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I was not quite persuaded to shift my party affiliation after reading Chris Wood’s “Letter to all Republicans” last week. However, I was inspired by his (Editor: her) valiant attempt.

My thoughts are turned to one of our commonwealth’s most revered citizens: John Adams. Mr. Adams drafted what is now the oldest functioning constitution on earth — the constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

As members of the Massachusetts “body politic,” we have much to be thankful for that has been enabled by prudent state government, and in which Mr. Adams would surely be proud. However, there is one aspect of our present condition that would just as surely bring consternation to the author of our constitution.

The preamble of this great document begins:

The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquility their natural rights, and the blessings of life: And whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity and happiness.

The main benefit of a two-party system, which centers primarily on the existence of checks and balances within the legislative body, no longer exists in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We are governed by a single political party that can and does act with impunity.

Do you remember the fate of the referendum passed by the citizens of our commonwealth that made donations to charitable organizations tax deductible? It was tossed aside by a Legislature that feels no responsibility to heed the voice of the people. Do you also remember the petition to amend the constitution to define marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman? It had more than enough signatures to earn a spot on the ballot. But it did not; it became a victim of subterfuge and was cast aside by a legislative body empowered by the absence of checks and balances. Apparently, we the people could not be trusted to vote on this issue.

The Massachusetts constitution has been amended 117 times, and each amendment was ratified not by the consent of the Legislature, not by the approval of the political elite, but by the voters of the commonwealth. Are you prepared to hand over this responsibility to the few in charge of our single-party system?

Regardless of your political views or affiliations, we should be able to agree that this form of government is dysfunctional; it cannot succeed at securing and protecting the rights of the entire body politic. In these circumstances, we have the right and even an obligation to do as John Adams suggests and alter the government in defense of our tranquility, our natural rights and the blessings of life.

Every vote for a Democratic state official is a vote for the status quo.

SPENCER GOLD

Pepperell