by Richard H. Frank
Special interests, big business, unions and minority organizations have corrupted Congress and the legislative process over the past 40 years. Liberal, progressive movements have promoted legislation creating government administered programs presented to the public as necessary to “promote the general welfare” under the Constitution. Attempting to justify such legislation as necessary for the “general welfare” is debatable, although, the founders understanding of the term was more restrictive than that of our Congressional Representatives today. Unfortunately, our elected representatives pay more attention to lobbyists from special interest groups than to their constituents as evidenced from the town hall meetings conducted this past summer.
So what is the average citizen to do to inform our representatives as to how we expect to be represented? Writing letters, telephone calls and emails all seem to be met by Congress with the same arrogance and disrespect that was evident during the town hall meetings. Their responses take the form of talking points from their respective party viewpoint. Some responses indicate distain for the intelligence of the individual and blatantly say that they know what is best for the country than do their constituents. Many have invoked their “Constitutional duty” to provide for the people, when in reality, they have no idea of the restrictions placed upon them by the Constitution.
The only remedy to stop the corruption in government is through the creation of “The Peoples Lobby”. The seeds for the growth of such a movement have been sown with grass root organizations like the 912 groups, Freedom Works, Americans for Prosperity and Resistnet. The challenge is to ally these organizations and provide focus and funding in support of representative candidates dedicated to restoring the principles of government enumerated in the Constitution. After all, the Constitution is the document these congressional representatives are sworn to protect and defend.
I really have no quarrel with our two party system for selecting representation in our government. I do, however, have a quarrel when the representative’s allegiance is to the party over the Constitution. The practice by party leadership to coerce members to vote the party line and not their conscience, as representing the people, must be stopped. The “Good Old Boy” system continues to corrupt the legislative process. If voter apathy or complacence continues to reinforce business as usual, we may need a constitutional amendment placing term limits on Congressional service to breach the cycle for Professional Politicians and thereby diminish influences for corruption.
“The Peoples Lobby” must continue to send the message loud and clear that the Constitution is the law of the land and that disregarding the limits the document places on Congress, and the President will result in voting them out of power.
The Constitution was written and adopted to restrict the power and growth of the Federal Government. Congress and the Executive branch of the government continually violate Article I and Article II of the Constitution as well as the Tenth Amendment which specifically states, “The powers not delegated to the United States (Federal Government) by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People”.
The “Peoples Lobby” must insist that our elected representative’s refresh their memories and consult the Constitution with regard to the powers granted Congress before considering any and all legislation. Not only must we insist that Congress “read the bill”, but determine if they have the constitutional authority to act on the issue before writing any legislation. (reference HR 450 introduced January 2009) ‘Much of the legislation past over the last 40 years would not pass the constitutional litmus test.
I contend that “The Peoples Lobby’ is in fact represented by organizations like Tea Party Patriots, the 912 movement, Resistnet, Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works and others which have risen in one voice to stem and reverse the governments movement toward socialism. Their voices will not be silenced and their pledge to be heard or we will change the government is no idle threat but a promise.
In this era of the internet, and the 24-hour news cycle, politicians can no longer hide their back room wheeling and dealing practices from public view. They promise transparency and we the people demand it. Congress and the President work for us and should they not hear our voices we will replace them. This is not a threat….but it IS a promise.