Democracy isn't the only thing I just can't seem to define lately. I seem to have misplaced belief in "political ethics," decency, AKA, honesty, and the meaning of "for the people and for the betterment of humankind."
It started long, long ago but recently came to light when I tried to understand why the Tea Party seemed to embrace only the GOP and strangely enough, Sarah Palin. I always thought the Boston Tea Party was held to correct "taxation without representation." When the Tea Party popped up to say they wanted change, I mistakenly thought they wanted to make change in our chosen political representatives so that we could eliminate those who followed the litmus test of one party and never deviated from it. This includes those who work against people with opposing views without trying to build good policy that allows our nation to go in a positive direction.
Then came Sarah Palin. I mistakenly thought she would represent the people and try to bring back some actual honest and ethical behavior in our government, but it turns out she isn't running with the one-party, blindfolded, for-your-own-pockets people already in office. She instead seems to be running in a different direction, all by herself and in opposition to the GOP and certainly in opposition to the needs of the people. After finally waking up, I stand firmly behind Andrew Cuomo and hope he finds a few politicians who are like Lisa Murkowski, who try to find a way to find common ground to actually help the people of our country (and of our state).
Change only for the sake of change, to just replace one politician with another, or to change a politician of one party just to get one from another party may well be the platform of the Tea Party, but it certainly isn't in the interests of our people and our nation. I wait to see the results of the efforts of Lisa Murkowski and Andrew Cuomo and only hope they inspire many others to work to bring the people together, to work to effectively govern, while working with others who have opposing views, which will allow our state and our nation to improve our political representation.
While I'm at it, I would suggest that Gov. Cuomo research the possibility of funding the schools through a 1 percent or 2 percent increase in our state sales tax. It seems to me that would allow everyone to pay an equal amount to support the school system without further burdening those who already pay property taxes. I think most of us want to pay "our share," but an awful lot just don't. The government knows that property owners have to make money to pay taxes and can't hide behind rentals, leases (and living in trailers) to avoid paying a fair share.
Other sensitive issues that should be addressed include the Medicare/Medicaid fraud issue (which seems to waste more money than the state budget) and, certainly, the political pardon situation wherein our elected politicians walk away free from any wrongdoing. If they break the law or "do the crime," they should pay the fine and "do the time." We should not let them operate above the law.
Robert Sandelin lives in Unadilla.