Trust, reparations and reputation

The upcoming election will probably seal our fate as a nation.

With the upcoming elections looming, it is important to take stock of the situation at hand.

In Minnesota DFL grass roots politics tends to be organized loosely at the level of volunteers who are recruited to perform individual tasks like door knocking, making food for bean feeds or running errands.

This connecting with people at the grass roots level is rewarding and arguably of the greatest importance to political work, but organization is what makes elections and democracy possible.

In the Senate and Congressional Districts people get work done through working together with their respective Central Committees.

These organizations have structures that exist to define the ways in which processes are used to get intended results. These Central committees have subcommittees, which maintain a formal relationship with the main body where accountability is expressed through regular accurate and informative reports.

Transparency in committee activities fosters essential elements such as discussion, involvement, trust and the needed information that enables committee members to contribute without duplicating the efforts of others and to make sure nothing is missed. All officers are expected to report when there has been activity. Trust and shared power are the basics of committee work. You can’t have one without the other.

Withholding the facts has an erosive effect upon organizational trust and is capable of rendering any organization at odds. Trust is then difficult at best to reestablish.

Integrity holds much relevance whether one is working with the Church Bridge Club, the U.S. Congress, the Executive Branch or the Judiciary.

Truth in the current administration has been systematically withheld from the public and trust has been replaced with cynicism. Consequently our democracy is broken.

Do we really know how to repair it? What “are” the facts? Can justice be used to restore trust in elected officials in this nation or the world? Can justice be used to make our nation whole? Can justice be used to restore the fear of government that corporations had before President Ronald Regan?

Obviously regime change is required. That is an easy answer. How we solve the hard problems is what really defines our character.

The upcoming election will probably seal our fate as a nation. Either we will elect people who have the integrity required to restore trust or we won’t. Answers to important questions will be determined by who gets elected. Questions like “Are Americans just or are they just corrupt?”

The Democratic National Convention had good sense before and headed this question off with the nomination and subsequent election of President Jimmy Carter after the disgrace of President Richard Nixon’s resignation.

Whether engaged in politics at the local level or at the top, the principle is the same. Americans have been engaged in this experiment of sharing power since before we were a nation. It was an act of sharing power that got the U.S. Constitution ratified.

So as I take stock in the situation I have to ask the United States this question: Do we as a nation have the integrity required to regain and maintain the high ground we once held?

Mark Morrill is a University employee and associate chair of the Senate district 61 executive committee. Please send comments to [email protected]