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Letter to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal – 4-18-19

The United States needs civil political discourse

Wow, the front page of this week’s Lakeville Journal (April 11) was very educational and fascinating. I learned that a “GOP Activist” was protested by the Kent DTC. Wow, those GOP people must be bad people. They don’t even deserve the right to assemble peacefully, and heaven forbid they actually have the right of free speech. Oh, and worse yet — they are actually legal citizens who want to recruit people to their horrible gang. It is a sin to be a Republican and support Donald Trump.  

When people disagreed with President Obama they were called racist and other such nice words. Yet, now when a member of the GOP is invited at one of our state universities, it is acceptable and expected for students to disrespect that individual’s right to free speech. It is truly sad that politics had gone this far astray. There is no longer a willingness to let people express their opinion and try to get people to join them in their political beliefs.  

I particularly take offense to the term “recruiting” with respect to trying to get people to join your party. I associate being recruited with sports and games. When this is applied to politics it makes it appear that politics is a game where the rules can be changed to fit the needs of the players, not the government that is outlined by our Constitution.

What makes this worse yet, is these same people treated a criminal, yes — a criminal, as if he had more rights than a member of the GOP. The author of the article even downplayed the fact that two DUI’s put him on ICE’s radar. They are even asking for people to donate to help pay legal fees. For 25 years this individual lived in the U.S. illegally. Not undocumented — illegally! People want to reward him for breaking the law and staying under ICE’s radar for 25 years. 

I think what bothers me the most is the poo-pooing of the DUI charges. If he was driving under the influence twice, I have no respect for him. That shows a total disrespect for the people that are legally living here and their wellbeing.  In the same manner as most people I have lost several close friends to the carelessness of a drunk driver. Now, this same individual has the support of the same group that has a problem with “a GOP Recruiter.”

Please believe me when I say the GOP isn’t without its similar problems.  The scariest part of our government is that there is a large schism between the two major parties that more time is spent on witch hunts than actually doing the job people were elected to do. Both parties are guilty of this. It is truly a shame that civil discourse does not occur.

Kevin McGivern

Lakeville

 

The president’s power to pardon is limited

It came as something of a shock to hear, as recently as April 10, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell on “The Last Word,” fully swallow and endorse the opinion of Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz to the effect that, “A sitting U.S. president has absolute immunity and absolute power to pardon anyone, including himself, for absolutely anything.”

Of course, what O’Donnell meant to get at was not the question of pardon, but rather the vulnerability of Donald J. Trump to criminal and civil lawsuits starting from day one after leaving office, for whatever reason. But in doing so, O’Donnell let his audience be led into the false belief that the presidential power to pardon is absolute and unlimited as a matter of law.

The basis for the absolute power argument is that Article II of the U.S. Constitution states only that “The  President shall have power to grant pardons for offenses against the United States,” without mention of any limitation. Therefore, it is argued, the power must be unlimited. However, as Professor Dershowitz ought to know, the Constitution should be interpreted reasonably and rationally.

A short scenario should make the point: Suppose a future president decided to put all his congressional and other political opponents in a concentration camp, and then execute them. So he hires professional assassins to do the work. Would the president have immunity to do that? Could he grant pardons to the assassins? Could he self-pardon? The reasonable, rational mind replies, “Of course not.” For obvious reasons, no one, not even a president, can pardon himself.

The reasonable, rational interpretation of constitutional intent is that the power to pardon was never meant to provide cover for the commission of “high crimes,” such as felony murder. Nor was it intended to cover treasonous conspiracy with a hostile foreign state, persons, interest groups or obstruction of justice in such a case.  

These and other issues are very much on the table today, in addition to criminal and civil actions for fraud and tax evasion still to come. The public has the right to know the truth, and to demand that justice be done.

Tony Piel

Sharon

 

Act for America is neither radical nor anti-religion

State Rep. Maria Horn (D-64) needs to do her homework. I was stunned that she led a group of radical liberal Democrats in a protest in Kent against a GOP effort to train local Republicans to register more Republicans to vote.

Rep. Horn apparently considers the following statement to be hate:

“Act for America has never and will never tolerate any bias, discrimination or violence against anyone based on their religion, gender, race or political persuasion. Freedom to practice one’s religion in peace is afforded to each of us by the U.S. Constitution and we will defend it vigorously.”

This is on Act for America’s website under “policy.” This is the organization Scott Presler used to work for. Obviously, Rep. Horn does not care about the facts.

What she should be fighting against is forced regionalization of our schools, the toll tax, the statewide property and car tax, a paid family leave proposal that is unsustainable and gives the Labor Commissioner the right to increase the paid family leave tax to any amount he deems necessary, the home heating oil tax and electric bill tax, and a massive expansion of the sales tax.

Rep. Maria Horn is not representing us. She is representing the extreme radical left of the Democratic Party.

Russ Hurley

Goshen