In a letter to Jonas Van Duzer written in 1883, Teddy Roosevelt wrote, “In making up committees I should pay attention, first, to the absolute integrity of the men, second to their capacity to deal intelligently with the matters likely to come before them - for in our present anything but ideal condition of public affairs, honesty and common sense are the two prime requisites for a legislator.”
Roosevelt’s observation is timeless. As we suffer (especially in Southeast Michigan) with scandal upon scandal, Roosevelt's advice apparently has been ignored by much of the electorate and political class. Scoundrels and corrupt officials seem to hover about the entire machinery of the republic.
Thoughtful, cool and courageous consideration of issues is a rarity - poisonous vindictive, politics of personal destruction hold much greater sway.
As a republic, our future rests in the voting public. For us to move forward in a productive way, true to our founding First Principles, we need our voters to start electing officials of integrity and intelligence, and hold them accountable to the First Principles of our Declaration of Independence - the rule of law, unalienable rights, equality, the Social Compact, and limited government. And that starts now, by learning what those principles are and casting informed votes.