny.
The writer is a Charlton town councilwoman.
Assisted suicide, like abortion, is murder
I couldn’t believe my eyes as I was reading the Feb. 9 AP article, “Assisted suicide on states’ agendas,” by Susan Haigh.
Abortion is bad enough, but to stoop so low as to have assisted suicide become law is ridiculous. Just as I believe the doctors who perform abortions are murderers, so would I believe that doctors who agree to assist [people] in dying would be murderers.
Murder is murder, no matter what way you look at it. If a person wants to commit suicide, let him do it on his own.
People should pay for murder: They should be tried, convicted and sent to jail.
We all have pains, we all suffer from something: What is wrong with that? That is life. Only God knows when we are meant to die.
If you think your pain is so bad, try looking at another person’s pain, and I’m sure that yours will not be as severe as you think.
Don’t cry for traitors targeted by U.S. gov’t
Re Douglas P. Conlan’s Feb. 10 letter, “Beware presidential power to spy on, and kill, Americans”: Are not those who aid and abet the enemy in war traitors?
If Americans join a Jihad (war) to fight against and kill other Americans, are they not traitors?
Why all the complaints about killing “Americans” when some have, of their own free will, joined others against America?
Why would they be still considered Americans? They would rather seem to be the “enemy,” would they not? Do we forget 9/11?
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