StraightJacketby Jeff Matthews

Many of us are in consensus, even if we fly the different flags of Tea Parties, Tenthers, GOOOH, and so on. And by the looks of things, many Democrats have also just about “had it” after getting a war-mongering, lobbyist-filled, corporatist, secretive, and spying administration after not even the first full year of office. We need to reverse course to avoid an iceberg that will sink us all.

Secession? Not in the near horizon. Revolution? Nope. These are remedies that are always available to mankind. As much as the legal scholars and elites want to craft “rules” to retain the status quo, natural law dictates that the order of mankind transcends fascism, tyranny and corruption. It always has, and it always will. But these remedies will not be exercised in the next coming months.

Instead, we need to look to the 2010 elections. Within months, we will be in the thick of the political process once again. We are all-too-familiar with what we do not like in the system, and as we all know, the rhetoric will be spattered and bandied about as usual. Does anyone need a crystal ball to predict what will be said? “No lobbyists will influence me. I am for the people. I am for small government. I will vote to eliminate the debt.” Really?

Has any politician ever stood up and said, “I am beholden to corporations and lobbyists. I like power and want to expand my control. I need your money to do it, and if you will not give it to me, I’ll support Ben Bernanke and the Fed’s cranking up the printing press and running your kids and grandkids further into debt.” Of course, not. But that’s what they invariably do, despite what they say.

So, we need to be mindful and exercise a sharp, collective wit about us. We need to spot shallow rhetoric as soon as our candidates spew it, and when they do, we need to call them out for it. Who knows? Maybe a new website is in order:

I think (and I hope you do, too) that we should DEMAND our candidates to tell us where they stand. They should tell us, in no uncertain terms, the answer to the following questions:

Name, in order, the top 10 federal programs that you believe are beyond federal authority under the Constitution; whether you would vote to dissolve them; the fiscal impact dissolution would have on the federal budget; and how long, in your opinion, should it take to dissolve them.

Should the federal budget be reduced, and if so, by what percentage do you propose? In terms of percentages (e.g. -5%, +10%), what is the highest change in the federal budget you would accept before committing, by your answer here, to vote against said budget?

If these candidates cannot or will not identify specific institutions and commit to answer the budget question, then, we know they are not for us, pure and simple. If they answer, then, we have a way to track promises and progress. If the candidate is elected, did he/she vote to fund the program, and if so, how much? Did the candidate make any effort to dissolve the program? Did the candidate match his/her actions with his/her budgetary constraint views and commitment?

As this movement continues, I realize this article’s specific suggestion will have since been forgotten. Reality dictates the process will not be carried out they way “Jeff” wants it. That’s okay, though, because that is not the purpose of this article.

The purpose of this article is to heighten awareness that we are setting the stage to be played and suckered with spineless rhetoric, once again. We need to be ready for that. We need to call candidates on the floor for it, and we need to let them know those days are over. A new discourse needs to occur.

This time, we need to set the stage right, and we need to demand specific answers to specific questions. “I’m not a lawyer,” “Let me get back to you,” and changing the subject will not cut it this time around.

Let’s make this the overall tone, and let’s make the message loud and clear. We must refuse to vote for “personalities,” parties and rhetoric. If we do not and we go back to old ways of voting, we will accomplish nothing and will have wasted immeasurable amounts of our precious time, energy, and the constructive end to our collective frustration.

Commit and stand firm to your principles and your demands.

Jeff Matthews [send him email] is an attorney living in Houston, Texas. His current projects include the website SovereignStates, and the forthcoming organization, The National Taxpayer Takeover.

Copyright © 2009 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit to the author and this website is given.

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