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Letter: Voters must demand leaders who respect our traditions

In the early 1940s in the Buffalo high schools, there was a mandatory course entitled “civics.” It was the study of the laws and the rules that govern the operation of the United States federal establishment. I came away from that class with a firm understanding of how our leaders were obliged to conduct themselves in utilizing the levers of power.

That experience gave me a great respect for the framework our forefathers created. Today, I am very discouraged but ever hopeful.

If my teacher could have seen into the future, she would have been shocked in disbelief at how distorted government has become. Our writers of the Constitution were sure about one thing, they did not want a king!

They would be chagrined that over the years, presidents have gradually usurped power to the point that we now have a leader yearning to have absolute power. This happened because a spineless Congress has supinely acceded to that desire. The colonists instituted the concepts of checks and balances and the separation of power. Those ideas seem to have blown in the wind.

The question arises “who is running the country?” The better question is “who is running the Congress?” We all know the answer.

The forces that whisper into the ears of our representatives are the lobbyists of the oligarchs who own the drug companies, oil corporations, the military-industrial complex, airlines, hotels and casinos, industrial farms, meat, and poultry companies and the NRA.

They have a stranglehold on the government by supplying untold amounts of money into political campaigns for favors that work for the big guys and against the needs of the little people. The puppet masters dangle the marionettes and they dance. Lest I be accused of partisanship, the skirts of both parties are dirty. Few, very few politicians in either party have clean hands.

So, what do we do? Continue to send political hacks back to Congress every year? The job was not meant to be a sinecure. It is up to us to right the ship. Vote to return respect for our traditions.

Joseph Spina


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