A Trust Has Been Broken


As U.S. citizens, we know that we are not alone in feeling a deep sense of betrayal.

We believe that a trust, treasured, and defended by generation after generation, is being steadily broken.  This sense of betrayal has escalated during the current Trump administration.

We were always taught, and still passionately think, that citizens have a dual responsibility in life: first, to look out for ourselves, individually; and second, to look out for our fellow human beings, and the environment, as one United States — E Pluribus Unum.

We can still be free to act, as long as we don’t diminish someone else’s freedom.  In turn, others can be free to act, provided they don’t dilute our freedom.

Among others, the Biblical writers, Socrates, modern philosophers, and democratic statesmen, have asserted the concept of the “social contract.”  This bedrock idea has been the foundation upon which our people have joined together, and created an orderly society which, while honoring the individual, also preserves the collective.

Either by overt or tacit agreement, citizens hold certain expectations of one another, the larger community and its government.  By the consent of the majority, rules, laws and social norms govern how individuals and groups treat each other. This shared contract is based on the trust that all will respect rights given equally to all..

For example, In the Pledge of Allegiance, we acknowledge that we are one nation, under God.  A trust has been broken when a religious group of our citizens, Jews or Muslims, don’t receive the same deference or respect as Christians.

In the Pledge of Allegiance, we declare that liberty and justice are for all.  A trust has been broken when black people, brown people, immigrant people, gay people, lesbian people, transgender people, and Indigenous people, do not enjoy justice and liberty, fairly and equally.

The United States Constitution proclaims that each citizen is entitled to speak freely about their beliefs.   But a trust has been broken when a sports figure is called a, “son of a bitch,” by his president, and terrorized on social media for kneeling, as his way of exercising his freedom of speech.

A trust has been broken when both members of a couple have to work at not just one, but two or even three jobs each, yet still cannot earn enough to provide the basic American Dream of housing, health, and education for a family.

A fundamental trust has been broken when partisan politicians seek to maintain their power by gerrymandering districts and deliberately suppressing the votes of those not in power.

We could write a whole book of betrayals.  Here is the point.  Those who have broken trust with the social contract must be called to account.  Citizens must speak out and act.

Contract-breakers, especially among the Republican Party do not deserve your vote on Election Day.  Contract-breakers of any political persuasion do not deserve your business.  Contract-breakers must not be allowed to silence us by relentless stoking of fear, and hate.

Citizens:  wake up, stand up, and speak up, for what is right.

Rev. Thomas G. Sinnott

Kitty Maynard

Linda Cades

Erin Anderson

Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties, Maryland, Indivisible

October 9, 2017

For more information contact:  Thomas Sinnott  410-699-0064


Letters to Editor

  1. Deirdre LaMotte says:

    Beautifully said. Thank you.

  2. Frances Reed says:

    Just. Stop.

    This “My political party is holier than your political party” is so unproductive. You claim people kneeling when the national anthem is played are those people exercising their freedom of speech. Well, guess what, someone else calling them out for it is their exercise of free speech too!

    We all have opinions, we don’t always agree. This is human nature. To make statements that appear to vilify the current administration is is not helping.

    For instance: For thousands of years homosexuality was a crime. It’s wonderful that that has changed. A hundred years from now, it won’t even be noticed as something to remark on.

    Changes in ideology take time. For hundreds of years, race or country of origin has been an issue (the Chinese! the Italians! the Irish! Catholics! Jews! and now the South Americans and Muslims) but over time, Chinese, Italians, Irish, Japanese, African Americans have been absorbed into our country, and those people and their descendants became “Americans,” they may have different religions and beliefs but they are Americans to the core!

    All that is happening today is not because Donald Trump was elected – much of what you talk about has been going on for centuries- regardless of which party is in power. It is NOT President’s Trumps personal fault that some people have to work two or more jobs, in fact the economy is improving. It is so easy at 37,000 feet to talk in platitudes. If you really want to make changes, then letters to the editor, however noble their intent, is not the way to do it.

    You go out into your communities and serve. You teach children to read, you respect opinions that differ from your own. You engage in dialog and listen respectfully to other peoples opinions. You stop going round saying “Ain’t it awful, Ain’t it awful.” You do things to make things better.

    As an aside:

    Whenever the National Anthem is played we are honoring our parents, our grandparents our fellow citizens and maybe our sons and daughters who have so selflessly served this Nation and its people. Our obligation to that flag and that anthem is far greater than any personal obligation we may have to any perceived injustice, slight or snub we may be feeling.

