My take on unions, drugs and other matters

By John O. Cotant

I have hesitated for many months to write this article. However, it is time that I do so. I want to express my beliefs about some things that go on in our city and nation.
Yes, the Idaho State Journal does have several liberal writers. However, they also have a couple conservative writers. I am conservative to the point that working people are not paid a living wage and at that point I could be labeled a liberal. Unions, they certainly have had a place in our nation. Yes, they probably became too strong and finally the public rebelled against them. However, there is only one area that I believe unions are needed, and that is for wages for working people. If workers are paid a higher wage, that wage is spent right here in Pocatello. These people who are on minimum wage, if they will work at all, need higher wages. It all goes into the economy.
Drugs: If we truly wanted to stop drugs coming into our nation we would execute anyone who is transporting or selling these drugs. How many times have you read of a car being stopped for speeding or etc., and drugs are found along with thousands of dollars in cash in the car. I have yet to read about what happened to these drug carriers. Returning them to Mexico is no answer. In another week they are on the road in another area.
If individuals who transport or sell drugs are convicted they should be executed immediately. They would get the message and drugs would dry up. Drugs are injurious to more people than one who murders an individual. Murder impacts the immediate family and friends. With drugs many more families are affected and it goes on for we do not know how long.
Individuals who kill someone: If there is one chance the person on trial for murder did not do the killing they should have every opportunity in our court system to appeal. However, when it is known beyond a doubt that they are guilty they should be executed in two weeks’ time. With the young man who walked into the bank in Soda Springs a number of years ago and shot the young mother and killed her, many witnessed the murder but this man is still on death row. We taxpayers are paying probably $50,000 a year to keep him there. He should have been executed almost immediately.
And there are several others in prison who have done the same thing and should have been executed. Mentally incompetent individuals who commit murder should also be done away with. They killed an innocent person and their mental condition should not protect them. Many would not have a mental problem if they knew they were going to be executed.
Religion: Going after Mr. Romney because he is a Mormon is wrong. Jack Kennedy broke the religion barrier when he ran as a Catholic and the people of our nation elected him president. And a good president. Religion has no place in politics. We need competent candidates in both parties. Religion should not be a requirement to be a candidate for public office. Many good potential candidates will not run for public office because of the criticism they will go through. All their families will go through. It is not worth running for a national office. I believe the system we have now where it requires so much money to run for office is wrong. There are many who would be a good candidate but do not have the financial means to do so. I remember several years ago that campaign money was limited, and today both parties have a billion dollars for the presidential election. Where have the controls gone if there ever were controls.
And finally, yes, we are a Christian nation. Some in our political parties do not believe we are. English is our language and we should not be printing ballots or anything in other languages. As I remember from history when our nation was first founded English became the national language by one vote. There were many German-speaking people in our nation at that time. However, I have never read of any government article being printed in German after English became the national language.
People in our country, legal or illegal, should be speaking English or they should be immediately returned to their native country. If they are here on work permits their employer should be taking care of their medical, not you and I when they go to the county for assistance. And perhaps the employer should be providing English being taught to these people here on work permits. They return each year and will need to speak English. Help them, employers.
I have a friend that lived in the so-called “Triangle Area” of Pocatello. This happened back in the early years when many nationalities were coming to Pocatello to work for the Union Pacific Railroad. These people could not speak, read or write English but they had to do so to become citizens. These people also knew if they were going to be successful in America that they had to have this knowledge.
The Greek Church, I believe it was, was open each Saturday and they taught English to anyone who wanted to attend. Is any church or any other building open today to teach English to those who cannot speak or understand English? I know of no location that does this.

John O. Cotant is the former mayor of Chubbuck and a veteran of World War II who served in the Pacific theater.