If Washington, D.C., is out of control, it is because we the people, who rule through our representatives, have faded into obscurity. The responsibility of maintaining and insisting upon a small, coherent, common-sense government lies with us. We, and our predecessors, however, have let go of the wheel. Consequentially, we are careening into a head-on collision with a fate wrought by an apathetic citizenry — the demise of our republican form of government.
Many simply shrug their shoulders and say, “Well, our country is changing. Nothing we can do. It’s the sunrise on socialism and the sunset on republicanism.” This type of apathy will instigate the winds of “hope and change” to blow our Bill of Rights, our liberties, our freedoms into extinction. Just look at today’s headlines. Read them and weep — or read them and revitalize.
“But how can I make a difference?” you ask. One way is to call your representative — regularly. Have you ever called your congressman or senator? If you have, did you get a voicemail? Did you get a voicemail box that was full? Did no one answer at all? This is simply unacceptable. We are a republic. We rule through our representatives. They are in office because of our vote and, newsflash, we pay their salaries. How quickly they forget this. How quickly we become a nuisance. With their pushback, how quickly we retreat into the oblivion. “Socialism is just on the horizon and there’s nothing I can do about it” becomes the mantra of the masses.
Yet our voice, our opinions, our needs are their mandate. The only way to combat this obscurity and this black hole of silence is to be active. Our republic only works if we participate and challenge the status quo. Democrats know this tactic very well. They communicate by demonizing and attacking. These reprehensible tactics are not recommended; however, persistent and consistent pressure and a viable presence are recommended.
Apathy will only lead to an atrophy of the most important aspect of government — you, your voice, your active participation, and your unwillingness to shy away and blend into the chaos. Our republic was not built by wallflowers. Our republic was built by men and women who were endowed with educated reasoning and driven by a dogged determination of justice.
Justice is not served when you call your representative and cannot reach a human voice. Justice is not served if you get only the dark abyss of a voicemail machine, never to know if your voice was heard. This is incredibly frustrating. If our government is so big that a congressman, and his varied staff, cannot answer the phone, then limit the government. Limiting the government would limit their power. This is why you must be heard.
Let’s call for all congressmen and senators to answer their phones. No voicemail allowed. Obviously, our elected officials cannot always answer their phones, but their staff or their interns can. I’ve been in their offices when this has taken place. They actually pay attention to these calls, but they have to receive them first and they have to answer the phone. It can be done. It should be done. It must be done.
Thus, I recommend you call your representative. They are listed on the web per your county. Call them. Do they answer their phones? If they do not, launch a respectful social-media campaign: “Is anybody there? Does anybody care? Does anybody see what I see?” These are the words of George Washington and John Adams from the musical 1776. They are the perfect slogan for today. Hello? Is anybody there? Does anybody care? Does anybody see what I see? Somehow they can’t see that raising the debt ceiling only raises the debt. Somehow they can’t see that spying on their own citizens via e-mail and cell phones is a blatant violation of our 4th Amendment. Oh, those pesky Bill of Rights and that quirky thing called a Constitution. Somehow they can’t see that chatting with Iran as Iran puts the final touches on their nuclear bombs is idiotic! Is anybody there? Does anybody care? Does anybody see what I see?”
It’s time to turn on the lights and see if anyone is home. It’s time to reach into the dark abyss of no man’s land and make sure that when we call our representative a human voice answers the phone. It’s our job to vote them out of office if they do not. We don’t need term limits in the legislative branch. We need an active voting populace to do their job and an active citizenry paying attention. Vote them into office and keep them there if they do their job. Once they get lazy or hazy vote them out of office. Vote in fresh, enthusiastic representatives who will honor their duty: rule with the wisdom of a republican.
Call your representative. If they, or a staff member, do not answer, then e-mail them and recommend, politely, that someone answer the phone and take a note regarding your call. Then start a respectful Facebook and/or Twitter social-media campaign to get your representatives to answer their phones. “@[your representative] ‘Is anybody there? Does anybody care? Does anybody see what I see?’ Please answer your phone.”
Don’t blend into the chaos. Step forward with dogged determination. Only this will combat the winds of “hope and change” with the steadiness of “liberty and justice.”