Where Is the Problem?

Charley Reese was a “traditional conservative” columnist with the Orlando Sentinel from 1971 – 2001.  He switched from Democrat to Republican and back again due to dissatisfaction with the parties at the time.  He wrote a piece that has been passed around via email for quite some time.  Some names have been changed in its transmission to “update” it and keep it fresh, but I think it is important that we quote people correctly whenever possible and looked up the original.  It’s quite a good piece, IMO, and timeless except for the names.

Frankly, it is an indictment against most politicians, and much of it crosses party lines and is true no matter who is in charge at the moment.

One version of Reese’s piece, as it appeared in 1985, according to Snopes.com:

Politician [sic] are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why if all politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don’t have Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don’t control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices — 545 human beings out of 235 million — are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excused the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered by private central bank.

I exclude all of the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it.

No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislators’ responsibility to determine how he votes.

Don’t you see the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of Tip O’Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan for creating deficits.

The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes.

Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses — provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.

When you really think about it, then, why is our budget bleeding red?  Why are we fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Why does Congress receive a special retirement plan outside of Social Security – one in which doesn’t cost them a dime?  Because the politicians want it that way!  Sadly, most people are willing to go along with practically anything as long as it is “our party” doing it!

The older I get, the more difficult I find it is to identify with either of the dominant parties in the US.  Even the terms “liberal” and “conservative” have come to stand for very different things.  The net effect is such a polarized view of issues that the normal person has difficulty identifying with either mindset.

My view is that the job of a professional politician is to get elected.  That is it.  The majority are not there to represent you, me or anyone else except themselves.  Politics is rife with corruption at every turn.

Not the sort of thing a true Christian would want to get involved in, would you think?

However, there are some in the splits since WCG broke up that advocate political involvement.  Some will cite the example of Daniel for justification for their position.  But, is that a valid comparison?

Look for Part 13 article of The Just War series next week for the answer.

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