I woke with a start at 4 AM this morning. I felt a sense of foreboding and the same dread when I got a call another eerie dawn three years ago which marked the first day without Grandpa. I don't know why, but I've been thinking a lot about him lately...having trouble sleeping...waking early. And here it is early morning again and finally it is emerging why he's been in my thoughts so much these last days. I think he'd want me to write this letter...to all our kids.
Dad was in the Millright's union. He was a hard worker and proved himself on the job rising in his position of labor to eventually owning his own company (and got to see the other side of unions). But if Grandpa was anything, he was a patriot. At age 17, during World War 2, he joined the Navy and that experience and love of liberty and country shaped the remainder of his life.
He was a good man who was honest even when it was not politically acceptable to be so. Grandpa's public political life started when he got involved as an alderman in Burbank, IL. He got elected I am sure because of his intelligence and easy going personality. He got along with others and always had a lot of friends. Many of these friends came to him for advice because he listened more than he talked and when he talked he waited until he had something of value to say. He meant what he said and said what he meant. You could always depend on him to follow through. And he expected the same of all of us kids. He would be more disappointed in us if we lied than if we failed. Failure was OK if we had honestly tried at something and followed through till the end.
I remember that, as an alderman of our ward, Dad got a lot of phone calls after work. Mom did not appreciate these as each one would take quite a bit of time because my dad took his responsibility very seriously. This caused more than annoyance at home. Because he was honest, it was hard for him to accept the expectations placed on him to go with the status quo and be a place holder for the "powers that be." He was not a "yes" man and this eventually made him somewhat unpopular; he voted for what was right and true and this made some people with power very angry at him. My sister and I, at the time in high school, had become lifeguards at the local park district pool. We had always been excellent swimmers, had taken the training courses, passed our tests, were interviewed and hired. Again, our parents always expected us to do our best so we were excellent at what we did. But because Dad didn't "go along to get along" these jobs were announced to be "political favors" and were taken from us as a punishment to him. He was beside himself that we were hurt because of him. He had gotten into politics to make a difference. But because he had no aspirations of ascension, he eventually finished out his term to not return. We easily found other employment but he never forgot what happened to us because of his integrity.
Integrity somehow falls out of politics. My parents originally were members of what is now called the "old Democrat Party" or the "Kennedy Democrats." John F. Kennedy was no saint but that was before media gave everyone who entered politics a thorough anal exam. When we now look deeply into President Kennedy's past, we see many moments in his private life that would not have made my father admire him. But that kind of behavior was not in the public eye then or maybe it was the beginning of poor behavior being shielded by the media for one party over the other. I'm not a historian so I cannot say when that trend began. Regardless, in his public life, Kennedy , though not a perfect leader, lead with integrity. He was trusted and well loved by the people he served. And he was a servant--not someone who was in office for ideology or personal gain. I was in 5th grade when he was assassinated. By the time I was in high school, all hell had broken out and the Viet Nam war was raging. Boys were dying overseas, no one seemed to know why we were there and politicians, to my young mind, for now the second time, became people not to trust. The Viet Nam years spawned a new generation of liberals and I was proud to be one of them--excitedly participating in a "walk-out" against the war in high school.
Liberalism had already gotten a stranglehold of America by the time I was a a young mother but I didn't even notice. Rights were being eroded more and more every year. What started as an erosion of small rights...like when smokers could smoke and where has ballooned into New Yorkers being denied a large size soft drink. What started as a seemingly good idea--a way to help the impoverished (who by the way have grown by leaps and bounds because of these programs)-the Great Society--has turned into the Welfare State, Baby Mamas, ghettos and an huge erosion of culture and family. What started as "caring about the earth" has turned into farmers' lives being destroyed because of a fish and CA residents having to live without using plastic bags.
As our country began to spend more and more on entitlement and other "programs," our pocketbook became smaller and smaller. When people begin to depend on someone for their basic necessities, they become a slave to that someone and are controlled by them. A short history lesson:
"Until 1937, for the first 150 years of its existence, US government spending was less than 10% of the nation's GDP. In 1937, with vastly expanded powers, Congress embarked on a spending spree that has only grown over time. Since 1937, in war and in peace, in recession and expansion, under Democrats and Republicans, government spending as a percentage of GDP has only increased, until today it is nearly 35%."
I could go on and on with myriad examples but you get my point. We've been living like the frog in the boiling caldron and the temperature is just now at boiling. And we have a president who disregards our Constitution and Bill of Rights. For some examples,
--Launching an illegal war in Libya. Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the power to declare war. Under the congressionally enacted War Powers Act, Mr. Obama had 60 days to get congressional approval after U.S. bombs started dropping in Tripoli, but he didn’t bother. Putting the Muslim Brotherhood in charge of yet another Arab nation appeared to be a higher priority than following the law.
