Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise

With the bombardment of many “breaking news” stories arriving at warp speed, it’s difficult to maintain equanimity with our beliefs.

Most of us attempt to maintain a level of certainty in the face of overwhelming challenges to same. I’m not sure we’re always successful.

For the purposes of this column, I’m thinking about the recent anonymous op-ed published in the New York Times.

When the op-ed first appeared, it was sobering. It came on the heels of the Sen. McCain funeral that brought words like honor, service, truth and sacrifice back into the vocabulary, however temporary. It also brought a sense of sadness.

I remembered an adage I try and fail to remember most days: No matter how flat the pancake, there are always two sides.

I tried to imagine the writer and publisher weighing the decision to go public with the information revealed. It was reminiscent of debate class from too many decades ago where we had to take our turn standing for both sides of a particular issue. It was difficult then. It’s almost impossible today.

I have my concerns about our current administration. I recognize people had concerns about President Obama, Presidents Bush (both 41 an 43). People had concerns with all our presidents, going back to Washington.

Whatever my personal views about character, morality and policy positions, fundamentally, I don’t want any president to fail. To advocate for failure is like shooting yourself in the foot. The person holding that position has power to impact everyone’s life, directly or indirectly.

Who wants that person to fail, or worse? But, I do know human nature is the epitome of incongruence – we rarely behave or believe what is in our own best interest.

As of this writing, the story of the anonymous op-ed hasn’t reached a conclusion, nor has authorship been revealed. I’ve struggled with my core belief about the situation as a whole. The content of the op-ed didn’t offer any new facts. It confirmed what we all see, both fans and non-fans.

While validation is helpful, the anonymity is disturbing.

We have a Constitution that outlines the equal branches, and how checks and balances are to be utilized on behalf of all of us. While the process is slow and imperfect, it does exist. As a citizenry, we must expect – no, demand – that the function of checks and balances takes place, even when uncomfortable or applicable to someone we favor.

That one, or a few, are deciding ostensibly on our behalf – cloaked in secrecy – to take care of us doesn’t add much comfort. In reality, it makes the entire situation more frightening. A democratic republic is a messy system, as we are being reminded on an hourly basis.

While human instinct is to cheer or boo when we think our views have been corroborated, it seems best to temper that reaction and weigh whether the ends always justifies the means. If we choose to take any path possible to achieve an outcome, perhaps we should think about that outcome, and if it really matches our professed beliefs.

Or are we succumbing to that which we profess to loath? It’s a time when great care is essential and beliefs re-examined.

Jeanette Sekan is a columnist for the Cody Enterprise in Cody, Wyo. and a former resident of Ohio. Jeanette’s columns are published in The Highland County Press, courtesy of the author and the Cody Enterprise.