Opinion: Honor and respect something earned, not given, says Potsdam man
To the Editor:
The proper honorific for our member of Congress is “The Honorable Elise Stefanik.” There is a serious disconnect between this honorific address and the behavior of Ms. Stefanik.Even before he declared his candidacy for the presidency, Stefanik endorsed Donald Trump for the 2024 campaign. This is with the full knowledge of Trump’s self-inflicted wounds, including allegedly stealing government documents, lying about the outcome of the 2020 election, and attempting to prevent the Congress from certifying the electoral count. Since her endorsement, Trump has continued to behave in ways that further prove he is unfit for another term in office, including welcoming known Holocaust deniers and Nazi sympathizers into his home for a meal, and calling for the termination of the United States Constitution.
Elise Stefanik, like all members of Congress, has sworn an oath to protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Donald Trump has announced that he is an enemy of the Constitution. Will she honor her oath of office, or honor her allegiance to a would-be dictator?
There is nothing honorable about supporting a candidate for office who has the track record of Donald Trump. There is nothing honorable about remaining silent on these issues when you are part of the leadership of your political party in Congress. Leaders, as well as rank and file members of the party, should make it clear that these statements and actions have no place in American politics, except to demonstrate that there are lines in civil public discourse that, when crossed, are disqualifying.
I am a supporter of free speech, and freedom of association. Donald Trump can associate with whomever he wishes, and he can say whatever bile he wishes. I also believe there are consequences for those who say or do noxious things, and associate with noxious people. When my elected representative can not stand up for basic decency, not withdraw her support for his candidacy in the face of such behavior, Stefanik reminds me of why I was taught that honor and respect are something to be earned, not given.