When they tried to warn the country of the train-wreck that is Obama-Care, they were called anarchists, arsonists, racists, bomb-throwers, terrorists and worse.
Now watch, in the upcoming election year, as Democrats and Republicans alike rush to suddenly embrace the very same things the Tea Party stands for, in an effort to keep their jobs in Washington. It’s disgusting, sleazy politics at its very best, and emblematic of what is wrong with many of the members of both parties. If I did not know for certain that there are a few members of Congress worthy of keeping their seats, I would join the movement to TTBO – “Throw the Bums Out” — and start over.
Humorist and political sage P. J. O’Rourke is credited with say that 1/3 of Congress are nothing but whores, 1/3 are honest and decent people looking out for the nation, and the other 1/3 fall somewhere in-between. In my twenty-plus years pounding the halls of Congress and the government, I believe those numbers hold true. And I have met many, many of the people in all of those categories. I could pretty well tell you who fits into which category, even now that I am retired. But I believe you are smart enough to figure that out for yourselves.
Okay, here are my basic takes: If Senator Ron Wyden, the Democrat from Oregon, ever runs for president, I will be the first to volunteer to do anything I can to make that happen. I do not always agree with Ron, but he has always been on the side of the American people and I respect him more than anyone else in the Senate. As for the Congress, give my own member, Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia any day. I would support him when he runs for the Senate, or for any other office. Bless you, Bob, for all that you do. Incidentally, I have had the pleasure of working with both for and against legislation, and they are both men of honor.
Truth is, I don’t trust many of the people in either party who are members of their “leadership,” or many of those whose names you see in the news. Which brings me back to the central premise of why so many sleazy, disreputable members of Congress from both the House and Senate will suddenly start pretending they are member of the Tea Party Movement. To understand this, you have to understand that the Tea Party is not a party per se. It has no leadership, no firm constituency, and no convention.
Rather, the Tea Party member of Congress are those who have grown weary of the socialist, one-government-fits-all, tax-and-spend, big-government effort to solve today’s problems in America. They are candidates who believe in limited national government, bigger local government, and in reduction of the federal debt in order to keep our economy from collapsing outright. A few are social conservatives in their personal beliefs. That means they are against abortion, gay rights, flag-burning, free speech and other social issues.
But in truth, none of these thing are part of the Tea Party. The Tea Party is a fiscal conservative movement – pay off the federal debt, lower taxes and bring federal spending back in line with the Gross Domestic Product of the United States. A movement that scares the hell out of corrupt politicians, because it means an end to the corruption, graft an political maneuvering that keeps them in wealth and in power.
That’s not some anarchist conjecture…it is what I have observed in more than two decades of watching these corrupt, filthy, self-absorbed politicians operate.
That is why, as Americans begin to panic about the crushing national debt and the cost of ever-growing social programs, you will see members of both parties rush to look like they endorse fiscal conservative ideals in order to get re-elected. As though somehow they did not plunder the Social Security and Medicare trust funds in order to spend money to get themselves re-elected. In truth, they care for neither your ideals nor the wishes of taxpayers. They only wish to be re-elected to keep their own power and money. And that is why they must be retired.
America’s debt and social programs are complicated, and I, for one, will not issue simplistic answers. But these things I know:
- Bigger government is not the solution to social ills. In my lifetime, the government promised that is could solve poverty in my lifetime. $5 trillion dollars in our tax dollars later, more Americans live in poverty than ever before. We have lost the war on drugs. We now imprison more of our citizens than any other nation on earth. We do not embrace personal freedom or personal responsibility.
- Two-thirds of congress does not give a rat’s ass about America. They live only to thrive on the corruption, graft, money and power they can amass at our expense. They use fear-mongering and bad public policy to foster this notion that we must follow their lead. The honest 1/3 are drowned out and seldom heard.
- Socialism has failed in America, just as it has failed in every other country foolish enough to try it. As British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher so eloquently put it, “The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.”
- There are some progressive ideals worth pursuing. A level playing field for medical care, much like the system we had in 2008, but with the problems being fixed to bring interstate competition to health insurance plans and beefing up Medicaid. Or Euthanasia. Or legalization of holistic and herbal remedies, including marijuana. Enforcing our immigration laws, refuting rights for illegals in order to protect the rights of legal immigrants, and making sure that we help every American who wants to work to find a job.
You cannot help the poor by breaking the backs of the middle class. Okay, read the data. ‘Nuff said. Except that P. J. O’Rourke famously said, “Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
Stop calling names. Most Americans do not hate gays, Jews, blacks, Hispanics, or any other ethnic or social group. We hate being labeled like the 7 percent of lunatics who follow such anti-whatever beliefs. Live your life as you want, in the privacy of your own homes and your own communities. The OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of us are fine with that. Just don’t force me to adopt your religion/lifestyle/beliefs, and we will get along just fine. And if any politician says otherwise, vote them out of office, and go home.
So here are my rules of life, of which there are only four.
Life is difficult. This concept is central to all religious beliefs. Life is difficult, and much of the pain in our lives is based on the mistaken idea that life should not be difficult, or that somehow the lives of others are less difficult. The teacher Buddha says that life is painful, but suffering is optional. Only you can make you happy, and only you can make you unhappy. You have a choice, every moment of every day, whether to be happy or sad. God gives you the power to be happy or unhappy in your life. Appreciate this gift, and use it.
Cherish love. Love is a rare thing, but can happen more than once in your life, if you are open to it. If it happens to you, nurture it. Protect it. Cherish it and wallow in its glory. As my favorite poet Los Wyse wrote: ‘Love comes in such strange ways. In front of college dorms. In the back of old blue Chevies. When you don’t expect it. Or when you most need it. No matter how it comes, cherish it. Who knows when love will come again?” No matter if you are of a different race, different religion or same sex. If you love, I celebrate your love and your right to embrace it without prejudice. I ask only that you live your beliefs without demeaning the beliefs of others. Want rights? I will march with you. Want to tear down the rights of others? I will oppose you with all of my will. Live and let live.
Depend on yourselves. The idea that somehow a government can solve all of our problems and meet all of our needs is to admit that we are failures as human beings, and that we must somehow steal from other humans that which we cannot or will not do for ourselves. Be strong in and of yourselves, and expect no other person to feed you, clothe you or bring you community. For those who have a weakness in doing so, we have an obligation to give them an understanding and a helping hand. We do not have an obligation to give them our hard-earned incomes to distribute as they or their government sees fit. Governments pander to the weak to make them weaker. Compassionate humans give a hand to make the weak stronger and self-sufficient. If you stand on your own I will do anything in my power to support you. If you claim to be a victim of my heritage or our country, I will ignore you.
Embrace and love your family and your community. Anyone who claims to love all of humankind is a liar and a thief. If you can love yourself, your mate, your children, your parents and your community, you are to be blessed. For if you do this, you will help and uplift all you come in contact with, and you do better than most of the humans on this planet. Tell me that you love all, and I will call you a liar. Tell me that you need my money to help you help others, and I will call you a thief. Tell me that you and your government can help all who are in need, and I will call you a lying, thieving socialist member of Congress and vote you out of office.
I give to you this month of Thanksgiving, and wish you peace, kindness and goodwill.