By whose authority do we judge others’ behavior?

BRATTLEBORO — I am not a criminal, nor are any of my fellow citizens, however they may or may not react to the treatment of asylum seekers at our southern border by federal agents. Dan DeWalt would have us think otherwise.

Mr. DeWalt aptly draws attention to certain horrific policies and their implementation by the Donald and his administration. But he is out of line in transferring guilt for those crimes to the rest of us.

In his own words, “It is difficult to think of what we could do.” His suggestion that we could call ICE agents, starting with someone in Arizona, and despite robo-messages telling us “goodbye,” our calls would somehow keep said agents from having time to carry out their evil deeds. That scenario belies credibility.

On a deeper level, one must ask, on whose authority are citizens to be judged “criminals”?

Mr. DeWalt apparently is appalled at the exercise of authority by the administration in ordering these actions. But he assumes the same sort of authority for himself, or somebody, somewhere. By that line of reasoning, the entire citizenry of any municipality, the entrenched bureaucracy of which engages in egregious acts, is, by proxy, guilty of those acts.

No! Not in a partial democracy, much less a dictatorship, does the behavior of the ruling class reflect the views of their subjects. The populace does not acquiesce in the transgressions of an oligarchy. The populace is not complicit in those transgressions.

The suggestion by Mr. DeWalt that we, in great numbers, keep this issue clearly in the focus of our representatives is a point well taken. The voice of the people, often disregarded by our elected representatives, should not be allowed to be in this case.

The mistreatment of children and their parents, legitimately seeking asylum, must not be allowed to continue. Speak up.

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