THE NEW CONGRESS:
A MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS AND MORAL LEADERSHIP, OR...?
January 7, 2007
The new Congress, what will be its fundamental base of leadership action? Currently, the scrutinizing spotlight is sharply focused on that Congressional Body. Will the Congress make decisions based upon high moral principles drawn from the market of ideas? Or, what could contribute to their diminishing grade in history and to the detriment of the Nation, will they take the low ground and be the same old political buzz saw of "business as usual" ? The American people are restless and waiting.
It was September 11, 2001, when 4 freedom-hating zealots tried to snuff out the basic freedoms which make the United States the greatest freedom loving country in the world. The terrorists hijacked 4 airplanes and crashed them into 3 of their 4 planned targets: the Pentagon, and the 2 financial towers in New York City. This attack shocked the U.S. And it shocked the world. It produced death and destruction, anger and misery, sorrow and an awakening to the perils of our time. Just why was the U.S. attacked? Was it, and is it today, because our Country is the leader of the free world where freedom and justice prevail for a freedom loving people... Where freedom of religion, speech, and markets prevail, including the free market of ideas?
It was President Lyndon B. Johnson who wisely said in 1965 at his inaugural address "Under their covenant of justice, liberty, and union we have become a nation-prosperous, great and mighty. And we have kept our freedom. But we have no promise from GOD that our greatness will endure. We have been allowed by Him to seek greatness with the sweat of our hands and the strengths of our spirits. In each generation, with toil and tears, we have had to earn our heritage again."
President Johnson was correct in his statement, and the torch of freedom has now been passed to our generation. It is now our opportunity, privilege, and obligation to do for our generation what others have so valiantly done for us. We dare not shrink from this duty. We trust that nearly all people in this great country of ours, as well as the Congress of the Untied States... on both sides of the aisle... want the ongoing fulfillment of the American dream. We want continued freedom, a chance for prosperity, and to become the best we can be. We want healthy children, good schools, crime-free streets, a good job, economic growth, and financial stability. All of us want much of the same things which freedom can provide. The key question is "how" to achieve and maintain these freedoms. And that is the issue and searching question in the free market of ideas. Let us all start on the same page and recognize the great virtue in the statement once said by the late President Gerald R. Ford "A government that is large enough to give us all we want is also strong enough to take it all away."
This is a new year and the new 110th Congress is now underway. There are a number of winners from the last general election. It is not a stretch to call Hollywood a winner in the 2006 election. It is surely true that the rank and file voters had more on their minds than the future of the entertainment and media industry. However, it is expected that the entertainment industry will attempt to capitalize on old friends who are taking power on Capitol Hill. We are certain in our hope that the new leadership in the Congress will hold high the great freedoms of this Country including the freedom of ideas. The currant times are serious times. This is the time for examining the issues on the strength of the merits of the message and not on the personality of the messenger. Let issue by issue and proposed solutions stand the test in the market place of ideas. It was Samuel Adams of Massachusetts who once observed "it dose not take a majority to prevail but rather a tireless group of hard hitting thinkers to win the issues for the people." This is no time for making points by name calling, political maneuvering or the personal trashing of one another. As a good friend of ours once said, "If you need to invalidate the other person to gain advantage, you have learned nothing and gained less." Clearly, this is, if never before, a time for moral leadership based on moral principles in which to gain the high ground of moral authority.
Let the 110th Congress be a Congress where decisions are made based upon the virtue of the principles involved. It is not enough to be just against something. But rather, one must be able to discern and decide on the basis of what one is FOR and NOT just what one is AGAINST. There are a number of issues which need to be addressed immediately, several of which are: national security and protecting our country from foreign and sinister terrorists' forces; a balanced budget amendment is certainly in order; and non-retroactive term limits, health care, and tort reform must be on the front burner. Energy independence and alternative fuel sources are of prime importance. Economic factors concerning Social Security are crying to be addressed. These matters must indeed top the agenda of the new Congress. Adding to the hot button issues must be the protection of our free enterprise system, which is the backbone of our economy, by holding down taxes and redressing entitlement spending. The Wall Street Journal in December 2006 reported that 59 percent of Americans favor fewer government services and lower taxes. In fact, no Nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity. The Congress would do well to seriously examine the call of a majority of Americans who favor downsizing the role of government and reducing destructive regulative demands on individuals, and small and large businesses. A place to start on this issue would be to examine the combination of science and technology with entrepreneurship in a free market which provides better goods and services; this is indeed one of the key underpinnings of our free enterprise system.
There is no doubt, but that the time is now for the Congress and the American people to articulate and hold in trust the America hope with American solutions and expansive growth opportunities. It is incumbent on the new Congress to articulate what is their clear vision of America's future. Be advised, we cannot address the timely issues of this great nation by simply focusing on the weaknesses of those across the aisle. Clearly, the Congress must focus and stay on task, and find the genuine building blocks for the fulfillment of what is best for America and thereby identify the solutions to issues which will expand the realization of direction for security and growth. The Congress needs to unlock the market of ideas, focus on developing a climate of building solutions, and creatively approach the task of continuing the structure of protecting and maintaining the American dream. Let is be said that this 110th Congress is a Body which has became a part of the solution and is not a part of the problem. Once that has been achieved, we are well on our way toward achieving moral leadership based on moral principles. Let there be a spirit of "caring less" about who gets the credit and "caring more" about doing the job right. For it was Ronald Reagan who said so wisely "there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." And that is how we see it FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.