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  Herman's Column Archive
June 28, 2006
We Need a New Independence

“That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

When our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they envisioned a governing body comprised of citizen legislators who served at the consent of the public. Today, too many of our elected officials have become independent kings concerned more with power, party and their political careers. The people who elect them and common sense policy solutions are no longer priorities. The inability of the men and women who represent us to secure our nation’s economic infrastructure and our borders has produced a governing body no less tyrannical than King George himself. We need a new independence from these kings in Washington, D.C.

Every year Congress takes a growing share of the nation’s wealth to pay for entitlement programs and discretionary projects far beyond the role of government our founders envisioned. The congressional watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste found that Congress spent a record $29 billion on nearly 10,000 discretionary or pork projects in the fiscal year 2006 appropriations. Despite the best efforts of a few members of Congress to shine the light on this fiscal insanity, too many members view their job as spend, run for re-election, repeat.

The eagerness to give away billions in taxpayer dollars is surpassed only by an eagerness to duck responsibility on our fiscal crises. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) offered an amendment this year that would have required all Social Security payroll taxes to remain in the Social Security system to pay benefits. Just forty-six senators supported the DeMint amendment. Last year, President Bush and a few Republicans tried to fix the Social Security funding crisis but were denied the opportunity by a bipartisan front of members too afraid to admit a crisis exists.   

Our nation’s southern border is a sieve, threatening our sovereignty and the rule of law that supports our unique system of government. A May 19 FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that eighty-six percent of Americans think illegal immigration is a serious problem. Congress had an opportunity to secure the border by voting to build a physical barrier on our southern border, but they failed the public once again.

A physical barrier such as a wall or fence would be a visual deterrent to those who want to sneak across our border. That is why we maintain physical barriers around prisons, our homes and the White House. Unfortunately, too many members of Congress view the millions of illegal aliens as potential voters, not the identity thieves that they are. The proud citizens of sovereign nations defend their borders. If they fail to protect their borders, their freedom and liberty is in peril. 

Too many members of Congress think getting re-elected and having their party in the majority is more important than ensuring our national security. Members such as Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and Senator John Kerry (D-MA) have made near treasonous statements and proposals that politicize the war on terrorism. According to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Murtha claimed that U.S. presence in Iraq is “more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran.” Kerry offered an amendment to the 2007 Defense Authorization Act that would have required the so-called redeployment of our military from Iraq by mid-2007. It was soundly defeated by a vote of 86-13.

Have no doubt about it – there are some Americans, including members of Congress – who want the terrorists to win. Every time we receive significant intelligence about the enemy, our enemies from within say we obtained is unconstitutionally, as if terrorists should receive the benefits of our constitutional protections. Every time we achieve a military victory they call for us to “redeploy” the troops. Setting a date certain for troop withdrawal is like placing a sign in your yard telling the local burglar the times you plan to be away from your home with the front door unlocked. Our enemies from within see our national security as just another political issue.

Our kings in Washington, knowing the power of incumbency, appear unmoved by their low approval ratings. A June 15 FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that just twenty-nine percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. These poll results should be a wake-up call for a change in leadership and legislative priorities. 

We the people can achieve a new independence from the kings in the Capitol. It begins not by changing the party in the majority in the 2006 elections, but by changing the leadership in the House and Senate and demanding common sense solutions on the big issues. The consent of the governed must replace re-election as the top priority in Congress. By demanding a change in leadership we can change the focus from “We the Congress, by the Congress, for the Congress” to “We the people, by the people, for the people.”


© 2006 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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This is Column # HC20. Request permission to publish here.