The best members of the legislative and executive branches of our federal government have always managed to keep an eye on the Constitution while disagreeing and compromising for our well-being. They succeeded to the extent that the United States remained the best place in the world to live.

Now, in the absence of a rationally functioning executive branch, active, engaged legislators have disappeared when we need them most. Healthy checks and balances are gone.

The present congressional Republicans are quite simply paralyzed. They’ve lost their voices, their backbones, and their identities as conservatives while the No-Other-Government-But-Me president wantonly tramples everything and everyone in his path, having no skills to do otherwise. Apart from his cruelty and many other limitations, he finally sank to the lowest level possible for a chief executive — if you don’t count the atrocity of stealing hundreds of children and then abandoning them. He publicly, and repeatedly, favored the word of our enemies over that of well-meaning Americans doing their job.

Until now, it has been assumed that a U.S. president actually loves our country. With mountains of evidence that this president does not, just what would it take to stir the inert Republican members of Congress? They might even become our heroes if they could recall what they told us they stood for. Instead, one wonders: can a hog at the trough be disgusted?

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With the president’s demonstrations of incompetence escalating, we should ponder our part in this fiasco, especially with November drawing so near. We have packed the executive and legislative branches with career politicians from a single party. Now we’re stuck with a string of unchecked ideas and actions so bad, so unwanted and unneeded that we pay billions for the damage. This cannot end well.

But Americans don’t have to witness their own country’s destruction, thanks to the Founding Fathers. Before the president’s congressional enablers allow him to completely destroy Americans’ freedom of choice, we may still freely vote the bums out of office. Finding and supporting candidates possessing intelligence, integrity, and vision won’t be easy, but now is a critical time to ask what we can do for our country. Only then may we look forward to 2020, when we can finish the job at hand and start developing a new and better normal.

Catherine McKenzie

retired

Baton Rouge