That famous phrase originated with French lawyer Joseph de Maistre, a noted opponent of the French Revolution and the lawlessness it unleashed.
Some observers of the American scene today think that we've gotten the government we deserve, that we're likely to get more of it, and the possibility exists that it could end very much like the French Revolution.
Some could say something similar about St. Clair and Madison Counties.
It may seem unfair to say we get the government we deserve when nearly half of the voters – sometimes more than half in a three-way race – have voted against the incumbents, but that's only if you think that citizens fulfill their duties simply by voting. There's quite a lot more to citizenship than casting a ballot periodically.
Speaking out is one of the requirements of citizenship. We not only have a right to express our opinions in public, but a duty as well, especially when the consequences of silence are dire.
We ought not to make nuisances of ourselves, but we must do everything we can to make sure we know what kind of people we're voting for and what the likely results will be – and to make sure our fellow citizens know as well.
Right now, there are three conniving St. Clair County judges trying to avoid the higher threshold for retention (60 percent) by “resigning” their judicial positions and running for their same seats as if for the first time, needing only 50 percent to be elected. Do you know the names of these characters?
You should. And you should make sure everyone you know knows their names, and speaks out about their gaming of the system. If their little trick had been met with the outrage it deserved, they'd never have gotten away with it. Go find out.
Do you know about the million-dollar negative ad campaign that a front group for trial lawyers is running to try to get the candidates they favor elected to Metro East judgeships? Go find out.