Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Respect for the elected key part of US system

To the editor:

In his Dec. 4 “Not an accidental Republican” piece, Gazette columnist Jay Fleitman expresses puzzlement about the many friends and acquaintances who agree with him “on almost every issue yet identify themselves as Democrats.” That’s fine; I freely grant Fleitman’s right to puzzlement.

One area where I’m quite sure Fleitman and I, a lifelong Democrat, agree is the rule of law and the importance of respect for our political system, if not for our politicians. So I in turn find myself puzzled when Fleitman goes on to assert that “Obama is not my president, and the senators and congressmen from Massachusetts are not my representatives.”

Fleitman appears to be an educated man, so it troubles me that he must be reminded that per Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution, as modified by the 12th Amendment, President Obama is indeed his president, just as Sen. John Kerry, Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren and Rep.-elect James McGovern will be his elected representatives as of Jan. 3. Likewise, much as it pained me at the time, I freely acknowledge that George W. Bush was my elected president from 2001 to 2009.

As with his right to puzzlement, I will also grant Fleitman the right to vent untruths in the service of making political points. However, his inaccurate and inflammatory comments do a disservice to the already-troubled quality of political discourse in this country.

Michael Buehler

Southampton

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