Different standards for different people

Let’s talk.

Let’s talk about important issues facing our country. But let’s base our conversation on facts, logic and historical examples.

No more yelling epithets, hurling character assassinations and promoting imagined results of a political philosophy without citing real world examples of success.

Our nation is in peril from all the present animosity and we need to be able to have an adult conversation about where we go from here. Let’s start it here in Wallowa County.

So here is a fun fact. Our Constitution has guided our nation for longer than any other written document in the history of mankind. No other nation even comes close.

Italy’s current Constitution was established in 1948, Germany’s in 1949 and France’s in 1958. After World War II, we helped Japan design a new system of government based on free elections instead of an emperor.

Britain, our closest cultural kin, does not have a written constitution at all but relies on its storied tradition for its government structure. Most nations today, as has been true for much of human history, are ruled by kings or dictators who have unlimited, unchecked powers.

A king can take away a peasant’s property, his daughter, and even his life by a simple command. “Off with his head!”

Our nation was founded in 1776 on equality. Our Declaration of Independence, which is a statement of the guiding principles for our new nation, says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

In America, no king could arise to take these rights away because our Constitution and laws protect them. At least, they used to.

Today, our nation is facing a grave threat to this basic principle of our founding. Today, powerful people appear to be above the law just as the kings of old were.

Today, a Secretary of State can be “extremely careless” with lots of top secret documents and face no legal consequences while an ordinary sailor, who took a picture in his submarine to share with his family, can be charged and prosecuted under the same national security laws, be convicted and sent to jail.

What about this?

On June 28, 2012, Eric Holder, Obama’s Attorney General, became the first sitting cabinet member in our nation’s history to be held in criminal contempt of Congress. It was a bi-partisan vote taken after proof that he had lied to Congress in his testimony about the “Fast and Furious” gun running operation.

An ordinary person could spend up to five years in jail for lying to Congress. What happened to Eric Holder? Nothing. There was no prosecution and he kept his job as Attorney General, our nation’s top lawyer. Ironic, don’t you think?

The important issue here is not the details of each case. There are many examples we can discuss. What is important is that our laws now appear to be applied using different standards for different people.

If you are rich and powerful, you can flout the laws like a king, but if you are an ordinary Joe, you will go to jail. hat directly undermines the very foundation on which our nation is built!

We should all be encouraging our Congressmen and the courts to honor our historic commitment to equality. We the People need to see justice applied fairly to all to restore faith in our constitutional republic.

Please note this article was based on facts, logic and verifiable history. Conclusion: Lock Her Up!

Anita VanGrunsven is a grandmother who lives in rural Wallowa with time to think.

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