Honor our veterans by continuing to honor voting rights

Managing Editor Gary DeVon

While recent events have proven you can’t force democracy on people just because we find it the best system, you can only offer them the chance to taste democracy and hope it is to their liking. While at home we must vigorously defend the thing that makes our republic great, representative government – a government of democratically elected leaders who we vote into office with the idea they are going to represent us to the best of their ability.

As we all learned in school, our government is composed of three branches – the executive, the legislative and the judicial. No one branch should be so much stronger than the other two that our system starts to fail. If the legislature enacts a law and the president signs it and the judiciary upholds that it’s constitutional it is the law of the land. Shutting down the government in order to try and revoke any law is certainly not patriotic and surely not what the framers of our government, who purposely avoided naming a king or emperor, had in mind. If you don’t like the decisions of your legislators or your president, then you must elect people who you feel represent you – that’s our American way of promoting change.

Another way that the power of the people has been usurped is through gerrymandering U.S. legislative districts in such a way as one party or another gets the votes. It has been practiced by both parties and was a favorite of the Democrats. However, right now the Republicans have done such a good job of moving boundaries around that they have assured their will be returned to office election after election.

Be glad you live in Washington State, for no other reason than we don’t have the latest game being played in many states where the Republicans rule. That game is played to ensure that young people and minorities – those who more often than not vote for the Democrats, can’t vote. They’re purging the voting rolls, basically stealing the rights of tens of thousands of voters, in the name of fighting against voter fraud. It’s a solution looking for a problem as voter fraud in those states is all but nonexistent. Only a few Republicans have been brave enough to admit the reasons behind the purge and restrictions on voting rights, but it’s an open secret in their statehouses.

Anything that restricts a legitimate voter’s right to practice their good American citizenship through throwing up roadblocks is taking this country in the wrong direction. This does nothing to honor those who have bled and died for our country and actually dishonors their service.

This Veterans Day lets honor those who have fought to keep our country free by fighting to maintain the principals of the founding fathers and their vision of a truly representative government – not one where games are played to ensure an outcome that is neither representative, nor honest.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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