    No one said this Nation is perfect, but no one can show us a better form of government. I agree elected officials who do not serve the people should be voted out of office but to single out Republicans seems disingenuous.

    For all your perceived injustices by our President can you provide the name of a single elected senator or congressman who entered the Congress of the United states with a middle class net worth that is not now a millionaire? Elected officials have preached over the last seventy years, in major cities of the United States and the halls of Congress that they wanted a new deal/change/jobs/better schools and better housing for their constituents. What has changed; the tenement slums of NY, Chicago, DC and Baltimore and many other cities still remain. The educational level of inner city minorities continues to go down. Congressmen and Senators representing some of the poorest districts are now some of the richest people and they wouldn’t live anywhere but the most affluent areas while their constituents get poorer and poorer. We need elected officials who truly work for their districts, not career politicians fighting to keep their entitled way of life.

    I’m a senior citizen. I’ve worked my entire adult life. I’ve helped others. I’ve lived the American dream. I was also a registered Democrat for forty-five years but I voted for Trump and I would again. Why? He can’t be bought and like him or not, he keeps his promises.

    • Michael McDowell says:

      I am a senior citizen too, and the “reasons” you state for voting for Trump as the lesser of evils argument, is not credible. Look at the facts. He is a dangerous narcissist capable of getting us into a war with North Korea, in which millions could die, far from the US. How it was a moral choice to vote for a serial sexual predator, multiple bankrupt who stiffs small contractors, thrice married philanderer, serial liar par excellence, race baiter who thinks the white supremacists were “decent people”, is a horrific bully and a child of privilege who got handed millions by his racist bigot of the father who wouldn’t rent to black citizens, is destroying our air and water and whose tax plan gives to the rich like himself and not the middle class or the working class. And his “great/better than Obamcare) health plan would have taken health coverage away from millions. There was no moral gap between Clinton and Trump; Hillary with all her flows has worked in public service since she was a young Wellesley graduate. Trump never gave any significant money to charity and often self dealed. I voted for Bernie in the primaries and only for Clinton in the election. But justifying a vote for Trump instead is bereft of any decent moral or political argument.

      • Beryl Smith says:

        Thank you for your well-thought words.

      • Frances Reed says:

        It’s interesting that what is being responded to is the last two lines of a long response. Why such fury at Trump? In surveying your arguments what leaps out is TV rhetoric. For instance: “Racist bigot of a father who wouldn’t rent to black citizens.” Let’s examine that statement – “he wouldn’t rent to black citizens.” absolutely true and awful, but out of context. Why? Because Trump’s father was a man of his time and virtually NO ONE back then who owned property rented to black citizens. I lived for a while in part of Chestertown where the old Home Owners Association papers stated that no house could be sold or rented to a black person! (of course, that hasn’t been the case in many years, but there was a time when the HOA strictly enforced the rule.)
        Next: “Thinks white supremacists were “Decent People.” Charlottesville was a dreadful occurrence but Trump didn’t single out white supremacists and call them decent, he was referring to others who were the original protesters, but what was said was twisted to make it look as if it was the supremacists he was talking about. I would point out that the Antifa group (who seem to be one of the most violent groups around) came armed and spoiling for a fight. I am in no way condoning what happened, simply pointing out that there is blame on both sides, and to vilify a President who points that out is specious.
        “Horrific bully”: who is he bullying? Or are you referring to his right to free speech? – it’s OK for everyone else but not for him? Specifics please.
        “How was it a moral choice to vote for a serial sexual predator.” Hmn – that means that we shouldn’t have voted for John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton either.
        How is he destroying our air and water? By getting out of a treaty that puts all the burden on us but gives China and India a free ride? Just because he got out of the treaty doesn’t mean he is against clean air and water – he’s against any treaty that is unfair to the US.
        “Race baiting”: Please elaborate.
        North Korea: The last three administrations have sat back and watched North Korea work towards arming themselves with nuclear weapons. Today (and NOT because of Donald Trump) they have nuclear weapons. Negotiations have not worked, so as I understand it you want to just continue talking to the N. Koreans as they get stronger and stronger?
        Health care: The plan that would have “taken health care away from millions.” The millions it would have taken health care away from would be those who were FORCED to participate – the young workers on whose back the Obamacare plan rode.
        Tax Plan: Firstly – how can you criticize a plan that hasn’t yet been presented? Also, if a tax plan gives regular people and businesses a good tax break why such rage that the rich might benefit too? Or do you consider their money our money and they owe it to us?

