Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law
The absymal “No-Arama” in the Senate over immigration reform was pitiful and a microcosm of the shameful state of our political system today. Four different proposals were presented, each with various elements designed to partly or completely reform the failed immigration system. None were even debated. Our so-called political leaders couldn’t even find the courage to allow any of them to be talked about. Unless one of the proposals advanced their electoral prospects, they shied away from even allowing it to be discussed out of fear of being tagged in favor of amnesty or not supporting the Dreamers. Once again, the over-riding desire to be re-elected and/or to remain in favor with the “Base” defeated any notion of what was good for the American people.
A little history lesson may be in order. In 1776, slavery was already a very contentious issue. Many, if not most, of the northern states had outlawed slavery or had very restrictive slave laws. The Southern states, of course, were firmly in favor of slavery as the foundation of their economic system. Thomas Jefferson’s initial draft of the Declaration of Independence included, among the litany of the causes that compelled independence, one that attacked King George III for promoting slavery. That one provision could have defeated the entire effort to codify why independence; the Southern states were prepared to walk out of the Convention if that provision remained in the Declaration of Independence. The Northern opponents of slavery were no less committed to the end of slavery; Benjamin Franklin, for example, helped found the first anti-slavery movement and organization in Pennsylvania.
So what saved the Declaration of Independence and, possibly, the struggle for independence?
Leaders who recognized the absolute necessity of acting on behalf of ALL the people, even when it meant compromising their personal beliefs for the greater good. The goal in 1776 was the need and desire of the American people for a document around which they could rally for Independence. The goal today is not independence per se but still the greater good, That goal was sadly absent in the recent Senate actions.
When are we going to rise up and say to our elected representatives ENOUGH!!? You were sent to Washington to do a job, not work on your own behalf. You, regardless of party affiliation, do not have a monopoly on righteous. If you can find other members of Congress who truly desire to work on behalf of the people and are willing to engage in the dialogue and compromise from which comes real solutions, for God’s sake DO SO. Get out of your comfort zone and talk to real people that you represent, even those that didn’t vote for you. Justify the faith that has been put in you by ACTION, not stalemate. Please; we need you on our side.
Is it possible that there are philosophical descendants of the Founding Fathers in Congress today? If so, I pray they speak up.