To the Editor:
It is not as if the political events of the past year have been at all comforting or, for that matter, even acceptable. But the last four years began at least four decades ago with political leaders who said that the best government is one that governs least. Over those decades, America has veered evermore closely to toppling its own democracy with lies, distortions, the rule of wealth and flat-out idiocy. It turns out that many Americans appear to prefer the possibilities of authoritarianism, autocracy, oligarchy or even, perhaps, Nazism to Democracy.
The Christmas Eve pardons of Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner, all of whom had been legitimately found guilty by the American criminal justice system to have engaged in criminal behavior, simply confirm the fact that we now have in Washington a political establishment – Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, whatever – that places itself above the law and that seems to feel that political criminality is somehow “lesser” and different from crimes such as robbery, rape, murder, extortion, child molestation, arson and domestic violence, to name a few.
I suggest that there is no difference between political chicanery and other crimes. Politicians, including political appointees to Federal posts, should not be above the law; yet, inadvertently, we have allowed our politicians such stature that many can, and do, behave in ways that should be absolutely illegal for any who use their positions to benefit themselves and their cronies on Wall Street and in corporate America.
Perhaps deep consideration ought to be given to abolishment of professional politicians and to term limits at the national level such as those that now exist in Maine. I seriously doubt that the Founding Fathers ever intended that such a class of people should ever have existed in the first place. And presidential pardons should be severely restricted.