--Undermining the nation’s armed forces. Article II, Section 2, names the president commander in chief. Instead of asserting American power, Mr. Obama projects weakness, emboldening our enemies. The murder of our ambassador and three other staff members in Benghazi, Libya, and the attacks on our embassies in Egypt and Yemen are bitter fruit of that reality. In addition, Mr. Obama rammed through Congress a bill homosexualizing the military despite failing to make the case that this won’t hurt readiness, morale, retention or recruitment. He is unfit to be commander in chief.
--Violating religious freedom. Mr. Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services ignored the First Amendment by issuing a Soviet-style order to Catholic and other faith-based institutions to violate their beliefs and provide insurance covering abortifacients, contraceptives and sterilizations.
--Appointing agency “czars” without Senate approval. Article II, Section 2, gives the president the power to appoint ambassadors, judges and top agency officials, but only with the “advice and consent of the Senate.” Mr. Obama has appointed, without Senate approval, more than two dozen czars in federal agencies.
--Making illegal recess appointments. Article II, Section 2 allows the president to “fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate.” While the Senate was in session, Mr. Obama made recess appointments of Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three members of the National Labor Relations Board.
--Forcing Americans to buy health insurance. Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the power to regulate commerce and levy taxes. It does not give Congress the power to force Americans to engage in commerce. During policy debates in 2009, the White House denied that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was a “tax.” But in court, the administration argued that it was a tax after all. In a shocking ruling, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. bought the logic, upholding this unconstitutional monstrosity.
--Refusing to enforce laws that he doesn’t like. Article II, Section 3 states that the president “shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Mr. Obama directed Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to ignore the Defense of Marriage Act and even work against it in the federal courts. Mr. Holder also suspended newly enacted photo ID voter laws in Texas and South Carolina.
--Stonewalling on Fast and Furious. The Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “walked” more than 2,000 firearms to drug gangs across the border to Mexico. U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed, along with at least 100 Mexicans. The administration has shown contempt for Congress, and Mr. Holder denied knowing about the debacle despite evidence indicating otherwise. This is not “faithfully” executing the law or defending America’s sovereign borders.
--Violating equal protection and voting rights. The 14th Amendment guarantees “due process” and “equal protection of the laws.” The 15th Amendment guarantees that “the right of citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of race.” Mr. Holder ditched the case of New Black Panther Party members videotaped intimidating Philadelphia voters in 2008. Two former Justice Department officials testified that employees were told to ignore white complainants.
--Using the EPA to attack America’s energy industry. In 2010, the Senate refused to pass the “cap-and-trade” bill that would have created a carbon-tax system, vastly increasing federal power over energy. The Environmental Protection Agency declared carbon dioxide a pollutant anyway and began exerting raw bureaucratic power. Mr. Obama’s green zealots nixed the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada and virtually shut down new oil exploration and drilling.
--Allowing the FCC to grab the Internet. The Telecommunications Act gives the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authority over wire and broadcasting, but not broadband. Congress and a federal appeals court rejected the FCC’s claims of authority, yet the FCC released “net neutrality” rules in December 2010. This violates the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. The FCC has no more authority over the Internet than it does over the musings of Vice President Joseph R. Biden.
--Attacking a state for upholding federal law. The 10th Amendment says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In July 2010, the Justice Department sued Arizona for a law requiring state officials to enforce federal immigration laws. Nothing in the Constitution prohibits states from assisting in enforcing federal laws. Meanwhile, the Justice Department ignores “sanctuary cities” that openly violate federal law.
--Giving a foreign leader platforms to denounce an American state. In May 2010, Mexican President Felipe Calderon addressed Congress, where he blasted Arizona to cheers from Democrats. Mr. Obama joined him later at a White House press conference where both men trashed Arizona. The president takes an oath that he will “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” which guarantees that states are part of the United States, not part of a foreign country by default.
--Using the National Labor Relations Board as a goon squad. The NLRB sued in April 2010 to shut down the Boeing Co.’s new $750 million Dreamliner plant in right-to-work South Carolina because unions objected. Nowhere does the Constitution give the federal government the power to tell businesses where they can operate.
