Nardone: Laws alone do not protect democracy
Whereas we are a country of laws, they do not guarantee our democracy will survive. People do.
Our history demonstrates many examples of refusal to work together, even mean-spiritedness, among our leaders. Holding onto power by the "elite few" has taken precedence over achieving the common good. Each party believes the other party will destroy the fiber and soul of our country. The year 2020 is not a novelty.
Many noble people have projected all that is good about democracy. President George Washington (1796) chose not to run for re-election, beginning our long tradition of peaceful transition of power.
residential candidate John C. Fremont (1856) refused to rebut critics over issues of religious faith, knowing it would jeopardize his candidacy. It did.
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant allowed Gen. Robert E. Lee (1865) and his Army of Northern Virginia to return to their families, expecting only they leave their weapons behind. Lee fully expected to be arrested at Appomattox, but wasn't.
Sens. Ralph Flanders, Arthur Watkins and Margaret Chase-Smith led efforts (1954) to censure their colleague Sen. Joseph McCarthy with several more of their own joining the final vote.
Sen. Barry Goldwater (1974) counseled President Richard Nixon that there were not enough votes, including his, to exonerate him if he were impeached.
Sen. John McCain (2008) defended his opponent in his presidential race: "He's a decent, family man … citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues."
Countless federal, state, and county officials (2020), of both parties, assured their fellow citizens that voting processes were safe, fair, and accurate. Many were ridiculed and threatened for doing their jobs. They held firm.
Putting others (and our country) before self, special interests and party and respecting the rule of law protect democracy, not laws themselves. We must do our part and hold all elected and appointed leaders to this standard.
David A. Nardone is a Hillsboro resident.
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