This is a moment in our nation’s history that will determine the kind of nation our children and grandchildren inherit. The choices couldn’t be more apparent;
can either continue to be the land of the free, or we will become the land of the kept. We like to blame our elected officials for the mess our country is in, but the reality is that they are a result of the choices we have made. The truth is, we have no one to blame but ourselves. America
The Tea Party movement is, in large part, a result of the fact that people are recognizing just how bad of a mess our country is in, and they finally understand that the country doesn’t run very well on auto pilot. It doesn’t stop there however, because all across
people are beginning to pay more attention to the issues that affect us, and they are increasing their level of understanding of those issues. America
In November of last year, we saw the first fruits of this awakening that has come over us.
is filled with new faces and fresh ideas. The same can be said, to an even greater degree in fact, for many of our state capitols. A new way of thinking has emerged, and the impact is significant. The work has only just begun however, for our elected officials and for those of us who sent them there. Washington
Governor Scott Walker of
is only one of many state Governors tackling huge budget shortfalls and having to make tough decisions on spending. In Wisconsin , Congress is struggling with similar issues. Republicans are trying to cut spending and reduce the deficit, while congressional Democrats are fighting tooth and nail to maintain spending at record levels. Meanwhile, back at home, many of us are wondering how long the fiscal responsibility bug will last before everything reverts to business as usual. Washington
Very few people realize how difficult budget cutting can be for politicians. Most of us think an elected official should be able to sit down with the budget and go to work with a red pencil. In reality, the process is much more difficult. Naturally, there are the special interests and lobbyists who have to be dealt with; but there are other, more real world issues to consider. For instance, it is easy to say a program is ineffective and needs to be done away with, but that affects people who are trying to feed their families just like the rest of us. The cuts certainly need to be made, but the consequences of those cuts must be considered as well.
In the very near future, some really tough choices will have to be made. Already, we can see the effect that some of those tough choices are having. Demonstrations are spreading across the country, and Democrat lawmakers seem to be adopting the motto: “If you can’t beat them, run and hide”. Unfortunately this is just the beginning, and I believe there will be much worse to come.
If budget cutting is to be successful, our elected officials at both the state and federal level are going to have to have a backbone. The wailing and gnashing of teeth that is surely to come will be intense, and those who dare to cut spending are going to be accused of killing old people and children on a daily basis. Withstanding the onslaught from the left will be a difficult task, and that is where you and I must step up to the plate.
We are the backbone that our elected officials are going to need. During the last election, many of us spoke up and voiced our opinions about the issues, but now that our representatives have taken office, we fall silent as they struggle to do the job we sent them to do. If we do not speak up and continue to let them know what we expect, the only voices they will hear will be those who oppose their efforts.
Make your voice one that is familiar to your elected officials. Put their phone numbers in your cell phone, add their e-mail addresses to your contact list, and use them frequently. When a contentious issue is being debated, let them know your thoughts and encourage their efforts. Reinforce your position as important bills are coming up for a vote. Praise them when they stand firm, and criticize as needed when they do not. Another way to support your legislators is to express your support with letters to your local paper, speaking out at public forums and town hall meetings, and etc.
It is vitally important to the future of our republic that we become informed about and engaged in the political processes. The days are gone when it was fashionable to boast of not paying attention to politics. If we have a genuine desire to leave to our children a nation that is as free and prosperous as that which was given to us, we must care about what goes on and take part in the process. As Horace Mann observed, “A different world cannot be built by indifferent people”.