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How to save America

By Henry Lamb
web posted April 20, 2009

There is only one way to save this great nation: by returning to the principles of freedom set forth in the U.S. Constitution.  Last week, hundreds of thousands of people expressed their frustration with government-gone-wild by gathering in more than 300 cities across the nation in modern-day "Tea Parties."  That is T-E-A - as in Taxed Enough Already – parties.  The common theme among all these people is – "we've had enough of big government!"

The U.S. Constitution limits the power of government, but government has consistently ignored those limitations.  The only way to reverse the trend of ever-expanding government is to return to the Constitution. 

All the energy on display last week cannot simply fade away.  It must be channeled into a constructive focus that will make a difference.  One way to help restore the U.S. Constitution is to require that every new legislative proposal specify the chapter and verse of the Constitution that authorizes the proposal.  If every Congressman had to specify exactly where the Constitution authorizes his proposed legislation, there would be much less legislation proposed.

Arizona Representative John Shadegg has been trying to get Congress to enact such a law since 1994.  Every Congress since 1994 has killed the bill in committee.

If all this Tea Party energy were focused on getting every Congressman to co-sponsor Representative Shadegg's bill, Judicial Committee Chairman John Conyers could not kill the bill.  He would be forced to allow the bill to go to the House floor for a recorded vote.

 Co-sponsorship of this bill - HR450 – The Enumerated Powers Act - should become the litmus test that qualifies every candidate in every election.  If your Representative and Senators will not co-sponsor this bill, or provide an acceptable written reason why they will not, those elected officials should be targeted for replacement.

A constituent of Tennessee Representative John Tanner called his elected official with a request that Representative Tanner co-sponsor HR450, and to confirm by e-mail that he would co-sponsor the bill or explain why he would not.  To be sure the Congressman got the message, the constituent sent the same question via e-mail through an e-mail form on the Congressman's web site.

The reply from the Congressman thanked the constituent for the letter and offered the usual mealy-mouthed reply that the Congressman would keep the constituent's concerns in mind if the bill came to a vote.

The constituent tried to reply to the Congressman's e-mail, but the Congressman's system blocked all replies.    Another phone call to the Congressman's office produced a staffer who said the Congressman would "probably not" co-sponsor the bill, and that he would not explain why. 

Hundreds of people around the country had a similar experience with their congressman.  This kind of arrogant indifference to the wishes of the people who pay the salaries of these representatives is what brought the throngs of people into the streets this week.   Finally, there may be enough outrage growing to really make a difference.

What better litmus test could there be?  If a congressman is not willing to support the Constitution that he swore an oath to defend, he or she has no business in Washington.  Every congressman who refuses to co-sponsor HR450 – or provide an acceptable, written reason why not – should be identified and made a target for replacement.

What a great campaign issue for another candidate who can campaign on the fact that, for example, John Tanner refuses to support the U.S. Constitution by refusing to co-sponsor the Enumerated Powers Act, and furthermore, he refuses to explain why he will not.

It is high time to get rid of all these Democrats and Republicans who care so little about the Constitution – and their constituents – that they routinely allow the Enumerated Powers Act to die in committee year after year.

Now is the time to find out where your congressman stands on this issue.  Now is the time to be finding an alternative candidate.  In less than a year, incumbents will be sending out their fund-raising literature and making their token appearances back in the district.  If they will not co-sponsor the Enumerated Powers Act, show up at their meetings carrying signs for their opponent.

The energy generated by the Tea Parties last week cannot be allowed to dissipate.  The Tea Parties were just the first round of a world championship fight.  The second-round should be flooding Washington with multiple requests for every Congressman to co-sponsor the Enumerated Powers Act.  The third round should be identifying those Congressmen who will not support the Constitution by co-sponsoring and voting for the Enumerated Powers Act, and targeting them for replacement.  The fourth round should be finding a viable alternative candidate – as quickly as possible.  And the fifth round is to begin now to build support for the new candidate throughout the district.

The sixth round, of course, begins the rest of the fight, by replacing the bums who won't support the Constitution with new legislators who will.  Election time will be here before you know it; now is the time to start saving America by returning to our roots – the U.S Constitution. ESR

Henry Lamb is the author of "The Rise of Global Governance,"  Chairman of Sovereignty International , and founder of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO) and Freedom21, Inc.

 

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