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Letter: Voters need to start holding officials to a higher standard

Voters need to start holding officials to a higher standard

Today, politicians at all levels demonstrate destructive cowardice. As they exercise their powers of office, they fail to serve their constituents in their selfish pursuit of ill- or non-informed positions.

President Trump protects Russians’ interference in our elections, ignores their acquisition of territory from other countries and overlooks the assassination attempts sanctioned by Vladimir Putin.

Congress bows to the National Rifle Association’s misinterpretation of the Second Amendment and blocks funding for the study of gun-associated violence in this country (1966) through the Dickey Amendment.

In New York State, both Democrats (Gov. Andrew Cuomo) and Republicans (former Gov. George Pataki) foster the “pay to play” system by naming directors to boards who have no relevant expertise, crippling the optimal management of state organizations.

For example, there is no one on the Roswell Park Board who has real cancer research or cancer center expertise. Business experience is important, but the lack of relevant subject matter expertise (cancer research and care) on the part of the board members is detrimental to oversight of the organization. My congressional representative, Chris Collins, has actively avoided direct input from his constituents and certainly not sought counsel from expertise available in his district.

Then there is the president, who was going to “drain the swamp.” He wastes money on a transcontinental trip to look at “walls” and continues to surround himself with self-serving sycophants who appear to be actively expanding the “swamp.”

Our democracy is at risk unless the voters reset their expectations to a higher standard for our political leaders.

Jerome W. Yates, M.D., M.P.H.

Orchard Park

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