What have we become?

Editor, Daily Union: The writer of a recent letter to the Daily Union claims that predictions he made last May have been validated by a political cartoon he saw somewhere (where, he does not say) a short time ago.

The notion that a second opinion, expressed in a cartoon, somehow turns the first one into confirmed fact is, to say the least, curious, and in any case, both have been rendered irrelevant by the findings of the Justice Department’s investigations of the conduct of the FBI during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The writer suggests that Democrats read the U.S. Constitution, where they will find that “we Americans are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.” While the Bill of Rights includes several articles guaranteeing due process of law, “innocent until proven guilty” appears nowhere in the entire Constitution. By no means does this invalidate the concept, though somehow the phrase seems to be most often heard coming from figures in public life suspected of criminal activity, as well as from their supporters.

The late comedian George Carlin noted that in such cases, the invocation “what about ‘innocent until proven guilty’?” is a sure sign that the law is closing in. (Carlin went on to say, in words that bear on our present political situation: “We’re about to find out.”)

The writer concludes by asking his fellow citizens: “What kind of country do you want to call home?” A fair question, to which I append one of my own: Over the past three years, what kind of country have we become? — John H. Callan, Fort Atkinson.

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