Our words and our promises matter. That’s why the Independent Women’s Voice created the Repeal Pledge, for repeal of the president’s health law. Recently, columnist Danny Westneat wrote that pledges make Washington, D.C., “dysfunctional” [“No new taxes’ means no new anything in D.C.” Local News, July 15]

But pledges like ours are not responsible for dysfunction. Accountability, perhaps, but not dysfunction.

Pledges are taken voluntarily. No one forces candidates or incumbents to sign on, but they do in order to express their commitment to our cause.

Pledges aren’t made to advocacy groups or powerful individuals; they are made to voters and can be broken at any time. Lawmakers honor their pledges because they understand that what they’ve promised, whether it’s repealing Obamacare or keeping taxes low, are goals that their constituents value.

[Removed by Seattle Times LTE team: Politicians sadly break promises all too often. We can’t force them to keep their word. If that were so, millions of Americans would not have seen their health plans cancelled last fall – the plans President Obama promised us we could keep!]

If anything is causing dysfunction, it’s that too few of our leaders are staying true to their ultimate pledge, the oath of office, to uphold to the principles that made our nation great. That pledge — like ours — is one worth honoring.

Hadley Heath Manning, Washington, D.C.

The Seattle Times