GLOVER COLUMN: Get angry, and get involved
With all the controversy surrounding the indictments of the Demopolis mayor there isn’t much I can, or necessarily want, to add to the situation through my opinion.
However, the current situation, the hotbed of issues it has spurned and the various other similar happenings in the area (see Greensboro) have made me assess the political quagmire that is America.
The political blunders and abuses of power wouldn’t bother me as much if they were isolated to one area, but it seems that politicians across the board, not to say all, are abusing their positions and vying for more power on a level not seen since Nixon.
Look at the abuses at the highest levels. President George W. Bush has done more to kill the power of the U.S. judicial system during his time in office than almost any other president. His underlings have consistently broken laws (see Libby), though they attempt to pass their actions off under the executive power clause, and the line between legal and illegal imprisonment of individuals has been blurred to the point that it is commonplace to deny habeas corpus to individuals if terrorism is whispered in their charges.
Today’s governmental practices are a far cry from the intended constitutional powers bestowed by the founding fathers. Of course I am not saying I am a strict constructionist, that the government should stand stagnant from development as deemed necessary by the population, but I do feel that perhaps things are developing too fast with too little input from the people it effects. At least when Nixon was expanding executive powers to the point that infringed on those of the other two estates, the United States had an uprising of the youth to check his rise and ultimately end the tyranny.
The problems I equate with politics today cannot be blamed entirely on politicians, as the issues with Demopolis’ mayor do not lay entirely at Williamson’s feet. It is the responsibility of the citizens of this country to get involved with their government, as they were in the 1960s.
I never see members of the public attending board or council meetings. I never hear more than a murmur by the public when political actions limit the rights of both communities and the nation. Where are the raucous cries against tyranny that are the responsibility of the subjects of a government?
The United States government was molded under the theory of social contract. The theory that the subject of a government can and should instigate revolt against their government when it acted against the interests of its citizens and a new government formed better suited to the needs of those citizens. Read your Declaration of Independence:
This is what was sent to King George III of England as our founding fathers decided to form their own government pursuant of their needs. Their efforts to form such a government were firmly bound in the works of philosopher (among other titles) John Locke.
Locke grew up and flourished in an England ripped by civil war, unrest and radical thought. During his life the people of England beheaded a king, started a republic, handed power to a war hero, replaced the monarch and sent another king into exile for his religion, replacing him with the husband of his daughter. The lessons learned by Locke were exhibited in his works and the way he defined political terms.
Pay special attention to that last part, &8220;and all this only for the public good.&8221;
I am not, through this column, instigating a revolt against the government. I am informing the public that it is our duty to check the government against policies that are not put into place solely for the &8220;public good.&8221; I am reminding politicians that their offices, the oaths they swore, were to work for the public good, &8220;only for the public good.&8221; Not to expand their powers, not to put policies in place to help themselves and definitely not to support policies that harm the public good. I say this to politicians at all levels of the government.
I remind citizens of this county to hold politicians to their oaths, hold them toward working &8220;only to the public good.&8221; Complacency lends itself to tyranny. Don’t brush off the workings of those you have elected to wield the power of you and your neighbors and your county. In the end it is a reflection on you how politicians act, because they do so through your authority.
Brandon Glover is a staff writer for The Times. He can be reached by e-mail to email@example.com.