Problem with politics
To the editor:
The most prevalent problem we have with today's politicians, elected officials, and organization officers transcends party lines and goes to the root of human nature - self-interest and personal gain. Our country is at a crossroads and most people have been disenfranchised by representative government, not due to the form of government but rather who is in office and how they got there. From the federal level all the way down to local government, elections appear to becoming more and more susceptible to cronyism. It is not unusual for a politician to surround himself with highly talented and connected people and to develop social, business, or political friendships leading to the appointment to office of friends. In fact, the counsel of such friends is why the officeholder successfully obtained his or her powerful position in the first place. However, it is this practice of favoritism based on relationships and connections, rather than qualifications that is causing the inferior government at all levels and a disservice to the public.
Cronyism also describes influence of officers in private organizations where support from officers can bias the entire organization. Case in point, the Lee County Republican Executive Committee (LCREC). The LCREC's general-purpose, as stated in their Constitution is to, among other goals, hold the principles of freedom, equality, and justice on which Republican Party and the government of this nation is founded as set forth in the Constitution of the United States and the state of Florida. To wit, officers in his organization have a duty to remain uniformly neutral towards all candidates in the primary process to avoid the appearance of support by the organization or bias any members towards any particular candidate. For years, under the previous leadership, that was the unwavering standard. The Republican party flourished and the strength of the party was realized as the electorate made their choices as to whom shall be the representative Republican candidate. It was then, did the LCREC pull all the Republicans together to unite for the general election.
An officer, like any elected official, when accepting his or her duties to serve, must forgo their individual preferences and put the responsibilities and duties of the position first and foremost. To assert that they maintain their right to act as individual and claim they can separate themselves individually from their title, are either naive or disingenuous. It is inherent that any individual support they display creates an unfair bias and is prone to accusations of cronyism that, in turn, harm the organization. To put this country back on course we must elect qualified candidates via an uncorrupted process and this can't be achieved unless we eliminate cronyism. It exists in Lee County and we can choose to correct this corrupted paradigm or we can choose to ignore it. The results of this decision will permeate every faction of our government for years to come.
Steven K. Teuber