Mark Reed has been making the rounds of Republican groups in the San Fernando Valley to drum up support for his run against Brad Sherman, a man who laughed about not reading the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill before voting for it.
"If we had read it, it would have told us nothing," Sherman contemptuously told questioners at a recent town hall meeting. At that same meeting Mark Reed stood up and challenged Sherman to a debate, as well as calling him on the Democrats' treatment of veterans.
The following is an essay by Reed, courtesy lgstarr:
"I was raised with the belief we must give back more than we take and we need to consider the impact our actions will have on the next four generations. I was taught to respect my elders and that our mothers are the matriarchs of society.
History has shown many nations what not to do and what can be done for the better of the whole. History has shown me that every path traveled has been traveled by our elders. Our only difficulties come from our selfish need to receive credit for a job well done. History has given us many wise men and women to learn from. Their written word is a tribute to the way in which they thought. Speech writers will use many quotes from a variety of speeches to express their point of view however; it still is not an original.
I do like using the written word of my elders because it will express what it is I believe best. In 1919 a Doctor Frank Crane wrote; “The best of all possible governments is that in which the last and least citizen feels he is to blame or to be praised for all the government does. The worst is that in which the largest number of citizens do not think it is any concern of theirs. All governments by a chosen few, by the richest, strongest, wisest or best, tend to keep the people in a state of childhood. The stronger the state the weaker the people. The whole people grows as a man grows, by self expression and responsibility. It is not so necessary to keep a people from making mistakes; it is necessary to make a people feel that it is responsible for its mistakes. Government’s smallest duty is ruling a people; its chief duty is educating a people.
You have heard it said that this or that nation is unfit for self government. As a matter of fact, there never was a nation fit for self government. A people grows cable of self government in only one way ----- by governing itself.” In 1966 a man came along with ideas that most dismissed, however have become more relevant as time passes. He delivered a speech with a theme worth repeating today. I made a few changes to fit this speech.
Politicians are confused and they have confused us wityh a double standard of morality. The try to keep alive a moral code for our individual conduct --- “Don’t cheat,” “Promises are sacred.” “Your word is your bond,” “Serve your fellow men’ --- but at the same time, they expect us to accept double-dealing at government levels. We have lost our capacity to get angry when decisions are not based on moral truth, but on political expediency. When small men are granted great rewards for political favors, we excuse it with the expression: “Well, that’s politics.”
I realize that modern political dialogue concerns itself largely with false image-making, rather than with legitimate debate over different viewpoints: and no candidate can hope to engage in a political contest without experiencing the deliberate distortions of his or her positions and his or her beliefs. But I sometimes wonder if we haven’t reached one of those moments in time when the stakes are too high for this kind of middle-aged juvenile delinquency. Public officials are elected primarily for one purpose—to solve problems. You have a right to ask any candidate about his or her understanding of the problems we face today, their acceptance of responsibility for solving those problems, and whether they have a fresh approach or just offers the same old bargain-basement politics-“We’ll do everything the other fellow’s been doing; only we will do it cheaper and better.”
You have the right to know—and I am obligated to tell you—where I stand and what I believe. To begin with – I am not a politician. I am an ordinary citizen with a deep-seated belief that much of what troubles us has been brought about by politicians; and it’s high time that more ordinary citizens brought the fresh air of common sense thinking to bear on these problems. We’ve had enough of the wheeling and dealing, and enough of schemers and schemes.
I think it’s time now for dreamers—practical dreamers—willing to re-implement the original dream which became this nation—that idea that has never fully been tried before in the world—that you and I have the capacity for self government - the dignity and the ability and the God-given freedom to make our own decisions, to plan our own lives and control our own destiny. Now it’s been said that nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. This took place some 225 years ago in this country.
But there is another idea abroad in the land today. Americans, divided in so many ways, are united in their determination that no area of human need should be ignored. A people that can reach out to the stars has decided that the problems of human misery can be solved and they’ll settle for nothing less. The big question is not whether—but how, and at what price.
We can’t accept the negative philosophy of those who close their eyes, hoping the problems will disappear, or that questions of unemployment, inequality of opportunity, or the needs of the elderly and the sick will take care of themselves.
But, neither should we unquestioningly follow those others who pass the problems along to the Federal government, abdicating their personal responsibility. The problem with that solution is that for every ounce of federal help we get, we surrender an ounce of personal freedom. What is obviously needed is not more government, but better government, seeking a solution to the problems that will not add to the bureaucracy, or unbalance the budget, or further centralize power.
There is no major problem that cannot be resolved by a vigorous and imaginative Federal administration willing to utilize the tremendous potential of our people. We have the greatest concentration of industrial and scientific research facilities of any country. Tens of thousands of successful and highly talented men and women are in our business communities; colleges and universities are rich in possibilities for study and research; charities and philanthropic enterprises are many, and there are innumerable people of creative talent in the professions.
The Federal government cannot substitute for the American people and should recognize that it cannot possibly match the great potential of the people, and thus, must coordinate the creative energies of the people for the good of the whole.
Now this isn’t the time for some glorified program for passing the buck and telling people to play Samaritan and solve the problems on their own, while government stands by to hand out Good Conduct ribbons.
