Letter to Editor: A Trust Has Been Broken

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As U.S. citizens, we know that we are not alone in feeling a deep sense of betrayal.

We believe that a trust, treasured, and defended by generation after generation, is being steadily broken. This sense of betrayal has escalated during the current Trump administration.

We were always taught, and still passionately think, that citizens have a dual responsibility in life: first, to look out for ourselves, individually; and second, to look out for our fellow human beings, and the environment, as one United States — E Pluribus Unum.

We can still be free to act, as long as we don’t diminish someone else’s freedom. In turn, others can be free to act, provided they don’t dilute our freedom.

Among others, the Biblical writers, Socrates, modern philosophers, and democratic statesmen, have asserted the concept of the “social contract.” This bedrock idea has been the foundation upon which our people have joined together, and created an orderly society which, while honoring the individual, also preserves the collective.

Either by overt or tacit agreement, citizens hold certain expectations of one another, the larger community and its government. By the consent of the majority, rules, laws and social norms govern how individuals and groups treat each other. This shared contract is based on the trust that all will respect rights given equally to all..

For example, In the Pledge of Allegiance, we acknowledge that we are one nation, under God. A trust has been broken when a religious group of our citizens, Jews or Muslims, don’t receive the same deference or respect as Christians.

In the Pledge of Allegiance, we declare that liberty and justice are for all. A trust has been broken when black people, brown people, immigrant people, gay people, lesbian people, transgender people, and Indigenous people, do not enjoy justice and liberty, fairly and equally.

The United States Constitution proclaims that each citizen is entitled to speak freely about their beliefs. But a trust has been broken when a sports figure is called a, “son of a bitch,” by his president, and terrorized on social media for kneeling, as his way of exercising his freedom of speech.

A trust has been broken when both members of a couple have to work at not just one, but two or even three jobs each, yet still cannot earn enough to provide the basic American Dream of housing, health, and education for a family.

A fundamental trust has been broken when partisan politicians seek to maintain their power by gerrymandering districts and deliberately suppressing the votes of those not in power.

We could write a whole book of betrayals. Here is the point. Those who have broken trust with the social contract must be called to account. Citizens must speak out and act.

Contract-breakers, especially among the Republican Party do not deserve your vote on Election Day. Contract-breakers of any political persuasion do not deserve your business. Contract-breakers must not be allowed to silence us by relentless stoking of fear, and hate.

Citizens: wake up, stand up, and speak up, for what is right.

Rev. Thomas G. Sinnott
Kitty Maynard
Linda Cades
Erin Anderson
Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties, Maryland, Indivisible

 

 

 

 

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