One of the philosophical pillars of the American Revolution 2.0 plan for revitalizing America is the need for Citizen Servants instead of Career Politicians.
We need ordinary people from many different walks of life. We need people who have life experience more than we need people who have political experience. We need people who know what it is like to buy a home without a sweetheart deal, people who know how to stretch a limited budget to make ends meet, people who know how to run a business, people who know the difference between right and wrong and who know that it is wrong to take what doesn’t belong to you and give it to someone else, people who understand that elected office is a sacred trust and not an opportunity for accumulating personal power and wealth. We need people who are willing to serve for one or two terms, and then pass the baton on to someone else and return to their real lives in the real world that exists outside the beltway. We need people who know when and how to compromise on non-essentials, but who steadfastly refuse to compromise on principles.
The first priority of someone who goes into politics as a career is to get elected. Once elected, the first priority of a Career Politician is to get reelected. Big government and “same old, same old” are the natural friends of Career Politicians regardless of what they may say to the contrary. Small government means less power for those “in power” and Career Politicians are not interested in “less” power. How many Career Politicians have an elitist mentality? Many convince themselves that they know better than “ordinary” Americans and what is best for their constituents and the rest of America. How many Career Politicians get into politics because of the opportunities for self-aggrandizement? It often seems that their main interest is for power, influence and money (except for those who are interested in money, influence and power). A Career Politician is also expected to put party over principle.
The concept of Citizen Servants is radically different from the concept of Career Politicians. The Citizen Servant exists to serve the people. He/She is not in it for the power, the influence or the money. They don’t plan to stick around long enough for that to become an issue. Small government becomes a possibility when you have people serving who do not have a vested personal interest in holding onto, and increasing, the power of government over the people. It is important that your decisions are not run through the filter of “How will this effect my chances for reelection?” A Citizen Servant recognizes that there are many qualified people who could serve, though not all are prepared to make the sacrifice (when you go into politics to serve the people, rather than to help yourself to the people’s pocket books, it is a sacrifice). And when you don’t think that you are the only qualified person in the entire country capable of doing the job; when you realize that there are others who could do the job as well as you or even better, then it becomes easier to pass the torch on to someone else at the end of your term.
Some people (Party leaders, Career Politicians and those who have been hypnotized by Career Politicians) will view the idea of Citizen Servants as a joke. They consider ordinary Americans to be naive, uninformed and unqualified to hold the positions to which they, the elite, were born, and for which they have been groomed. But they are wrong. When you examine the lives and the “service” of many Career Politicians, you come away thinking that just about anybody could do a better job. And if the Career Politicians tell you that you need their experience to teach the newcomers “the ropes” and “how things work in Washington”, isn’t the whole point that we are tired of “how things work in Washington”? We need people of character who will create a new way to make things work in Washington by serving with integrity, and within the constraints of the Constitution.
For any who may doubt the ability of ordinary Americans to hold high public office, just take Congress as an example. What do our Senators and Representatives really do? How hard do they work? How intelligent do you need to be? In the early days of the Obama administration, when we consider how the Stimulus bill, Obamacare, and other legislation was pushed through Congress, we learn that knowing how to read is apparently not a requirement to be a member of Congress! Not a single member of either the Senate or the House read the Stimulus bill or Obamacare before they voted on it. And the President didn’t read them before he signed it.
Let me share with you a dirty little secret. How many senators ran for President in our last election cycle? Obama, McCain, Clinton, Biden and Dodd (5% of the Senate – there were also four members of the House of Representatives). I don’t know about you, but I have always understood that running for President of the United States, even in the primaries, is a full time job. But if senators work so hard doing important “stuff” for the American people, how can they possibly find the time for a full time campaign on top of all their important senatorial “stuff”? I understand that while on the campaign trail these folks did manage to fly back to Washington from time to time to cast a vote on some of that important “stuff” that senators do. What about you? If you decided to run for President, or for Congress, do you think that your boss would let you keep your job, let you just come in one day a month for a couple of hours, and continue to pay you your full salary? And if you lose the election, will your job be waiting for you just like you never left? I don’t think so.
I would like to propose some true campaign reform to the powers that be in Congress. If what you do is so important, then the American people deserve to have uninterrupted service. Would you please pass a law that requires any federal official who chooses to run for an office other than the one he/she currently holds, to resign their office before embarking on a full time campaign? Then if they lose, they can go looking for another job. Alternatively, if they don’t want to resign their current position, they can campaign as long as they do so without missing a single day of being in their office and on the floor (when in session) so that they are not defrauding the American people who are paying their salary. As tort reform would help to get rid of frivolous law suits, so this would get rid of frivolous political campaigns (and unfortunately neither has much of a chance of being passed). Any liberals reading this should think of it as “leveling the playing field”. Certainly a public official, who continues to be paid by the American people for services that he/she cannot possibly be rendering while they are campaigning full time to get another position (which would seem to indicate a certain lack of interest in the position they currently hold), has an unfair advantage over the ordinary American who has to give up their job and find some other means of support when they commit themselves to a full time campaign to run for public office.
It has been said that President Obama is a great motivator. He, with the help of the Democratic led Congress in the first two years of his term, have certainly been an inspiration to a multitude of American conservatives who are waking up to the need to stand up and step up if America is to remain a free country that is committed to the principles of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
The call for Citizen Servants is going out across America. We need people who will answer the call, not just at the national level, but also at the State and local levels if we are to preserve the America we know and love for future generations. Liberty doesn’t flow from Washington D.C. It comes from our Creator and begins where you live, in cities and rural areas across America. It flows from the cities and rural areas to the States and from the States throughout the nation. If we are going to rein in a runaway Federal Government, we must begin by placing people of character in positions of responsibility at the local and State levels. Will you answer the call to become a Citizen Servant?
Citizen Servants can bring Real Change for a Change!
Your humble servant,
Yushud Choosewisely, ordinary American