WE THE PEOPLE: Week of February 2

In the course of justice, we all seek and should rendermercy.

The power of mercy is an attribute surpassing the power of thestate and everyone needs its tender, soothing kiss at some point intheir lives. We should not rebuke Newt for his Fannie Maeconnection or castigate Mayor Mike for his unabated assault onteachers unless we moderate any reaction with mercy.

It may be true that when Fannie Mae utterly failed to protectthe public, they needed a historian of Mr. Gingrich’s caliber inorder to assess their historical legacy. It could be mere goodfortune that the former speaker of the house earned more than $3.1million in 2010 on consulting and lobbying.

It may be true that the mayor is assuring his legacy as aneducation mayor by attempting to increase class size and shuttingeducators and parents out of education administration.

It is possible the Republican-controlled state Senate hadreasons to forsake promised legislative district reform. They willjustify their oath breaking by pointing a finger at theDemocrat-controlled Assembly to justify the imminentgerrymandering.

Ethical relativism can justify any behavior. We need our leadersto be examples for the people to emulate. We cannot expectperfection in our leaders but we can expect perfect honesty.

The people must reject negative campaign advertising, and sincethe law cannot limit this destructive scandal mongering then thepeople can vote against any candidate who relies on such scurriloussupport. The wealthy can fight hard for what they want with theirmoney but we can fight hard with our hearts, hands and votes.

Don’t give poor candidates short shrift based on glossy mailingsor television ads. We are blessed to live in a heterogeneous andharmonious society that guarantees the right of the people withdifferent cultures and faiths and political beliefs to live inpeace. That right requires vigilance by the people to recognizethat those seeking office are compromised by the expenditure ofcampaign money.

The Health and Human Services Administration wants to eliminatethe conscience exemption clause for religious medical centers toopt out of abortion-on-demand without losing federal financialsupport.

As we move toward a national medical network, we must recognizethat religious medical centers should not be forced to forsakereligious beliefs in order to be compensated for care provided.This move will only hurt the American health care system’s abilityto provide care.

The education system, especially in New York City, would benefitif there was some synergy between the parochial and public schoolsystems. Of course, people who don’t care about or don’t wantpublic education will seize the opportunity to continue theprivatization of public education. A clever advocate can argue onany side of an issue for the benefit of his client.

Some individuals view any failure in public education as avictory and hope those public education dollars will be redirectedor remain in the pockets of taxpayers. When this is contemplated,the nation needs patriotism to triumph over PACs and individualswith integrity to stand against secret influence-peddlers.

It is true voters are sometimes limited in the choice of acandidate; however, we do not always have to choose the lesser oftwo evils. If you cannot do anything but sign a petition, then gosign a petition or go out on Election Day and protest the processbut the choice to do nothing is not a good choice.

Brian Kieran is an attorney and community activist who worksas a Principal Law Clerk in the Supreme Court of the State of NewYork in Kings County and a is a Democrat.

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