Of the people, for the people

Published 6:05 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Dear Editor.

I would like to make two points about Mr. Knapp’s response to my letter concerning trust in the government.

First: I agree that the framers of our Constitution were privileged, landowning, white men whose connection with the
general population was limited. Nevertheless, the genius of the document lies in its use of checks and balances thus limiting the power in the three separate branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. If the Constitution were a static document, as you point out, it would become irrelevant to future generations. However, through the amendment process, it is an evolving guide to governance.

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Second: The alternative to a government of the people is dictatorship or anarchy, neither of which I would prefer.
Government functions through elected representatives (certainly there are many elected who are neither representative nor stewards of reasoned government) but, perhaps more important, government functions through employees (unfortunately the word bureaucrat has become a pejorative term) most of whom do their jobs with dedication to the mission: think air traffic controllers, postal workers, Social Security workers, members of the Federal Bureau of investigation and the National Transportation Safety Board and especially the military, to name a few.

Can the institutions of government be improved? Certainly, but they exist for the benefit of the people.

s/Jeff Justis