Editor's note:This is the third column in a three-part series
Reason #25 is what encouraged me to get into the health care debate in the first place. That reason would be President Obama. After his speech to the Nation, I gave myself the same advice I give to hundreds of folks who have and are learning about our Country in the ELL Constitution Clubs I began almost five years ago.
You see, the ELL Constitution Clubs don't read what others say about decisions coming out of the Supreme Court - we read the actual decisions.
People of all political persuasions have seen for their own eyes that we cannot trust the media to tell us the truth — period! So, I felt it my obligation to read the actual proposed legislation touted by the President. I would rather read what he is backing than believe what any talking head or newspaper has to say about his Plan.
First, I looked for the President's Plan. Let me save you some time. You won't find it anywhere. The only document purporting to be his Plan is (1) nothing more than a summary of his speech that (2) contradicts much of the proposed House Bill 3200 everyone speaks about.
Well, I am not going to waste my time reading 1,017 pages of the House Bill the President said he will not sign. Nor am I going to waste my time reading a conceptual outline of his Plan. The President has countless czars and a staff with a seemingly bottomless budget. I request to see his Plan in legislative form, for anything less is a useless enterprise.
I can tell you firsthand that actual legislation is often a far cry from "concept." All of you out there who have read the War Powers Cases in my Clubs know that our leaders failed us with the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005. The Government sought to enforce the provisions of that Act in a case (Hamdan v Rumsfeld) that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court in 2006.
Only one problem - Congress forgot to provide the date when its provisions were to become effective. Lives hung in the balance based upon a default ruling that when effective dates are not made clear, the ambiguity goes to the challenger.
Alleged enemies of this Country won that battle because 535 members of Congress and President Bush failed to clearly provide a date for the Act's intended birth. So much for concept. I prefer reality.
When Senator Durbin was asked whether the President's Plan had been put in legislative format, his response was that we should all trust our President. I will say it if no one else will. Senator Durbin, your advice is un-American. When the P.C. police come to my door, I will quote Framer Alexander Hamilton: "For it is truth, which the experience of ages has attested, that the people are always most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion."
Federalist #25 - December 21, 1787. Trust and verify, Mr. President. Let us see your proposed legislation so that we ourselves can verify that the promises you made in your speech are reflected in the actual legislation you want us to support.
I have been silent for most of my 58 years. You know, work hard, make a living and get out of Dodge - day after day after day. People ask me why I now risk "laying it on the line" with articles such as this. My response brings me to reasons #26 and #26+ — me and mine (you and yours).
Consider your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and, for those of you in the Greatest Generation, your great great grandchildren. We have two granddaughters, 7 months and 18 months.
What a joy! No longer can I watch from the sidelines while my Country becomes unrecognizable.
I never had to face the prospect of dying for my Country on the battlefield. Sounding a public warning in this manner is no risk at all in comparison to the one million plus who have lost their lives to preserve freedom for you and me. Simply put, I can no longer take the risk that a failure to voice my concerns may in some small way contribute to my family's loss of the freedoms I knew as a child.
Please think about the State of the Union. Democrats insult you by denying you access to how they wish to control your lives (Part One) and Republicans placate you with the least worst solution to that denial (Part Two). Is this really the best we can do?
If you believe you could not possibly make a difference, I have been where you are and have felt the same. But, together, we can make a difference. We can do our part to preserve the grandest experiment in freedom that has ever existed. I urge you to "get off the couch" and give me a call. It just might be the most important call you ever make for those who follow after you.
In the alternative, you can work hard, earn a living, pay those taxes and get out of Dodge every day while reasons 1 through 25 continue to treat you like mindless lemmings willing to follow them off the cliff of ignorance. Wake up America. The freedoms others (and, perhaps, some of you) have fought so hard to preserve will never survive a People who place Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, David Letterman and the defense of Roman Polanski higher on their list of things to do with their time than the hard work of self-governing.
Ben Franklin said: "It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." And I say, "An "epidemic of ignorance" is the greatest threat to this Republic.