Saddened me this week when I listened to a local elected official go on a rant about Floyd County Sheriff Shannon Zeman’s decision to appear in a television ad endorsing Senator Mark Warner’s re-election bid against questionable, and corrupt, Ed Gillespie.
This official, a Republican, claimed Zeman “violated an oath” he signed to promote Republican candidates and, apparently, only Republicans, over others who might actually do something unique like represent the area they serve.
Zeman, it seems, is expected to sign such an oath from the GOP since he is a Republican who holds an office.
As a former GOP operative at the national level for a number of years, I’m familiar with that so-called “oath.” It’s one of those political propaganda items that comes out of narrow minds that promote politics over real representation and places the wishes of the party over the real needs of an area that an elected official is elected to serve.
As a resident who lives in Floyd County, and who votes for local officials like Sheriff Zeman, I was delighted to see him place recognition of real public service over political propaganda. It distresses me that another elected official feels the sheriff, somehow, violated some non-biding “oath” over the needs of the community.
Such lockstep adherence to such pious political policies raises questions about that official’s abilities to property serve as a representative in our community.
Blind adherence to politics over principle is a major problem with so-called “representative” government in our nation today. When decisions are required based on political, not practical, reasons, it cheapens the process and undermines our theory and practice of government that is supposed to be “of the people, for the people and by the people” instead of by “the whim of political pressures.”
Sheriff Zeman deserves applause and respect for his actions. The critic who claimed he “violated his oath’ deserves distaste for putting politics over everything else.