Profiles in Courage

Dear Editor:

Profiles in Courage is a book of short biographies describing acts of bravery and integrity by eight United States senators, written by then Senator John F. Kennedy, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work in 1956. The book describes senators who defied the opinions of their party and constituents to do what they knew was right for the country. Those senators suffered severe criticism because of their actions, but when it mattered, they stood up to do the right thing.

Choose which ever poll you desire. They all indicate that a majority of voters in the country were in favor of calling key witnesses and considering existing documentation of the crimes for which the President of the United States was accused. That would include many of you, the residents of Oceana County, who understand that a trial can only be fair if witnesses and proof are brought to the table. I’ve been called to jury duty twice in the past three years, and I’m certain many of you have had your own direct experience with Oceana County courts. Can you even imagine trying to defend yourself or make a decision about someone else’s guilt or innocence if the court refused to let you see the proof or hear the witness testimony? We should all be rightfully outraged at that disregard for justice and yet that is precisely what we saw play out this week in Washington D.C.

Fifty-one senators voted to hide the evidence from us. Fifty-one senators voted to refuse to let us hear from first-hand witnesses. Fifty-one senators ignored the directive of the Constitution of the United States to protect our democracy so that it can serve all Americans for generations to come and to remain a beacon of hope around the world.

I struggle to express my sadness today at what is happening in our country. I find myself lost in disbelief and utter shame over blatant disregard for the rule of law in America. Profiles in Cowardice might be an apt title for the new book describing the vote of those 51 senators, but those pages could never hold up to the power and strength of honesty, integrity and ultimately standing up to do the right thing.

With sadness in my heart today, I will persist in working for a better tomorrow.

CARLA MELVIN

53 W. Wilke Rd., Rothbury