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ROSE NOLEN: Partisan politics shouldn't disqualify people from government jobs

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 | 6:18 p.m. CDT

Some of us do not always agree with the Supreme Court’s decisions, but once the court renders a decision we are all obligated to abide by it. The court’s decisions become the law of the land.

In the interest of justice, I wish government agencies and departments would eliminate partisan politics as a recruitment tool. I really don’t think political affiliation should matter in determining a person's qualifications to hold a job with any government agency. I think whether people are conservative or liberal should be entirely a personal decision totally unrelated to the positions they hold. I don’t think I should be able to identify a person’s politics when he or she is acting within a professional capacity.

I don’t personally care or want to know how a person votes if he or she is a judge determining my case in court. I don’t want to be bogged down with somebody else’s political garbage. I want to be judged on the basis of the case that I presented. I want that other person’s mind to be completely absorbed by his or her willingness to do his or her best to judge the case fairly and without prejudice.

I think people should be guided by their political beliefs in their personal business during their private time. I think it is totally unfair to try to force people to cater to another’s point of view to get justice done. For example, whether a person believes that abortion is either right or wrong for herself should have nothing to do with another person’s right to choose.

People in positions of public power should be particularly circumspect in keeping their personal beliefs out of the public spotlight. People who are determined to have only people who agree with them in their employ are short-sighted. They have no idea how they could benefit from someone who sees thing from another point of view.

Those who use their political influence to make deals to gain personal power should have no place on public service payrolls. We have seen too much of private deal-making at public expense. Personal use of state- or federally owned transportation should be outlawed. Taxpayer’s money is not free money and it shouldn’t be treated as such.

When people enter government service, I think, they should be prohibited from having more than half of their employees belonging to the same political party. Too often people get into the habit of refusing to compromise or work with people of another party. They are less likely to do this when it is required that they cooperate with each other to get things done.  

In our current political situation, much constructive legislation has to be put on hold because people will not cooperate with each other. I think it should be against the law for people to allow their personal feelings to interfere with their public responsibilities. People who vote for obstructionists to be put in charge of law-making agencies are harming the entire country. Why should the public’s business have to be put on hold because of some individual’s inability to work with other people?

The people in Congress are not kindergartners. In many cases, time is of the essence for getting things accomplished. Too many things happen in the world’s theater that require immediate action. Playing games with the people’s business is a bad idea. As a country, we should be at the age when we require less legal monitoring to see to our responsibilities, rather than more.

Many of the founders were opposed to political parties being in control of the government. Those of us who didn’t understand the reasons for their objections now understand. I would personally like to see the parties gotten under control. They have obviously forgotten the seriousness of their responsibilities. They play fast and loose with the government not just to their own peril but to ours as well.

As the word’s leaders, we are setting a bad example. It’s time to put up or shut up. The world is looking.

Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.


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