September 6, 2010 Columbia MO By David Rosman
Let’s take back America! But from who or what?
I have an idea, let’s write a manifesto for the American public to measure those who will be on the ballot this November.
The Taking Back America Manifesto
“On the first day of Congress 2010, the new Conservative majority will immediately pass the following major reforms, aimed at restoring the faith and trust of the American people in their government:
- FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
- SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;
- THIRD, cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;
- FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
- FIFTH, ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
- SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to the public;
- SEVENTH, require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase;
- EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting.
- Ninth, term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators
- Tenth, Create small business incentives, capital gains cut and indexation, neutral cost recovery, risk assessment/cost-benefit analysis, strengthening the Regulatory Flexibility Act and unfunded mandate reform to create jobs and raise worker wages.
Something is wrong here. Didn’t the conservatives already promise but never delivered these very promises? Yes they did. In 1994, this very manifesto was, with a few small revisions, the “Contract with America” created by House Speaker and now Tea Party poster child Newt Gingrich.
(By the way, there is only one issue here with which I truely disagree. Term limits have proven to create more harm than good.)
It is unfortunate to note that though the Republics had over 350 candidates sign the pledge and took control of both Houses, none of these promises came to fruition. Government got smaller only because of the initiative of the Clinton/Gore White House, so you cannot blame the Democrats or Clinton alone. In fact, today the Tenth is being held up by the Republican minority because it was President Obama’s proposal.
Who are we suppose to take America back from? Should it be the 50 percent of Americans who elected (pardon the pun) not to vote in 1994 and 1996? The almost 40 percent who did not vote in 2008? (http://elections.gmu.edu/voter_turnout.htm)
Are we taking back America from those damned liberals or the damned conservatives who are ruining the country? Or the career politicians who WE keep re-electing every two, four or six years even if they have held that office for what seems like forever?
Is it from those godless atheists, communists and socialist who have taken over this country? Or those god-pushing anarchists and fascists who hide behind mock patriotism?
Why this outrage? Because there is little said beyond “We need to take back our country.” All of the tools to change the direction of government have been set out by the Constitution and its Amendments. It does not matter if Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin attracted 400,000 to the Lincoln Memorial. It is more important to know how many of these men and women will vote on November 2, 2010 or voted in their primaries. Promises mean nothing unless they are kept.
This not a problem with any single political movement or party. Dems and GOP, conservatives and liberals, anarchist and participants are all part of the problem and few are working towards a real solution. That is if a solution exists.
We are dividing ourselves in mind and word, and we are not listening to the other side without criticizing, demonizing or negating those opinions. “I’m right and you’re wrong. Remember that and you won’t die,” is the only consensus, the only common ground we have today.
Reader responses to articles seem to expound only anger and have no solutions. Is it a war we are frustrated about or an economy getting progressively worse after its initial downturn that started in the last two years before the current administration? Is it the great divide between urban and rural economies and personas? Is the elitist versus the egalitarian?
I asked a simple question. All I am getting is shat magna iudicium. Complaints based on inaccurate information with no solutions offered or implied. Are Americans so lack of imagination and consideration that solutions are no longer available? To paraphrase John Kennedy, Ich bin so verwirrt.
David Rosman is an award winning speaker, editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com and New York Journal of Books.com.