Being a regular viewer of the television program “20/20” each Friday evening and having a great respect for Barbara Walters’ ability to compete with the best of those in the news reporting business, I tuned in last Friday.
Occasionally, I continue to listen to John Stossel’s “Give Me a Break.” On the said Friday, I sat open-mouthed as he began his tirade on criminal lawyers, but one especially.
All lawyers get placed in a category as are other professionals at times, and often they are all called dishonest.
I detest labels, especially when they are applied to people. I do not feel the need to defend or laud lawyers or their abilities and the manner in which they try each case. I have had little need to consult a lawyer other than personal needs, and never as a defender.
One of the best friends not only to me, but also all who knew him, and one of the most honest men I have ever known, was the late Judge William Shaw Abney. Nor was he a criminal lawyer. We know men who practice law who are a credit to their profession.
How fair can it be to classify “all” lawyers as unethical? Stossel seemed to distrust the entire body of lawyers, especially those who specialized in criminal cases.
After a few minutes into his opinionated delivery, I realized he was attacking John Edwards.
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Since Stossel is not known for his chrisma, or his charm, he seemed very resentful of these qualities he felt others might see in Edwards. He went on to imply John Kerry was not a man of mass appeal and his choice of a running mate formerly known as a criminal lawyer could result in Edwards being a disaster for this country.
The question that next popped into my thoughts was, if all the lawyers filling the seats of Congress were removed because of their degrees of ability to defend a criminal case, and having their ethics questioned, how many would be left?
The not-so-subtle insinuation came out, as Democrats are now labeled the “non-Christian” party. They are now to be judged as uninformed voters supporting unlawful behavior.
I somehow believe if Stossel needed a lawyer to defend him against the accusation of a criminal act, he would not question the man or accuse him of unethical behavior in the defense of other clients.
To label all criminal defense lawyers as unethical and probable Democrats is quite an assumption. That’s like lumping all doctors, especially surgeons, as recommending unnecessary surgery to collect huge fees.
There are bad apples among all walks of life. It seems to be becoming a trend in this campaign, a trend of placing all the apples of opposing views in one basket and labeling them as leaders who will lead this country into chaos.
Terrorists must be having a field day watching with the rest of the world the unraveling of the unity for which we have been known.
This is not, nor will it ever be, the election that will decide the greatest leader in American history. We will never elect the Perfect Man as there is not one available. We will, I trust, continue to elect those who are capable of leading us down the right path to a safer and reunited country.
The right man is one who eventually will be a leader for both parties, who can believe there are good minds on both sides of the aisles of Congress and will appoint the most knowledgeable and unbiased representatives, senators, FBI and CIA personnel — regardless of party lines — to positions of great importance and protection for all its people.
We can differ and avoid name-calling. We can choose sides and be civil. We can get beyond party lines and live in harmony. All political parties must unite against terrorism, a common enemy.
I am thankful I have family members and good friends who are Republicans who disagree with my points of view. This keeps me straight or else I might begin to believe I am always right. My fellow Democrats assure me I am (smile).
At the end of Stossel’s political speech, Walters pointed out his views were not necessarily hers or those of ABC.
Mary Sauceman, a resident of LaFayette, writes a weekly column for the Walker County Messenger