April 13, 2016
When the founding fathers got together and wrote our Constitution, I imagine what Congress has become today, was the furthest thing from their minds.
I remember hearing a story where an American man and an English man were having a ‘spirited’ discussion about whose country was better when the American chimed in by stating the Americans won the Revolution. The English man then took a deep breath and proceeded to ask, If the American Revolution was sparked over taxation without representation, what did he think about WITH representation?
Today the representative government is failing to represent us and has lost sight of the founder’s intent to have a Citizen Legislature. Elected leaders were to win, serve for a while, then return to their previous lives. The founders didn’t include term limits in the Constitution because I’d bet they never imagined people would want to be there for life.
Instead, Congress has become an ‘exclusive‘ club of career aristocrats with power and cushy benefits that rival royalty of some countries. They even exempt themselves from the very laws they pass. So, instead of serving for a few years, some remain in Congress for decades and saddle taxpayers with their retirement for the remainder of their lives. The average Congressman makes in excess of $170k per year, yet can’t they invest in their own IRA? What’s more, many of the elected officials feel entitled to keep ‘our’ seats. Note, I did not say ‘their’ seat.
This entitlement mentality has become the norm in Congress, rather than the exception. We see this every Census when the party in power and the minority party make back room deals to redraw the lines of Congressional districts in an effort to keep power and also keep ‘safe’ seats. Making matter worse, those occupying these ‘safe’ seats no longer feel the need to represent their constituents in an effort to earn reelection.
Do you see the problem there? This virtually guarantees incumbency and complacency as byproducts.
Additionally, this lack of rotation has also created apathy in the electorate leaving many to keep re-electing incumbents because they are ‘familiar’ with the name on the ballot. In other words, many vote with the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentally. Sadly, Republican voters are notorious for this.
Even the Republican Party leadership at the RNC is not immune to this entitlement mentality. Can someone please tell me why Reince Priebus still has a job after Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election? This was obviously a winnable race, especially with Obama losing nearly 8 million votes since the 2008 election.
Everyone is familiar with Reagan’s famed 11th commandment, ‘Thou shall not speak ill of other Republicans.’ While I agree with the premise of keeping civil, I think many GOP leaders have abused and perverted this message, turning it into more of unwritten policy that asserts Republicans in office should never be challenged… Or even be held accountable for that matter. This has only made the entitlement mentality even more pervasive in the party.
There has been an awakening, a movement to change how Washington does business. but clearly, our leaders are not paying attention.
Rumblings of this awakening started when David Brat had the ‘audacity‘ to challenge Congressional leader Eric Cantor. In an effort to keep Cantor’s seat ‘safe,’ the establishment painted Brat as a fringe Candidate with no credibility instead of recognizing that Brat’s challenge represented the will of the people. In a sickening display of the worst the GOP has to offer, Brat endured attacks never before seen in politics, solely so that Cantor could to cling to power.
Clearly, Reagan’s 11th Commandment does not apply to Republicans outside of ‘the club.’
Essentially, Republican leadership felt Cantor was entitled to his seat because throughout the years he was a ‘loyal subject’ of the establishment by doing the ‘bidding’ of the leadership. However, something unexpected happened. This modern day ‘David vs. Goliath’ battle sent shockwaves through the Republican Party leadership when Brat beat Cantor in a good old fashioned butt whoopin’.
But that was only one seat, a warning shot across the bow. This year has proven the establishment is in trouble and they are panicking. The two presidential frontrunners are anti-establishment and the Republican leadership is desperately trying to force a contested convention in an effort to get ‘one of their own‘ as the nominee.
In Congress, John McCain is having the political battle of his life in a hotly contested primary, even House Speaker Paul Ryan has a substantial primary challenger. And this is only April. I anticipate many more challenges to leaders across the country.
Republican leaders are letting out a collective gasp because they see their power fading and they are circling the wagons. We have a unique opportunity to replace our entrenched leadership, or at least, send a message that We the People hold the power, not the Washington Establishment Elites.
Our country started when a few ordinary people were able to accomplish extraordinary things. Once again ordinary people are being called upon to accept the challenge, a few are rising to meet that challenge, but we have an opportunity to make 2016 the year we say we will not go quietly into the night, we will meet this challenge and win! It’s once again time to be extraordinary. Let’s Roll.