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Dear Congress: Stop Sucking!

what the hell

The American people elected the unlikeliest of candidates in November because they are sick and tired of politicians that have done nothing but create an establishment that only serves to keep them in power

In his first inaugural address Thomas Jefferson opined:

“These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civil instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.”

There can be no argument that over the years we have wandered so far from what the founders envisioned and set forth in our Constitution that our nation would be barely recognizable to them today.  Upon adjournment of the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin, in response to a question as to what kind of government the founding fathers had crafted for this new nation, responded saying, “…a Republic if you can keep it.” It is important at this point to understand the difference between a pure democracy and a republic.  A democratic form of government grants absolute power to a majority while providing no protections whatsoever to any minority groups, giving ultimate power over the individual to an all-powerful majority.  A republic on the other hand, seeks to protect the rights and liberties of ALL individuals, those unalienable rights as discussed in the United States Constitution. This is consistent with the founding fathers including in our constitution that the federal government was precluded from imposing direct taxes that were not based upon apportionment, paraphrasing, it precluded the federal government from imposing a tax based upon personal income.  The 13th Amendment clearly defies the intent of the founding fathers and extended the reach and power of the federal government. So much for the limiting document they worked so hard to give us.

Today we find ourselves fighting amongst each other from the halls of government, to social media, and even worse at our kitchen tables.  A piece of legislation known as Obamacare consumes our media in all forms and has created complete gridlock in our federal government.  A clear lesson for conservatives, once you start down the road of providing for individuals as with entitlement programs, it is difficult to roll them back, let alone discontinue them permanently.  With no engagement from the democrats it is squarely on the backs of republicans to clean up the mess of the AHCA rammed through congress by the democrats.  With this piece of legislation on the verge of collapse, not to mention the wreckage of our healthcare system left in its wake, republicans in Congress are having difficulty finding a solution they can all agree upon.  Those from states that chose to take part in Medicaid expansion do not want to lose funding or subsidies to their states and/or constituents, while others do not want to sign off on a piece of legislation they believe does nothing to remove the burden of Obamacare, but merely gives the impression they are keeping their promises.

How did we get this far from a limited federal government?  Much of it began under FDR’s “New Deal” programs, many of which we are still stuck with today. There was a great deal of opposition to many of the provisions that were a part of the New Deal that made their way to the Supreme Court.  Some survived, some did not.  Those that did were a result of an overreach and absurd interpretation of the meaning of “the general welfare” phrase found in the preamble of the constitution, which was intended as a statement of goals for the document in its entirety, and in Article I, Section 8 where it is used in reference to the specific power of Congress to tax and borrow, not to create legislation as it suits their agenda.  When the founding fathers drafted the Constitution, it was understood that the health of an individual and their family was the responsibility of individuals and their families.  The phrase “general welfare” is the only text found within the constitution that could possibly be interpreted, and only in a very broad manner, to have anything to do with individual healthcare. James Madison expounded upon the phrase proffering that the clause authorized Congress to spend money, but only to carry out the powers and duties specifically enumerated in the subsequent clauses of Article I, Section 8, and elsewhere in the Constitution, not to meet the infinite needs of the general welfare.

Roosevelt also made many efforts for a national healthcare system, but they were unsuccessful. In an attempt to protect the programs of the New Deal from further interference, in 1937 he concocted a plan to add enough liberal justices to the Court to neutralize conservatives by increasing the number of Supreme Court justices to fifteen.  Though this did not happen, it did serve to further the politicization of the Court and blur the lines between interpretation and legislation, leading to the judicial activism plaguing our court system today.

Such activism by the Court has led to drastic expansion of federal authority and overreach into areas that were clearly reserved to the states.  The regulations created and upheld based upon an extremely broad interpretation of the commerce clause and the ratification of the 13th Amendment are other examples of overreach by the federal government based in overly broad interpretations, and in some cases complete disregard, for the constitution that was intended to protect us from an all-powerful federal government.  In furtherance of the contention that so much of the legislation passed by the federal government is unconstitutional, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution each contain a due process clause.  Within the due process clause exists a prohibition against vague laws.  The intent of this provision was to ensure that the people understood any limitations placed upon them by a law and the punishments that could be handed down as a result of not complying with the law.  In other words, how can one be expected to follow rules that they cannot understand? 

