According to legend, on September 17, 1787 — the day the Constitutional Convention adjourned — Benjamin Franklin walked through the streets of Philadelphia, where an anxious crowd gathered around him. A woman asked Dr. Franklin: “What kind of government have you given us?” And Dr. Franklin replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
These days, we — the American people — face a daunting question: Can we keep this great republic? Can we preserve a government of the people, by the people, and for the people? Or will we repeat the errors of other nations, shrug off the responsibilities of liberty, and entrust our destiny to a bureaucratic elite?
Let there be no mistake: After years of bad policy and broken politics, our country is at a crossroads. We are in the midst of our worst economic crisis in decades. Fifteen million Americans are out of work. The average American household has lost 20 percent of its wealth. And the federal government’s finances are in disarray.
Last year, the federal budget deficit tripled in size, reaching an all-time record of $1.4 trillion. This year we are expected to run an even larger deficit. And according to President Obama, the government will add another $5 trillion to the debt in the next five years. That is unsustainable. There is simply not enough money in the world to pay for all of these debts without raising interest rates or devaluing the dollar (or both).
We owe it to our children and grandchildren to stop these spending policies that weaken our economy at the expense of China and other powers. We cannot let this problem fester any longer. Action must be taken before the problem becomes unmanageable.
Every day, our survival is threatened by radical Islamic terrorists whose aim is to kill innocent men, women, and children, even at the cost of their own lives.
Vital American institutions — from our schools to our banks to our hospitals — are being threatened by more federal control and interference.
Our families are being harmed by an erosion of traditional values.
Our entire culture is under siege from a “just do it” mentality that leaves no room for sacrifice, service, or patriotism.
The spirit of September 12, 2001 — the feeling that we are one people united by our love of one country — has been lost but not forgotten.
We must recapture that spirit to tackle the tough problems that confront us.
Personally, I believe there is nothing wrong with the American government that can’t be cured by the wisdom of the American people. The key is for Congress to start listening to the people and work with them on a new policy agenda.
In stark contrast to the backrooms and arrogance that symbolize those currently running Washington, House Republicans want to hear what you think should be a part of that agenda.
Central to this effort is a new online forum, AmericaSpeakingOut.com, where you can lend your voice to building a new agenda. Whether it’s on the economy, spending, values, national security, or another topic, we are asking Americans to speak out and help us build an agenda that reflects their priorities.
Using the best of social media, on AmericaSpeakingOut.com you are able to submit a policy solution, promote your priorities, debate the ideas posted by other Americans, and share the conversation with your friends and neighbors via Facebook and Twitter. It is our hope that AmericaSpeakingOut.com will become the home to an unprecedented online conversation between Americans and those elected to represent them.
Later this year, House Republicans will take the ideas from AmericaSpeakingOut.com and put together an historic agenda that can transcend politics and get America back on track.
Now is America’s time to speak out. Will you join us? Please go to AmericaSpeakingOut.com today and start a conversation about the ideas, principles, and values you care about. With your support and active participation, we can change Washington and keep this great republic our Founders bestowed to us.