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Sunday, January 29, 2023

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Upholding the Principles of Democracy

Dear Source:
I just read Bonny Corbeil's article on democracy and freedom. I sat in awe at the words that were so eloquently written by Ms. Corbeil. We do have to celebrate the fact that we fought for our freedom both in the United States and in the Virgin Islands. Both revolutions were just and led the way to the recognition of people as being free and holding inherent rights to equality.
The gift of freedom is never easy; we have to fight for it. This basic fact will always hold true: that people will fight for their freedoms when they are threatened. Ms. Corbeil mentions our government as it is today and I agree with her that we have lost some of our sense of direction in terms of what we fought for. We do not have a government in the Virgin Islands that listens to its people. The government does not seem to recognize that the people's will is the reason it exists. The senators have stated that they have a job that requires a good pay. What they fail to recognize is that they do not have a job, they are public servants, and are providing a civic duty. When candidates run for office thinking they will have a good paying job if elected, they do a disservice to their ancestors who fought and died so we could have the right to democracy. They do a disservice to the people that elected them and they shame the very government in which they seek office. When a senator or any elected or appointed official takes the oath of office, it is a sacred oath, a legally binding oath, but it seems that the words of that oath–"to uphold the principles of democracy"–are lost on many public officials. Any elected or appointed official who fails to understand what they attested to should never be in a public position of trust. This hypocrisy must change.
Thank you Ms. Corbeil for your insightful commentary; your words should give pause and reflection as to what are true values really are. The very fact that we can express these words is reason enough to praise democracy's reality. Those who would dare to undermine our freedoms by flaunting their form of democracy will feel the will of the people crashing down upon them. We still can vote, and we don't forget.

Paul Devine
St. John

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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