        Look, I get it, you don’t like Trump. That’s entirely your perogative. But please, step back and examine your prejudices.

        By the way – I’m having a little bet with myself that if you read this far, you are saying to yourself “Yes, but she didn’t address, bancruptcy, stiffing people, serial liar. So I’m right about him.”

        Give me time, give me time….

    • Deirdre LaMotte says:

      And what promises has he kept and who says he can’t be bought? Curious this bankrupted man could only count on Russian money after all US banks would not loan him a dime.
      But that is just one of the issues Mr. Mueller is working on. Let us focus on a man who really means the boasts, insults, attacks and ridiculous inflated claims he makes. A man
      who never fought for his country yet has the nerve to insult men who have. A man who conviently uses the flag as red meat to those who love a fight and love to complain and love
      to blame those “unAmerican” football players. How funny that what they are doing is exactly what the veterans were/are fighting for, something Trump conviently knows nothing about. But I’ll give him credit: he knows how to rile people. Personally, the absolutely scariest Poll taken recently, I believe Pew, asked people why they support this vile man: “he says what I think”. Appauling.
      What has happened to our society and it’s people when common decency , empathy and manners no longer matter?

    • James Nick says:

      “…. like him or not, he keeps his promises.”

      Yep, sure enough. 45 promised to appoint religious zealots, Alt-Right fanatics, science deniers, oligarchs, and other obsequious toadies to positions of power and did it. Promised to destroy world peace and seems to be on schedule to do just that. Promised to destroy the world’s environment and is keeping it. Promised to destroy our health care system and is doing it. Promised to drain the Washington swamp and has replaced it with a primordial soup of chaos, vengeance, racism, white nationalism, nepotism, corruption, self-dealing, and Russian influence. As 45 said, he could shoot someone on Fifth Ave and people would still vote for him. From Ms Reed’s response, it looks like this is yet another promise fulfilled. The only remaining test of unquestioning fealty that Cult45 has to pass now will be when the indictments start flowing from the Mueller investigation. For the rest of us, we must see to it that there is a decisive and historic course correction in 2018.

      • Frances Reed says:

        I would point out that every member of The House and Senate was voted into office by the people, as was the President. Our forefathers set up checks and balances to ensure fairness in our political arena. Their intent was not to have career politicians who populate Congress for thirty years or more and whose job is to be “A Politician”. The intent was to have a Congress and Senate who served the people for a period of time and then went back to whatever it was they were doing before they were elected. It is likely that the length of the government being “In Session” was to accommodate those participants who had other businesses they needed to maintain (and not to provide lots of time for working on re-election)

        And you are absolutely right – we must see that there is a decisive and historic course correction in 2018. We should vote out anyone (Democrat OR Republican) who does not have a history of truly serving their constituents and their country. We should reject career politicians whose only service is to themselves or to those who bought and paid for them. They are out of touch with reality because they haven’t lived in the “real world” for a long, long time. Term limits would be a start, for if you knew you couldn’t run again, perhaps doing what is right, rather than what is expedient, would benefit us all.

        Calling people names and vilifying them is easy and self-righteous. Solving the real problems we confront is hard, and I’m glad we have a President who isn’t “kicking the can down the road” but who is prepared to tackle the hard problems head-on.

        Incidentally, don’t you think it’s odd that some of those calling out the 1%ers (Elizabeth Warren, Camilla Harris et al) are themselves part of that 1%, or have they all given away their money and are too noble to tell us about it? (and yes, I am aware that I too am saying something that is easy to say and self-righteous!

        • Deirdre LaMotte says:

          Who cares what Sen. Warren or Sen. Harris’ net worth is? The point is that they care about the plight of those less fortunate. They care that every American should have healthcare and receive
          healthcare regardless of preexisting conditions. They care about the air we breath, the earth we all inhabit. They care that a woman’s reproductive rights are economic rights, that one’s sexuality is one’s business and not subject to discrimination. They care about decency; being President is an honor, not a way to profit.

          And I would bet on it that they don’t feel our nation is “losing ground ” because it is less rural, less white and less bigoted.

          Please. This family is like a white trash Beverly Hillbillies, with nukes and without the charm.

  3. Jack McCarron says:

    We all deserve better! More of us must speak out and ACT.

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