Our laws have become so complex that in many cases we are dependent upon attorneys, and not just any attorney, but one who specializes in a particular type of law, to explain to us not just what the law says, but what it means and how it applies to us.  How can anyone honestly argue that such complex laws are in keeping with the intent of the founding fathers?  Take the AHCA, or Obamacare as it is more commonly known, for example, is 2,300 pages long.  And who can forget the infamous statement by Nancy Pelosi that they had to pass it to know what was in it? Can you even imagine how the founding fathers would respond to such insanity?  How irresponsible, to cast a vote on legislation that would so drastically affect every individual in this nation on such a personal level without evening knowing what was in it.  Beyond that, is there a single person that believes on any level that the average person could read and understand what exactly was required of them under this legislation and the potential penalties of non-compliance?

Have we managed to keep our republic?  There are many, many slogans floating around today from “make America great again”, to “take back our country.”  The American people elected the unlikeliest of candidates in November because they are sick and tired of politicians that have done nothing but create an establishment that only serves to keep them in power, and no longer serves the people.  President Trump most definitely has a unique and not always popular way of governing, but the people chose him because they wanted an end to this cycle of ever-expanding government that continues to oppress the people with overreaching regulations and burdensome taxes.  There is a quote from Thomas Jefferson that states “When the people fear the government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people there is liberty.” I believe that is what is meant by “take our country back.”  We have certainly reached a point in this country where the people fear the government. When agencies such as the IRS exist that have been granted the authority to take EVERYTHING from us, including our liberty, the people have good reason to fear the government.  When the federal government can impose a tax/fine upon the people for not purchasing a product, where is the liberty in that?

Yes, it is time to take our country back, and that must start by transferring the fear from the people onto those we have elected to represent us and serve the best interest of this nation.  We can do that by becoming more informed citizens and exercising our right to vote, every time an election is held.  Statistics indicate that incumbents are reelected at a rate that has not dropped below 78% since 1980, in the House of Representatives it has not dropped below 80% since prior to 1964.  They have definite advantages such as name recognition and fund-raising, this means that as voters we must stop being lazy and make an effort to know who and what we are voting for.  Look at their voting records, at their accomplishments or lack thereof, see what legislation they have put forward or signed on to. We need to consider newcomers and not be swayed by claims of a lack of experience in government.  Serving in Congress was never intended to be a career upon which one became wealthy and powerful, but rather a sacrifice in service to this nation.  It is our own fault that we have this “establishment” in Washington that we are all so quick to complain about, we have created it by reelecting the same people over and over.  The average careers of Representatives and Senators has more than doubled since the mid-19th century. There are currently three members of the House that have been in office since the 1970’s and one that has been serving since 1965.  How can we expect government to change when we do not even bother to change who the government is?

With reelection statistics such as these, why should our government fear the people?  We need to remember that we the people are their boss, and if we allow them to remain in their positions while not performing the jobs they were hired to do, we have no one to blame but ourselves.  We need to reclaim our nation, and we need to do it fast as we are losing our republic.  Republicans have campaigned on repealing Obamacare for several years, we now have a President ready and willing to sign that legislation, but they cannot manage to do what they promised. In my humble opinion, there are only two Senators that deserve any consideration for reelection, but I will refrain from naming them.  In about fifteen months we have the opportunity to make a statement, and put the fear back into government, so let’s take our country back from the establishment and political elites, let’s take it back from a media that has its own agenda and start firing these politicians that are not working for us and replace them with someone who will.  That’s how we end gridlock, and that’s how we take our country back.  It is up to you, we can maintain this status quo, or we can listen to the advice of those that gave us this great nation.  Are you willing to take that stand?

2 thoughts on “Dear Congress: Stop Sucking!

  1. One thing that would help would be putting limits on them. They turn it in to a career and its becomea more about them then the people who elected them.

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