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Sadly, we’ve become nation of ‘no-shows’

When I was a child and my parents discovered that I had broken the rules, my mother would call for me. I knew I had done something wrong, so I’d make myself scarce.

I had a childhood friend who was monkeying with the telephone. He called the fire company and the fire trucks came screaming across town. When they arrived and knocked on his front door, my young friend hid under his bed rather than face the consequences.

A few years ago, as an adult, I felt compelled to stand up for my rights as a property owner when my property was damaged by another party. The day of the hearing, the other party never appeared in court. From their no-show, it was obvious they knew they had done something wrong. The judge ruled in my favor.

I recently read that there is now an epidemic of no-shows when citizens are called for jury duty. Some counties are beginning to impose penalties to those who choose to ignore their civic duty.

Is it any wonder, then, that Americans are beginning to accept this sort of behavior as the norm, especially when week after week, we see a multitude of government officials who refuse to follow the law and ignore subpoenas to appear in court?

Worse yet, this behavior is condoned by our own White House.

As I review my own life experiences, I’ve learned that people who have broken the rules or have something to hide are the no-shows. In life, people who have done nothing wrong are not afraid to show up since they have nothing to hide. If our elected officials in Washington have done nothing wrong, then I ask: Why are they ignoring subpoenas and denying access to requested records?

Today, it deeply saddens me to see so many of my friends, family, legislators and fellow citizens putting party before country when they choose to turn a blind eye to the disregard of the law by these elected officials and government workers.

I believe that no political party — Republican, Democrat, or Independent — should be allowed to ignore subpoenas or block requested records. Furthermore, they should be transparent about their tax returns.

I believe a dangerous precedent is being established in our country for the present as well as the future. We are not being good examples of law-abiding citizens for the youth who will inherit this nation.

I am of the Baby Boomer generation. Many of us will soon find ourselves in assisted care facilities. Given what poor role models we see as citizens today, it is not a stretch to envision a future day when even our caregivers may feel they can just shirk their duty and not show up.

In the America of 2019, this is the bed we are making for ourselves. We will be the ones who will have to lie in it and suffer the consequences of our collective behavior as a country — the nation of no-shows.

George Dempsie

Williamsburg

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