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Shutdown subverts democratic principles

Forget, for a moment, how you feel about the Affordable Care Act. Forget about what you think about the national debt, government spending, entitlements for the disadvantaged, national defense, public education or protecting the environment. All of these issues are important, but not one is anywhere near as important as what you think about the principles of democracy in a world where powerful men and women can force a government shutdown to get what they want.

The underlying premise of the Constitution was to prevent the powerful from usurping the will of the people just because they have the power to do so. The Constitution was meant to protect the American people from despotism under any guise, even in the disguise of elected officials who strive to exert their will when they disagree with a decision that was lawfully and constitutionally determined. Make no mistake; forcing a government shutdown is an act of despotism.

Imagine a future in which the tactics displayed today by a political minority become the accepted way of conducting the business of the people. How long will our right to vote matter in a world in which powerful men and women can disregard the voice of the people and use coercion to get what they want?


Absurd to tie shutdown to already-settled law

When are the right wing radicals going to get it through their heads that the Affordable Care Act is a done deal. It is law. The time for campaigning against it and voting it down is over. Both houses of Congress have already voted on it, and it passed. The Supreme Court has upheld it as constitutional. The president who proposed it was re-elected after it passed. This is how our democracy works; the majority rules.

Everyone, even the president, concedes that it will not be perfect. There will be problems that will need to be corrected. We have to start somewhere.

The majority of the American people want some kind of health care reform. This is the first step. If it is the disaster that all the naysayers predict, then they should have no trouble finding the votes to implement something else. The tea partiers will cry that by then it will have ruined the economy. But they don’t seem to be too worried about ruining the economy with their ridiculous un-American shutdown tactics. They go on about the will of the people, but according to a poll, 72 percent of Americans oppose linking the shutdown with health care.

Enough with the whining already. The American people have spoken through their elected representatives, and we want the Affordable Care Act even if it’s not perfect. Sen. Joe Donnelly does represent my will and that of many other Hoosiers on this issue.

BRAD HUFF Fort Wayne

Adopting pet from SPCA brings double satisfaction

If you want a new pet, it should come from the Allen County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This amazing program takes in homeless cats and dogs and gives them a home until they are adopted into a permanent one. The SPCA has not only an adoption program for the animals but also provides them with medical services and rehabilitation if needed. Every animal is a blessing, but adopting from the SPCA means taking more animals off of the street with every adoption. That is a true blessing.