Opinion: Feinstein, Thomas must resign for good of the country

May 7, 2023

To the editor: Two very recognizable and long-standing public figures must resign their offices for the good of the country.  

Senator Dianne Feinstein apparently has diminished mental capacity to perform her functions and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is seemingly ethically challenged and cannot render unbiased opinions.   

Senator Feinstein has had a distinguished career as a legislator and her positive legacy shall remain intact if she voluntarily retires.  Justice Thomas, on the other hand, has not had a particularly impressive tenure on the Supreme Court and is increasingly being exposed for accepting gifts and family assistance that went unreported.

The only thing they have in common is that their uncompromising insistence on remaining in their positions is doing harm to the institutions of which they are major players.

As the roster of disappointing public officials, mostly unaccountable and some criminally prosecutable, grows longer each day, it is clearly having a negative effect upon the behavior of ordinary citizens who are acting out, emulating and selecting the worst offenders as legislators and judges.

There have been previous periods in American history that were marked with greed, monumental corruption, nativism and unregulated capitalism. These periods were followed by the  election of talented and principled legislators and the selection of qualified judges which moved the country in a more egalitarian direction.  

But the slow drip of diminishing ethical standards is having a devastating effect on a country that was heading towards more equality and universal opportunity. We may be approaching the point of no return and the democratic experiment will have failed.  

Betty Ussach