Let elected officials do their job

By David S. Olsen

Recently there has been much debate regarding the power of recall in Illinois. This state does not have this power and, I believe, should not institute it now. It seems the only reason many are calling for this power is because of the perceived failures of Gov. Blagojevich.

While I do not believe that the governor is leading our state satisfactorily, I also do not believe we should have the power to recall him either. We, the voters of Illinois, elected Mr. Blagojevich in a fair election to hold the governor’s office. He has the right to make his own decisions on bills and in matters of policy. Unlike former Gov. Ryan, he is not engaged in illegal activity. He is leading our state in the manner he sees fit and should be allowed to continue in this fashion.

Part of having a representative democracy includes electing officials to exercise their best judgment, not just what popular opinion dictates. When we examine history, we see several examples of elected officials bucking popular opinion to do what was right. Look to Sen. Edmund Ross who, against the will of his constituency, was the deciding vote not to impeach Andrew Johnson in 1868. He saved our democracy from the tyranny of the majority. It was a decision that ruined his career, but as the late John F. Kennedy notes, one that saved our democracy.

While Blagojevich is likely not saving the state of Illinois, we elected him and he has the right to vote his conscience. We need to allow our elected officials to work at the best of their abilities without an axe over their heads.