- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 26, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A Connecticut lawmaker — a Democrat, of course — is facing backlash for kneeling, NFL style, during the Pledge of Allegiance during a recent Board of Selectmen meeting.

And well she should. Now, she needs to resign and the story will be complete.

Selectwoman Melissa Schlag said she knelt at a meeting earlier this month to protest President Donald Trump and his Helsinki appearance. But a selectman’s meeting is a time for selectman business — for the people’s business.

Kneeling, as Schlag did, to make some sort of political statement that’s not representative of the community at-large is at the least inappropriate. But it’s also disrespectful, selfish and a deviance from elected duty.

The primary purpose of a politician, any politician, is to uphold the Constitution and laws of this country — of which the flag represents.

It’s not to use that public service platform as a tool to push personal politics.

This is what Schlag did when she knelt. She could’ve penned a letter to the local newspaper editor to express her frustration with Trump. She could’ve posted a critical piece about Helsinki on her blog. She could’ve even taken an American flag and hung it upside down on her house, to show distress with this current administration. But she didn’t.

She put her personal will above that of the taxpaying members of her community. She made the office about her, not about her constituents — the very people who serve as her bosses, really.

“I felt nervous when I [knelt], but I also felt powerful,” Schlagsaid to the Hartford Courant.

She also explained her action this way to FOX61: “The Pledge of Allegiance doesn’t have anything to do with the flag, in my opinion.”

Unbelievable.

But here’s the thing: A politician who uses his or her office for personal gain has no business being in that office.

Schlag, who admitted she gained a feeling of power by kneeling, should resign. Immediately.

Let those with hearts of minds for true public service take her place.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.


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