Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Open Letter to Newly Elected House Members

It's usually the "well-bred" and well-connected, those from "important" families, mostly of wealth (or who marry into wealth), that become U.S. Senators.

So I would only like to appeal to those of you who run as candidates for the House of Representatives; those who run and are elected on the basic principals and values of your local constituents (the common people), and usually come from modest backgrounds; and can be as unknown, poor, and as anonymous as myself.

Once elected, please don't fall into the trappings of  the Washington D.C. elite (such as the U.S. Senators). While I imagine many of you will be well-educated, professional, and come from more "worldly" backgrounds, some of you might be like more like Jed Jed Clampett when he first moved to Beverly Hills. You might be intimidated by the presence of the powerful men and women of our leadership, maybe even overwhelmed. But the Washington insiders will try to influence all of you, and make you feel naive and uninformed. They might smile and be polite, but they will only try to manipulate you into being a part of their inner circle, to continue on with the present polices, and make you a part of "the club" that has caused so much hardship for the once-middle-class.

At first, you might feel giddy with the dramatic increase in your pay ($174,000-a-year) and be surprised by all the perks and benefits, such as the fantastic government healthcare, something that the GOP wants to deny to everyone else. You'll have the financial independence to shop and travel, and to live a much better life than you previous could have before - but please don't forget the millions of others who are still struggling just to survive.

Stay true to your reasons for running for public office (as a public servant, not as an opportunist), and don't be corrupted by the power that comes from holding office; we've seen with certainty that power corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Don't forget your roots, as it will take an extraordinary will and strength to overcome the temptations, influence, and status quo that prevails in Washington D.C. - - - we've already seen too many of our elected leaders promise one thing just to get themselves elected, then turn around and do just the exact opposite. It's infuriating to the voters.

We've seen people like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann go on "glamour-thons", riding around in pimped-up buses while traveling the country on their book tours...or making the rounds in media appearances as if they were famous celebrities, rather than humble servants working diligently for the causes of the common people.

You will be overwhelmed by the trappings of Congress, the elaborate hallways and offices and meeting rooms; all those famous political faces you  once saw on TV will now be a part of your daily life. You'll be invited to VIP gala affairs, and attend fancy dinners and banquets with expensive menus, and receive Five-Star service as thought you were royalty. You'll be assigned a staff of people that answer only to you and given an office allowance. People will seek you out, and some will adore you with admiration. After a while, too many politicians begin to think about themselves as being "special"...that they ARE one of the privileged and elite, and very different from us "commoners"...those who you left behind in your small home town to represent.

Don't become ruthlessly ambitious with your new-found fame and power...don't be awed when the president shakes your hand for the very first time; and then think, "I'm now one of them", or soon you'll begin to aspire for even more wealth, power, and fame. You'll begin playing favorites and maneuvering to get on influential sub-committees or entertain dreamy thoughts of running for U.S. Senator, or even for President of the United States. Lofty goals to be sure, but don't forget the middle-class while you're being driven around Washington D.C. in a limousine or flying home in a private jet, financed by the corporate influences that is a cancer in Washington D.C.

Don't be a "flip-flopper" on the issues you campaigned on and be too afraid to stand up to others that would bully you by holding some legislation hostage to your vote on someone else's pork-barrel spending. Don't be afraid to expose the corruption and wrong-doing in government...making waves. Don't be blackmailed, and if you're a man, TRY to keep it in your pants and don't pose for pictures and post them on Facebook or Twitter...women aren't impressed.

When you do get to Washington D.C., wearing your brand new spiffy suit and polished shoes, don't think of yourself as special or better than those you represent back home. Don't be taken in by the backroom diplomatic deals that compromises your values. Don't let lobbyists attempt to influence your votes with "campaign contributions". Don't think about the next election cycle, think about what your constituents need today.

If you see a Koch brother in the halls of Congress and he approaches you with a false smile and a fat envelope, spit in his face. Then vote the exact opposite way he would want you to, and then you will know you are doing the right thing for the folks back home - - - and you'll be re-elected in a landslide without ever having to pay for one single campaign ad. As many of you already know, you don't have to be a rich big shot to get elected to the House of Representatives, just be honest, sincere, and hard-working.

And finally, don't impose your personal views on others, and represent the majority while at the same time, protecting the minority. If all polls show that 85% of Americans want to end oil subsidies, but want to save Medicare, don't vote against the wants, the desires, and the will of  THE PEOPLE....in other words, please don't be another lying, back-stabbing, hypocritical and greedy politician...but rather a bold and noble statesman who has dignity, morality, and class (like the few we once had many years ago).

And finally, when you DO vote against your constituent's wishes, the next time you hold a town hall meeting, don't have it on private property so you can have anyone who disagrees with you arrested for speaking up - - - as was the case with Colonel Allen West when he had Nicole Sandler arrested. Instead, rather than being a sniveling two-faced coward by trying to control the message, be open and honest and face the wrath of those you betrayed.

Do all these things, and encourage others in the House of Representatives to do the same thing by setting an example, and if they don't, go on TV to expose them. Then maybe, like a huge cargo ship, we can slowly change the course of this country...and restore the American Dream for the middle-class....the "commoners".

“I,______________ do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

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