Political leaders owe allegiance to the people, not the party


“A representative owes the People not only his industry, but his judgment, and he betrays them if he sacrifices them to his opinion.” –Edmond Burke

Politicians are elected to serve the people. However, it is not their duty to support the candidates of their respective party, especially if they deem them unsuitable. Some may not like it (“Republican leaders should heed the will of voters,” reading eagleJuly 29), but party allegiance and loyalty to a person are not included in any oath of office.

Unfortunately, some politicians manifest, ignore, condone, allow or praise unethical, dishonest, cruel, rude or illegal behavior. Some feed on fears, insecurities and worries in a desire to win at all costs. They are complicit in the further degradation of societal norms and loss of faith in just and accountable government, leading to civil unrest and violence.

How can voters make wise choices if a campaign is based on lies and debunked conspiracy theories? Has our concept of morality, virtue, truth and honor been redefined so that what was once unacceptable is now acceptable in candidates, office holders or ourselves?

Fortunately, there are still strong-willed politicians who are unwilling to violate their oaths or sacrifice truth, common decency, civil discourse, and integrity to gain or keep their jobs. We need more. We need them to speak up and hold accountable those who violate the trust of the people, regardless of their political affiliation.

Cynthia Steele
Township of Exeter