Note: this piece was originally published in USA Today, and was co-signed by Checks & Balances member Tom Ridge.
American democracy is based on the premise that we the people create a government that operates only by the consent of the governed — exercised through voting — and that we are a nation of laws that form institutions through which every American is guaranteed freedoms and representation. These fundamental pillars have ensured that the United States of America is the oldest functioning democracy in the world. And even in the most challenging of times, our country has endured; this year must be no different.
That does not mean we have always been perfect. But as a nation, we strive to learn from our mistakes and they force us to change, grow and improve. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the agency we each led under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama respectively, arose out of a failure of the government to effectively share information with itself.
DHS protects our homeland from new and emerging threats, including those against our national infrastructure such as our water systems, cyber networks, aviation security and, yes, our elections themselves. The department also plays an important role in ensuring the continuity of government and its ongoing operations in times of crisis and in times of tranquility.
Continue reading at USA Today.