Rep. Ed Propst needs to again be commended for standing up against what’s wrong. I applaud his response to the DPS commissioner’s press release to what was a joke deliberately taken out of context to tarnish a good name. I too “was appalled and dismayed” over the commissioner’s inconsiderate ignorance and not taking the expected courtesy of clarifying or contacting Mr. Propst before attacking him so inaccurately and publicly.
The reason why the commissioner’s press release so inappropriately and incorrectly criticized Mr. Propst for a joke made by someone else and relayed by many more is clear. First and foremost, there’s a lot more behind it than an intentional misinterpreted joke, and also more than the commissioner behind what was sent through him but not completely by him as I’ve never before seen a response from him. The not-funny joke is in who initiated it, how those people hold official positions, and what they do and don’t do in those.
The joke Mr. Propst passed on was twisted to attack his character and reputation. That backfired. Mr. Propst’s immediate correction to the commissioner’s inaccuracies and inappropriate actions shows his leadership and courage to continue to stand up against intimidation and what’s wrong. It also shows that others can and should stand up and support him in those efforts. Others also responded below the Marianas Variety’s “Meme taken ‘out of context” article with their low opinions of the commissioner. Everyone should read that article and its comments to understand what Mr. Propst stands for and against, and how people feel about our commissioner.
For many years the commissioner has been asked but has yet to respond to why he’s not addressing what should be DPS priorities. Why he made this joke a priority is more of an issue of who also responded through him. Responding to the commissioner’s blunder is another example of Mr. Propst’s responsible track record, while the commissioner’s improper and unfitting accusations shows his irresponsibility and are more appropriately suited at who made them: “low moral character…, undermines the hard work by police officers and law enforcement officials…, we should expect more from an official…, has a moral obligation to provide solutions for our community but instead perpetuate a culture of fear and mistrust…, unbecoming of an official…, divisive and unproductive toward the shared goal of bettering our community…” Yes, undoubtedly more than the commissioner is behind what exemplifies them and such a disgraceful and despicable low blow maneuver.
DPS does not “condemn” Mr. Propst, and the commissioner should be criticized for trying to hide behind that blanket statement. Mr. Propst has always been a strong advocate of DPS and other law enforcement and responders. He recognizes and supports the hard work they put in and the challenges and risks they face to keep CNMI safe, and he works for them. “Propst works for you” is not just a campaign slogan like the way other politicians sling empty slogans and promises. Mr. Propst deeply cares about the CNMI and his dedicative commitment, hard work, and many accomplishments to keep it on the right track are on record. His efforts to correct what’s wrong and do what’s right goes far above and beyond what could be expected of his position and the very low and limited salary he receives and takes from that, especially compared to other elected officials and all he gives and does in return. It’s also the reason others that prefer to not be answerable try to slander his character.
The fact is that Mr. Propst should be recognized as the most trustworthy and righteous elected official Saipan has had, who diligently keeps less than responsible people accountable. Anyone who witnessed how Mr. Propst worked with PSS and now follows the accomplishments he’s making as an elected official understands his heart is in helping the CNMI. Anyone with common sense and awareness should understand other officials are much more self-serving and lack the integrity to do what’s right or address what’s not.
The DPS commissioner and other high-level power people, whether in government or business, have reason to try to disparage Mr. Propst and to avoid accountability. The proverbial saying “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely” means that, as power increases, moral sense diminishes. We’re seeing that here with those who continues to overstep and abuse their positions and adversely target and intimidate those that question their ethics and actions.
While it’s clear why the press release was written, what’s unclear is who else was behind it and what they do that they’re not supposed to and don’t do that they are. Anyone that doesn’t understand who is personally benefiting from what is happening needs to wake up and speak up, or support Mr. Propst for doing so. Too much of what you’re led to believe is not what it appears. Understanding what’s behind the press release; and all Mr. Propst has looked into, exposed, and continues to try to correct; and making that connection should inspire you to be more aware of what’s happening. The press release is more than to defame another government official who is much more upfront and forthright in serving the CNMI rather than being self-serving, it’s an attack on justice and fairness and those that fight for it. More people need to be more like Mr. Propst and do like him. Mr. Propst does right by identifying and trying to change what’s wrong. More need to feel less intimidated, targeted, or influenced and speak up and /or support those that do rather than supporting those that should be working for you but don’t.
Those behind the commissioner press release owe Mr. Propst more than just an apology; they owe accountability to the CNMI.