Leadership By Opinion Poll

I recently received an email from my Congresswoman (a Republican by the way) asking my opinion regarding the possibility of Congress raising the federal debt ceiling. Upon first glance, I started to react to the communiqué thinking “I need to tell her what I think so she will know what to do.” But before my fingers could even begin to type a reply, my brain started to kick in and I began to see the matter in another light.

Our country is currently $14.4 trillion in debt. We’re adding another $1.5 trillion to that number this year alone – a number which, I might add, didn’t change even a smidgeon by electing a Republican majority in the House. Our unfunded liabilities (something that businesses are required to report as debt, but the government doesn’t) are so outrageously out of control that estimates range from $45 trillion on the low end (wikipedia.org), to $114 trillion on the high end (usdebtclock.org). Then there’s another $1.1 trillion in state indebtedness, $1.7 trillion in local government debt and another $16 trillion in personal debt that we as individuals owe on mortgages, credit cards and the like. In short, if every man, woman and child in the U.S. could cough up a little over $400,000, we could pay off all of our publicly held debt and we as a nation could arrive at merely being broke.

But let me continue – We’ve also run a trade deficit that has consistently increased for over 30 years, reaching a new high of $502 billion for last year alone (New York Times / americaneconomicalert.org). This, while we continue to out-source jobs to every third world country we can find and import illegal aliens to take what jobs are left. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve (which is not a branch of the federal government, but rather a group of private banks with a license to create money out of thin air) continues to print money like crazy-mad, doing everything in its power to devalue the dollar and help precipitate a global economic collapse while our own economy hangs by a thread.

Yet despite all of this, my Congresswoman finds it necessary to conduct a survey in order to figure out whether raising the federal debt ceiling is a good idea or not. I’m sorry, but this sounds like someone sitting in a burning building, who instead of getting up and running for the door, is calling strangers to get a consensus as to what they should do.

So after a moment of reflection, I backed away from the keyboard, then calmly put my Congresswoman’s message aside and moved on, realizing that anyone who can’t figure this one out on their own is a lost cause.

The point is that an elected official worth their salt wouldn’t need to ask the public what to do about an out of control national debt. Rather than seeking public opinion, our elected representatives really only need to ask themselves two questions: 1) Does the U.S. Constitution authorize this? 2) Is this sound fiscal policy that is in the best interest of the country and of future generations?

While the Constitution does not prohibit Congress from engaging in deficit spending, it should be pointed out that the vast majority of what the federal government is currently spending funds on is not authorized in the Constitution – thus I contend that the matter at hand fails even the first part of this simple test. As for the second question, anyone wondering whether further increasing our already astronomical and incomprehensible national debt is a good idea, needs to be put in a straight jacket, not sent to Congress to run our country.

The problem in America today is not that we the people are failing to write cards and letters to our representatives to tell them what to do, or that we’re failing to answer their public opinion surveys. The problem in America today is that we the people have elected to high office individuals who appear to be ignorant of the Constitution they swore to uphold and who can’t even figure out whether more debt is a good thing. We’ve elected people who are more interested in their own popularity and in getting reelected than in doing the right thing for the sake of the country and future generations.

Real leaders don’t lead by consensus. Real leaders lead with the courage to do what is right and what is necessary whether it’s popular or not. Who wants to follow a general who stops in the middle of the battle to ask the troops what they think and take a poll to make sure he’s doing ‘the popular thing.’ America needs leaders who are ready and willing to say “Damn the popularity polls, I’m going to do what I have to in order to save my country.”

Ultimately the responsibility comes home to roost with us, the voting public. Do we have the courage to act on our stated convictions? Will we raise up, support and vote for statesmen who are committed above all, to defending our God-given rights, constraining government to its Constitutionally prescribed limits and adhering to sound fiscal policies that will deliver future generations from the bondage of crushing national debt? Or will we continue to give the precious, empowering virtue of our vote to politicians who seek popularity and reelection and who will decide the future our great nation on the basis of opinion polls.

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About Robert W. Peck

Bob Peck is a Christian, Constitutionist and political activist who serves as the chairman of the Constitution Party of Washington and is a member of the Constitution Party National Committee. Bob lives in Spokane Valley, Washington where he is a landlord-handyman. If, like Bob, you find yourself feeling betrayed by a two party duopoly that no longer represents your values, then check out the Constitution Party at www.constitutionparty.com or call 1-800-2VETOIRS and ask for a free information packet.
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4 Responses to Leadership By Opinion Poll

  1. Excellent post, sir, and thank you for sending it out as an email. And thank you also for all the work you do in trying to restore the Constitution.

    I believe that you summed up the key points here:

    • “we the people have elected”
    • “We’ve elected people who”

    You ask: “Will we raise up, support and vote for statesmen who are committed above all, to defending our God-given rights, constraining government to its Constitutionally prescribed limits and adhering to sound fiscal policies that will deliver future generations from the bondage of crushing national debt?”

    The answer to that is “No”.

    Any government that is based on the vote of the people is assuming that people will vote for the best for the country and for the well-being of future generations. At the same time, we know that people make choices based on what is in their own individual best interest. For a popular-vote system to work, those two should be the same, but we have a culture that makes them two very different things. In our present culture, people WILL vote for the person who promises to take from “those other people and give it to me”. In other words, people vote to elect a thief who will use the power of government to steal from others on their behalf. We no longer have a long-term view where we look at choices based on what is best for our children and our grandchildren and on down the line. Without that long-term view, any system based on the popular vote will eventually consume itself by “eating the seed corn”. We like to point to the politicians as the problem, but the fault lies entirely with “we the people” who put them in that position.

    I have finally come to the conclusion that our basic system of government is fundamentally flawed in that it cannot function without an educated, morally upright people who believe in the God of The Bible. I see no other alternative at this point, so we are left with just riding out the storm as best we can and see where we end up. I often wonder if our country took the wrong road back when George Washington declined the offer to be king. For all its faults, there is much to be said for a constitutional monarchy as a form of government. “We The People” cannot be entrusted if we are not truly trustworthy.

    I will continue to work to advance the Constitution Party – not because I think we can turn things around, but because it is the right thing to do.

    • So I take it you agree with John Adams that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Yep, looks like God was right all along and that turning to Him really is our only hope.

      Thank you for being committed to the cause simply because it’s the right thing to do. To many people engage the political realm for the purpose of winning, and while winning is an admirable goal, especially when your cause is just, yet when winning becomes the primary cause of your actions, then you are in danger of becoming discouraged, loosing heart and quitting if the victory does not come, or does not come soon enough. I will forever remember something that our party’s founder, Howard Phillips, once said after loosing an election – “We may have a right to be disappointed, but never to be discouraged.”

  2. retiredday says:

    I just wanted you to know I posted this article on my own blog — http://retiredday.wordpress.com — per your closing comments in the Constitution Party News and Information email. It’s a big obstacle, getting people out of the mob mentality of wanting government to take care of them, motivating them to think for themselves and assume responsibility for their own lives. Freedom is something we must exercise. It isn’t just given to us. Today, many voters are looking for a benevolent dictator or a Robin Hood, when they really need to grow up and learn that freedom requires informed, mature participation. Keep fighting the good fight!

    • Thanks! I’m not one to promote myself, but if the message will be beneficial to our fellow countrymen, then I’ve got to promote the message and ask others to forward, post and publish it.

      By the way, I really like the subtitle on your blog, “The preservation of political freedom is the handiwork of Spiritual freedom.” A good truth that I don’t believe I’ve heard quoted just that way before.

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