We can't forget our $16 trillion dollar debt, more debt created than that of the other presidents before him. And then there is Benghazi where the character, competence and credibility of Obama and his entire national security team have been called into question. There is more and will be more in a second term. This knowledge has created a fear in me that is astronomical especially as we approach Tuesday. I understand that the main stream media has kept this information from the public ear so that many do not realize what they are losing. As stated in The Erosion of Rights:
"Rights do not disappear suddenly and noticeably, but slowly and often subtly. The price of democracy is eternal vigilance, but not all people are vigilant all the time, and most are willing to see various freedoms erode and even disappear.
Fear drives people to consciously give up rights in exchange for security.
Apathy permits one group that does not value a particular freedom to stand by and watch while it is taken away from another group that does value it.
Out of Hate one group will actively try to oppress another and take away their rights.
Out of Selfishness one group will infringe on another's rights for their own economic benefit.
Ignorance lets some people sleep while the rights they never knew they had slowly disappear.
Conceit describes the justification of the 'elite' to make decisions for the masses as a parent does for a child. Friedrich Hayek called this the 'fatal conceit' because of the impossibility for a bureaucracy, however smart and well-educated, to be better informed than the people collectively.
Distrust of others' judgment and motivations makes us willing to give up our own freedom in order to restrict theirs.
Impatience with the pace of non-coercive solutions to very real and troubling problems leads people to reach for the easiest solution: pass a law."
"A democracy is measured by how it treats its minorities, but great energy and will are required to defend the rights of other groups with which you don't personally identify. The Holocaust was not an aberration, but is repeated all around us on a smaller scale every day."
As a young woman, I was not paying attention. By the time 9/11 happened, I began to be increasingly aware of America's spiral into liberalism as I watched a liberal media attack President Bush. His lack of defense was one of the reasons we got Barack Obama. Liberalism had a great triumph in his election. The threat of a behemoth Obamacare literally caused me to get in my car and drive to Washington DC to protest.
At this point in time, 2009, I was fully awake. I returned in 2010 to protest its passing--a bill so large and overpowering it will finish the job of shredding our precious Constitution and control over 1/6th of the economy pushing us over the fiscal cliff and into socialism. If you wonder what socialism will be like in its totality, please watch this advertisement:
And so we come to this letter I am writing to you. Despite its length, I've asked you to read it in its entirety. You love me--you'll do it as you've done so many other things because you love me. You are "humoring" me by reading this. Until recently, some of you haven't voted. Some of you have told me you don't know who you'll vote for. Some of you have told me you delete my emails filled with evidence of what I've told you today. I love YOU. That is why I have written this piece--I will be 59 later this month. If fate allows, I figure I have 15-20 years left on this earth. YOU are the reason I have been fighting night and day for every local campaign to save our country. It is essential that we stop Obama--with a new president--but also with an overturned Senate and a solid House--to keep them all in line to repeal Obamacare, bring order and the Constitution back into our governance and reduce the size of government so you can have liberty for you, for my grandchildren, for our country.
If you know who were the last winners of American Idol or the plots of latest sitcoms better than you do who is representing you in Congress, you and your children are in deep trouble. If we are lucky enough to remove Obama from office on Tuesday and to get a majority in the Senate, we will have a short breather to begin the long hard task to save America--it will take more than this election to do that. If we lose either of those objectives, we will either sink into the hole of socialism or tread water for short while before we sink. Voting is not enough, dear children. You have to get involved. If Obama is re-elected, you will be the first generation of a socialist America. When Obamacare is in full force, in 2014, you'll see and feel it for the first time. You will complain but there will be nothing you can do about it. Oh, Congress will tinker with it--for decades--but it will never get smaller or less powerful. It will only grow until your memory of liberty was a thing of the past. Obama will pass more and more executive orders so that at the end of four years, even those who have not been paying attention, will notice the change. I'm afraid it will be too late then.
Tomorrow night I'm going to bed knowing I have done everything I can to save this country. I've made phone calls, walked in parades, contributed more than I could afford to conservative candidates, walked streets I never knew to try to convince people what was happening and how they needed to vote. Did I wake up late to the reality of liberalism? Yes. But I'm not going down quietly--without a fight. Grandpa was a proud Democrat when the Democrats had morals--before they made a far-left turn. He died a staunch Conservative and I will do the same.
After Tuesday, I don't know what the forecast will be for our liberty. I sincerely doubt America can withstand another four years of untethered liberalism. It is my fervent prayer that you wake to the reality before all your liberties are gone and that you begin to act every day to keep or regain them. That will mean beginning to read more, getting involved locally, and knowing for what and why you are voting (and reading my emails once in awhile)!
I love you more than words can say and I promise I will fight until my last breath to restore America for you and for my grandchildren whomever they may be. I pray you, too, will pick up the gauntlet before I am gone and continue the fight for those you love.
Love you always,