“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned;

if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;

but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

Ezekiel 33:6

"A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."

Proverbs 25:26

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Farewell Redress

Today we observe Presidents Day, a federal holiday originally enacted by Congress in 1879 to honor President George Washington's birthday (the holiday was then simply named "Washington's Birthday"). It is customary on this holiday for the United States Senate to read George Washington's "Farewell Address" on the Senate floor. However, presenting the Farewell Address in light of Congress' recent behavior is an insult to its author, a farce, and a hypocrisy...

- by Calen Fretts,
Libertarian Candidate for U.S. Congress

The Address begins with Washington's refusal of a third Presidential term. Though no laws prevented it at the time, and though he was pressured into assuming the Presidency again by many of his peers and the American people, Washington declined to set a monarchical precedent and instead insisted that new faces and new ideas be brought into the fold. Au contraire, Congress now consists of lifelong career politicians whose apparent goal is to maintain power and pad their wallets with taxpayer money. Term limits? An alien concept to these oligarchs, despite their empty rhetoric.

Washington then warns the American people against the power of political parties and the polarization they induce. Though he concedes that there is a natural need among people to organize behind values, he is quick to point out that all too often, political parties become institutions of control, manipulation, and vengeance. What could be more prescient? Today a "left-right" political environment has been crafted, predicated upon the ability to keep the American people pointing at each other and across the aisle, instead of allowing these issues to be seen in the proper context of Congress and the government as a whole, where the blame belongs. No more is there any underlying principle which separates the Republican and Democrat politicians in DC. As the late George Carlin aptly stated, "It's all a big game, and you ain't in it."

General Washington continues by stating the importance of checks and balances and separation of powers as a means of preventing tyranny. But both current parties have been complicit in eroding these very fundamental principles of America. Both parties in Congress granted authoritarian powers to President Bush in the Patriot Act, and more recently to Obama in the National Defense Authorization Act, to circumvent the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments (as well as the entire judicial branch) and violate Americans' fundamental natural rights. Laws like these gave the executive branch powers to listen in on phone calls of innocent Americans without a warrant, to seize their bank records, and now to indefinitely detain them without trial or due process, powers given nowhere in the Constitution. And these are only two examples. What's next?

Next, the "Father of our country" articulates support for a balanced federal budget. But the Senate has not even passed a budget whatsoever in over 1000 days. The House is content with borrowing (and deficit spending) 43 cents on the dollar. This is a group of people content with spending $40,000 of taxpayer money every second. The idea of more than 10 members in all of Congress even seriously considering the possibility of a "balanced budget" is so far removed from reality it makes the head spin.

Interestingly enough, the largest part of the Farewell Address is spent discussing foreign relations. Washington advocates a policy of good faith, justice, and neutrality towards all nations. He warns that long-term attitudes of hostility (or, conversely, exaggerated alliance) will cloud the nation's judgment in international affairs. A far cry from the situation of war (without Constitutionally-mandated declaration) against the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and sanctions (acts of war) against the people of Iran and Cuba, and entangling alliances, and hundreds of billions of foreign aid, and hundreds of military bases around the world, which Congress and the President has dragged our nation into today.

Government was intended to embrace public servitude, not societal architecture. Their role is to enforce the rule of law, not to tell us and others what to do and how to live.

Does Congress believe in the advice of our Founding Fathers, such as George Washington, or not? "By their fruit you will recognize them." It seems clear that the current crop of politicians will only continue to give lip service to the political, economic, social, and foreign policies espoused by men much wiser than they, whom set up the most magnificent form of government in the history of mankind; that which the authoritarians now in power seek to tear down.

It seems the Senate has confused "Farewell" with the last name of their favorite modern author. Perhaps this year they should consider reading from Congress' new playbook, George Orwell's "1984", instead.




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