Mike’s Musings- America has become land of the special interest

February 15, 2013

Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor

I came across a Letter to the Editor in a Tawas City newspaper the other day. Actually it was placed on my desk by an anonymous source. Typically I would discard something like that, but I began to read it, and my gosh, I was compelled to share it with you. It is written by Ken Huber, and here’s what he had to say:

Has America become the land of the special interest and home of the double standard?

Let’s see; if we lie to Congress it’s a felony and if the Congress lies to us it’s just politics

The government spends millions to rehabilitate criminals and do almost nothing for the victims.

In public schools you can teach that homosexuality is okay, but you better not use the word God in the process.

You can kill an unborn child, but it’s wrong to execute a mass murderer.

We are unable to close our border with Mexico, but we have no problem protecting the 38th parallel in Korea.

You can have pornography on TV or the internet, but you better not put a nativity scene in a public park during Christmas.

We can use a human fetus for medical research, but it’s wrong to use an animal.

We take money from those who work hard for it, and give it to those who don’t want to work.

We all support the Constitution, but only when it supports our political ideology.

We still have freedom of speech, but only if we are being politically correct.

Parenting has been replaced with Ritalin and video games

The land of opportunity is now the land of hand outs.

And how do we handle a major crisis today? The government appoints a committee to determine who’s at fault, then threatens them, passes a law, raises our taxes; tells us the problem is solved so they can get back to their re-election campaign?

What has happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I tell you what, Congress has changed very little in 150 years. If you watched the highly-heralded Steven Spielberg movie, “Lincoln,” which happens to be playing at the Ideal Theatre this week, you will agree. The premise of the movie is President Abraham Lincoln’s all out blitz of Congress in an effort to get the Emancipation Proclamation passed.

Much like the House of Representatives of today, Lincoln had to promise jobs, and in some cases even money to certain House members to garner their votes for the all-important legislation. The arm twisting and back room deals of 1865, are not much different than what happens today behind closed doors in Washington.

The only difference as Huber points out, is that special interest lobbyists are much more important today, and wield much more power than then because they help to fund, the majority of campaigns. And as Huber acknowledges, for members of the House, who only serve two-year terms, getting elected is Job 1! Legislation, and taking care of the needs of their constituents is only important if it helps them get elected.

Government has always been about those who hold power. Even though our Democracy is the best system in the world it is far from perfect. One can hope at some point special interests will be de-emphasized and the disenfranchised will have a greater voice. Unfortunately, today, that remains only a hope.

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