Letter to the Editor: The right wants more criminal accountability – except at the top

Reader Gene Clegg posits that our leaders’ unwillingness to promote morality is affecting the rest of the country.

In his Dec. 6 letter (“How will America resolve its wealth disparity?”), Larry Benson mentions how our leaders have become less critical of criminal behavior and more accepting of violence.

Earlier this month while visiting the Federal Way Harbor Freight hardware store, I noticed for the first time an armed off duty police officer standing guard at their door and today, and the same at the Fred Meyer store. Our businesses now have to lock up their valuable goods and pay for these guards, or thieves will simply push carts full of goods out the door without payment.

Some of our citizens believe they are entitled to simply steal with impunity. This lack of respect for the laws of our nation should not be reflected or emanate from the top. Instead, it’s being promoted by our leaders.

A dramatic example is the individual who is second in line to take the place of our president. I am speaking of Mike Johnson, the latest Speaker of the House, who has requested that the mass of recordings of the Jan. 6 insurrection have those guilty be blurred out. He wants this so they can avoid law enforcement identifying, arresting and prosecuting them for their criminal behavior. Johnson does not want the many of those involved still not identified to be outed by friends and relatives. I ask you, is this any way for such a high office elected official to show respect for our laws and democratic institutions? He wants those who are guilty of trying to overthrow our government and hang former Vice President Mike Pence to be protected and not prosecuted?

I wonder how Speaker Johnson would feel if his house was robbed and his neighbors said they were destroying their porch camera recordings so those guilty could not be identified? Would he be concerned if someone attempted to assassinate him but the police said it wasn’t important to identify the guilty but instead chose to destroy the evidence? Nothing to see here folks, just move along.

We now have the most likely presidential candidate for the GOP clearly stating that if elected in 2024 he would pardon all those convicted for their part in the January insurrection, fire over 50,000 federal workers replacing them with individuals loyal to him, treat his presidency as a dictatorship, and take control of mass media firing those he sees as his enemies, etc. This means violence for defense of his political party is legal. The law is to be abolished and distorted for his authoritarian government wishes, and used as a truncheon against his enemies.

This disregard for our laws and unwillingness to preserve morality and protections for our life and personal property is being promoted by too many at the top. The respect for our democratic principles appears to be eroding at all levels and guided by the horrible examples from our elected leaders. This is not the ethical world that I was born and raised in.

Gene Clegg