Two decades ago, the phrase "card carrying member of the ACLU" was used to smear political candidates as soft, liberal, and un-American. I've always found it ironic that one veteran who served honorably, George H. W. Bush, used this smear to impugn the patriotism of another veteran who also served honorably, Michael Dukakis.
Today, the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to South Euclid Mayor Georgine Welo urging that a blatantly un-Constitutional ordinance banning candidates for office from marching in the Memorial Day parade be rescinded. This ordinance does not apply to incumbents and is hypocritical.
Let us remember the reason for Memorial Day: It is to honor those who died in service to our country. Memorial Day is not about barbecues, baseball games, or political aggrandizing. It is about sacrifice. But we also live in a country that was founded on the principle of free speech and an open political system, and if incumbent office holders want to march in a parade, then their opponents should be allowed. It must be pointed out: political groups - including the Cleveland Tea Party - have marched in South Euclid's Memorial Day parades before.
Let all the candidates march, or none at all - including incumbents (unless they are marching as veterans and not office holders).
UPDATE: Political candidates will be allowed to march in the parade.