There is a definite and active role for government, but the idea of an economy planned and controlled by government just doesn’t make sense. No matter how talented the government is, it is incapable of making the multiple decisions that must be made every day in the market place and in our community living.
The present administration’s approach to our deteriorating business climate is always another pill out of the same old bottle. Build another bureau, add another tax, and put the unemployed on the public payroll. We need to turn to those who truly have the capacity to create jobs and prosperity. Ask the best brains of industry and the community:
What is needed to make America once again attractive to industry? Ask them to evolve the plans for creating job opportunities and on-the-job training—because employment and prosperity are the function and responsibility of private enterprise. It is government’s responsibility to end the harassment, roadblocks, regressive taxation and to offer wherever practical, tax incentives that will help to provide jobs and a friendly business climate.
No small part of the heavy tax load that is borne by the working men and women of our country is a welfare load, which is now increasing faster than our spending on education. Those who administer Federal programs have their hands tied by excessive regulations and red tape imposed by Congress and the Senate. We need to call upon the thinking of campus researchers and the experienced in public service to make a study to establish that we are doing all we can, first of all, for those who are disabled, aged and who, through no fault of their own, must depend on the rest of us.
Our goal should be not only to provide the necessities of life, but those comforts such as we can afford that will make their life worth living. We then must turn to that part having to do with those who need temporary help—who are being helped through an emergency period only until they can again play a productive role. We must determine that this is still our purpose and that we have not, instead, settled on a program of perpetuating poverty with a permanent dole.
The 11th century Hebrew physician and philosopher, Maimonides, said there are eight steps in helping the needy. The lowest of these is a handout; the highest is to teach them to help themselves. By contrast Obama’s guiding philosophy is the redistribution of income. Well, this is a reversal of the carrot and stick philosophy, penalizing the industrious and rewarding the unproductive. Redistributing income does not increase purchasing power or prosperity—only increased productivity can accomplish that.
Have we in America forgotten our own accomplishments? For over 200 years we’ve been fighting the most successful war on poverty the world has ever seen. We simply need to return to the people the privilege of self-government, as well as a pledge for a more efficient representative government—citizens of proven ability in their fields, serving where their experience qualifies them, proposing common sense answers for our problems, reviewing governmental structure itself and bringing it into line with the most advanced, modern business practices.
The theme that Ronald Reagan spoke of is even more relevant today than then. The leadership of our United States Congress is guilty of ignorant, arrogant and immoral decision and policy making. The Republican Party is the party of the individual and not the group. We are individuals working within a political framework called the Constitution of the United States. Congress should never forget we will fight against the suppressive controls of a totalitarian government.
Our country is measured in two categories; the first is the size and health of our middle class. Every economist will agree that our middle class is under attack and so is the health of our economy.
The second category that measures the health of our country is the way in which we take care of our elders and our children. Everyone knows what our politicians have done to Social Security and Medicaid. I want to address in short our
children; our news broadcast will expose once in a while the number of predators waiting in the dark to scar our children for life. However, the unspoken shame is the endless bureaucracy they need to endure to get help.
I am 52 years old, I have three children, 30-28-26 and in the eyes of my parents I am still a child. At 86 years of age they still feel my pains and share in my joys of life. This fact of life will never change. Just as society shares in the pains and joys of life of the community’s children. Our boys and girls who enlist in our military are trained to do the jobs of men and women. Our children who go to war come back as men and women. Some with physical scars, all with emotional scars, scars that only another Veteran can understand.
In the beginning of this country the American Indian was at war with the Department of War in defense of their home land and way of life. We now fight side by side with the Department of Defense to defend our home land and our ways of life. These freedoms have been paid for in blood and should never be taken for granted. What you claim to be yours is only yours if you can defend it. We all owe our way of life to the warriors who have fought and died for the preservation of our freedom. The number one priority of Congress should be to make it as easy to obtain physical and mental health care as easy as it was to enlist. Let us not forget the past. Let us embrace our personal responsibility for our future.
Once again I will use the wise closing remarks of Ronald Reagan for my closing remarks. To those who talk of complex problems, requiring more government planning and more control, you are in reality taking us back in time to the acceptance of rule of the many by the few.
It is time to look to the future. We’ve had enough talk – disruptive talk – in America of left and right, dividing us down the center. There is really no such choice facing us. The only choice we have is up or down – up, to the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down, to the deadly dullness of totalitarianism. Do we still have the courage and the capacity to dream? If so, I wish you’d join me in a dream. Join me in a dream of a government that isn’t characterized by political hacks and cronies and relatives – an administration that doesn’t make its decisions based on political expediency but on moral truth. Together, let us find men and women to watch our mountains.
We can have a government administered by men and women who are appointed on the basis of ability and dedication – not as a reward for political favors. If we must have a double standard of morality, then let it be one, which demands more of those in government, not less.
This is a practical dream – it’s a dream you can believe in—it’s a dream worthy of America’s founding principles. Better yet, it’s a dream that can come true and all we have to do is want it badly enough. This is why I am running for congress; help me help you make this dream come true. Join my campaign as a volunteer or with a campaign contribution. Thank you."