Just a few thoughts with respect to Idaho County Democratic Party Chairman Jim May and his opinion [last week’s issue].

We are not in need of leaders who understand and value our democracy: We need leaders who value and understand our Constitutional Republic and the beauty of its founding. If we had that we would have respect for the law and our Constitution.

We would understand and take more to heart those words in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. We would understand our Constitution and bill of rights were written to enshrine these principles. We would understand our founding was not to be based on man’s design but rather on one ordered by God’s design.

Our founding was not perfect because men are not perfect. A great many debates took place; slavery and it’s intrinsic evil being among these debates. To lay the principles to end this evil, a union of all 13 colonies had to be formed and lay the foundation for future generations to recognize their true intent. There was tragedy in this and also great wisdom of recognizing the shortcomings of men of the time, and yet still provide a path forward for their grand design to bring all men and women to live free.

Martin Luther King Jr. understood as well as our founders did when he delivered these words, ”In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” King understood the tragedy, the wisdom and the guarantee our founding promised.

Chairman May, I am more than willing to work toward a more perfect union and it will take all of us to recognize our shortcomings. Burning down our communities and tearing down our history, no matter how imperfect it might be, is not part of building a nation but rather the tearing down of one. If we allow this destruction to continue we will both be complicit. For “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We as a country used to have a shared common morality based on virtues as defined by our Creator. It provided objectivity and a starting point for seeking solutions. We need to return to this place. Martin Luther King Jr. understood. We also need to understand this.

Jim Chmelik of Cottonwood is a former Idaho County Commissioner and an Idaho County Republican Central Committee precinct committeeman.

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