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Victor Post
  • LETTER: Our effort for a republic may be failing

  • Despite the fact that both are public officials elected to represent their constituents, and who enjoy large tax-supported staffs, I never received even a “boiler-plate,” staff-generated response from either senator.

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    “What have you given us, Mr. Franklin, a republic or a monarchy?”
    “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”
    So, in 1787, did Ben Franklin describe the challenge we face to this day. From a recent experience in citizenry, I fear our effort may be failing. In late February, I wrote both Senators Schumer and Gillibrand a letter expressing my concern over President Obama’s and HHS Secretary Sibelius’ implementation of portions of the Affordable Care Act that violate the religious conscience of a significant segment of the American population. I urged them both to take a position against that implementation. My letter attempted to explain my belief that, regardless of their position on freedom of choice, this question was fundamentally more about freedom of conscience, and a most basic constitutional guarantee.
    Despite the fact that both are public officials elected to represent their constituents, and who enjoy large tax-supported staffs, I never received even a “boiler-plate,” staff-generated response from either senator.
    Over a month later, disturbed by the inattentiveness and seeming arrogance this lack of response exhibited, I wrote again to each. I noted their lack of response and promised to do all in my power to publicize their failure to care or answer a legitimate constituent communication so as to ensure they never again would be elected to a position of trust. Of course, I never received a response to that letter either.
    Ben Franklin surely displayed great foresight in his concern, and he’d never met Charles Schumer or Kirsten Gillibrand. But he worried about exactly their type of “public service.”
    WILLIAM S. DILLON
    Irondequoit
     
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