Mar 302009
 
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According to a series of new videos on that bastion of self-expression, You Tube, the Second American Revolution has started.

A character based on Thomas Paine, an advocate of American independence from Britain in the late 1700s and the author of “Common Sense,” gives a stirring motivational speech urging the passions of Americans to unite in the Second American Revolution (which for the purposes of brevity and my word count, we’ll just call SAR).

The SAR is not a revolution of violence and bloodshed, but a revolution of pressure, pressure, pressure. We as an American society numbering the hundreds of millions, allowed a government run by just over 500 people, to shift the power away from Congress and centralize power in the White House.

We have gotten away from the very standards that allowed our nation to become great.

Assuming some of you either haven’t or won’t take the time to watch the “We the people” edition of SAR, I’m going to piggyback and counter some of “Paine’s” ideas for the pressures the people need to provide.

I have to assume that some of you agree with my criticisms of the two major parties, likewise some of you would have shed tears no matter who won the election in November because, like me, you were disgusted with either option. This brings me to a realization I had the other night.

In the two previous presidential elections, the winner was elected not because he represented the best direction for the country, but because to a great number of those who voted for him and he was the least nauseating choice of the two. I still stand by this sentiment.

Say what you will about his legacy at this point, but I still think the gunfighter mentality George W. Bush brought to the country after 9/11 was better than the standard French tactic of stall-and-surrender Al Gore would have provided. By contrast, those who voted for our current president actually believed that he was going to make major positive changes.

Well, not to be the bearer of bad news, but you realize he’s both a lawyer and a Democrat right? These are not two groups of people known for their scruples or abilities to adhere to their own spoken promises. Don’t blame me, I voted for Ron Paul.

Back to Paine, the theme of the video is the silence of the people in allowing the nation to be run without true representation. I concur. We’ve elected a Congress and White House who do not believe they answer to “the people,” but rather to “the party.”

Just last week, 65 Democratic representatives demonstrated an understanding of recent history, endorsing a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder espousing their refusal to sign new gun control legislation at this time.

These Democrats are willing to refuse to sign their own political death warrants by repeating the mistake of the 103rd Congress in signing a new Assault Weapons Ban. This is good. This is an exception not the rule.

Washington and America have forgotten the designed roles of Congress and the White House. They were elected to serve us. Winning the election is supposed to result in Congress doing what the people want.

The people don’t want rampant spending, inflation, to pay for someone else’s mortgage, budget deficits or their military occupying European and Asian nations at the cost of billions of dollars per year.

Most don’t want a free lunch, though they may take one.

But the people don’t want to learn. They don’t want to sacrifice. They don’t want to put in the effort to call their representatives to say, “don’t you ever vote for legislation without reading it yourself.”

They want to elect unproven men with no history of leadership in anything while hoping the winner is an improvement.

We, the people, failed to hold them accountable.

We, the people, are the only solution.

Seth Stern is a junior undeclared major. His column will be moving to Fridays in the Collegian starting next week. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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