Our latest Guest Dispatch comes from Arthur Freyre, an attorney and conservative political activist in Miami, Florida.
Citizenship in a Republic, A Reflection
Arthur Freyre, Esq.
This past weekend, I stumbled upon a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt. It was part of the speech that he gave at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910 titled Citizenship In A Republic.
In Citizenship In A Republic there are multiple topics that one can reflect and comment on. In terms of political discourse and leadership, there are many themes that apply to us this day. So in today’s Guest Dispatch I’d like to ask: “How can we work together to resolve our country’s problem?”
We need to accept that partisanship is okay. We have differences in opinion. We view the world differently. We are human beings, not robots. In today’s politics we do not have partisans, what we have are representatives and senators who uses cynicism and envy as the foundation of their philosophy and power. These are individuals who look to truly obstruct instead of resolve. Consider the super committee that was supposed to handle the deficit. The makeup of the committee was described as 6 members in search of a Judas. In other words, no one can truly reach an agreement.
An even better example is the passing of Obamacare in 2009. Consider the public angst, and frustration over the consequences of this legislation. Consider the fact that the bill was 2,700 pages. That should have given everyone pause. They were pleading for discussion and debate. Instead we had a President who lectured the opposition and reminded them that he had the power. Pure and unadulterated power was used to shove this down the people’s throat. Roosevelt described such politicians as the worst enemy of the body politic.
Envy is the cynic’s partner. A great example of envy was seen in last week’s Vice Presidential debate. We heard it when Biden was describing how this Administration will stand up to the “fat cats” in Washington, even though Biden and Obama are part of that same group. In Roosevelt’s eyes,
“The man who, if born to wealth and power, exploits and ruins his less fortunate brethren is at heart the same as greedy and violent demagogue who excites those who have not property to plunder those who have…The overbearing brutality of the man of wealth or power and the envious and hateful malice directed against wealth or power, are really at root merely different manifestations of the same quality, merely two sides of the same shield…In either case, when once loyalty to a class had been substituted for loyalty to the republic, the end of the republic was at hand.”
We see that today when our leaders and their staffers view thier office and jobs as an entitlement, and what it is, a position of privilege. A privilege and opportunity serve their community or the constituents.
There is no legislation that can be passed or executive order that can be issued to address this problem. What this requires is a citizenry that will not tolerate the politician that bases his or her campaign on cynicism or envy. It requires a citizenry that is well informed about the issues and is not afraid to voice their concerns to their representative. Finally, it requires a citizenry that demands higher standards for its leaders.