We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

John W. Eyster: Obama's secrecy undermines our republic

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John W. Eyster
Monday, July 21, 2014

I share with anyone and everyone who maintains the AUDACITY of HOPE that our elected officials will do MORE than TALK! TALK-TALK-TALK! I wish our elected officials would WALK the talk! Do YOU?

The Wisconsin State Journal got my full attention with the headline on its editorial on Tuesday, July 15, “Words aren't enough for open government”!

After I read the editorial, I applauded with gratitude that the editorial had been published. NOW I want to call it to YOUR attention. I urge you to read the editorial.

The editorial grabbed my attention with its introductory paragraphs, “Suit the action to the word, the word to the action,” William Shakespeare's Hamlet advised, echoing an old proverb about the relative importance of words and actions in judging a person's character.

“President Barack Obama has used a lot of words talking about government transparency. He pledged he would bring 'a new era of openness' to Washington. He issued executive orders he said would ensure the American people could track what their government does.”

The BOMB hit me when I read the editorial's assertion, “His action and inaction tell a different story. The Obama administration has been one of the most secretive in decades.”

Buttressing that assertion, the editorial reported, “The Forty-six journalism organizations this month endorsed a letter that urges Obama to open his administration up to public scrutiny. The signers are a who's who of journalism that includes the Society of Professional Journalists, the Association of Opinion Journalists, and The Poynter Institute.

Reading the four specific problems cited in the letter to President Obama from 46 journalism organizations, I was startled! Read them and consider. What do YOU think?

I share the concern of the editorial that lack of OPENNESS with FULL COMMUNICATION with WE THE PEOPLE of the US undermines the healthy functioning of our republic! WE THE PEOPLE need to fairly assess what elected officials are REALLY doing in order to cast informed ballots on Election Days.

It is very disappointing to me to realize that President Barack Obama has NOT fulfilled his own promise to bring 'a new era of openness' to Washington! While he has issued executive orders he said would ensure the American people could track what their government does that has NOT happened!

The editorial calls for the President to take action, “Obama has the power to embrace transparency in his administration. That requires more than words.”

The bottom-line of the editorial, “The Obama administration has failed on transparency, journalism groups agree.” What do YOU think?

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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