I have become extremely concerned about the proliferation of "pledges" that political candidates, particularly presidential candidates, are signing these days. The oldest, and one that has contributed greatly to our current crisis over the debt ceiling and the budget, is the "no taxes of any kind for any reason" pledge demanded by Grover Norquist.
However, in recent months several other equally pernicious documents have appeared: No funding for Planned Parenthood; no same-sex marriage or civil unions allowed; support for a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution ... the list goes on and on.
These pledges undermine our basic principle of democratic government, which can only work when it includes negotiation and compromise. No one party or politician has all the answers; we must be willing and able to work together to solve the problems facing our country.
Those who come to the table with these various "pledges" are, in my mind, unable to truthfully pledge to uphold the Constitution, which is what they were elected to do. They have already given their allegiance to other causes rather than to the well being of the United States as a whole.
I congratulate Jon Huntsman, who has been quoted as saying that he owes his allegiance to his flag and his wife. As far as I know, President Obama also has not signed on to anything other than the Constitution. I wish that all our candidates would take this approach rather than locking themselves into a position before they even know what issues will be presented to them.
Barbara C. Kozi