Question of the day: What would it take to convince our elected congressmen and senators to concentrate on doing what is right for the American people as a whole? As of now, the Congress, with few exceptions, is a sanctuary of cowards who lack the guts to stand up for what is right, their cravenness rooted in the political expediency of maintaining the support of corporate America and pandering to the extremists base in their gerrymandered districts. As legislators, their priority is protecting the rapacious interests of big oil, the health care industry, agribusiness, Wall Street, vulture capitalists, the NRA, etc. If only we could get them started on a program of prayerful meditation, learning by heart and reciting morning and night the preamble to the Constitution of the United States:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.
Thus did the founding fathers set down these noble, humanistic principles as transcendent guides for governing the nation. How sad that our Congress consistently ignores these principles. The recent defeat in the Senate of a bill requiring universal background checks on all gun purchases, something supported by 90 percent of the American people and the majority of the NRA membership, runs counter to promoting the general welfare.
Congressional efforts to lower the debt by cutting beneficial social programs — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education, Head Start, food stamps, unemployment insurance, while maintaining subsidies for big oil and tax loopholes, eviscerating regulatory agencies, limiting the health care options of women, and opposing the president’s proposals for job creation, merely advanced injustice instead of establishing it. Congress allows giants like Exxon to go on impairing the health and safety of whole communities without adequate penalties. A fine of $1.7 million on profits of 122 million per day for the Yellowstone spill is no deterrent and now tar sands in Arkansas.