It's Saturday, September 12th. Friday was the eighth anniversary commemorating September 11, 2001. In the spirit of 9/12, the day after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history — when even French newspapers proclaimed: "We're all Americans" — we were united.
It was said by so many: "America has changed forever." But so many were wrong.
We changed for a brief time and then slipped right back into bickering, partisan, factions. What happened? How did we lose that 9/12 feeling so quickly?
Well, for one thing, we don't trust each other any more. It's always Republicans against Democrats, Democrats against Republicans and independents against them both.
Then we have the media continually beating that partisan drum. Let me ask you a question: Who, in everyday life, ever worries about political party affiliation? When was the last time you asked someone at a barbeque, "Hey, are you a Republican or a Democrat?"
When you've had an accident or you're sick and you're in the emergency room filling out insurance forms, how many times have you been asked what political party you most associate with?
When you die and you're standing at the gates of heaven, will the proverbial St. Peter, who proverbially stands at the gates, have you check Republican or Democrat before entering? No! It's ludicrous! Who cares?
It's this back-and-forth battle — constantly at each other's throats — that stops us from talking about the things that do matter.
This is the country that built the Empire State Building in just over 400 days. Think of that. The tallest building in the world at the time (and all the way up until the World Trade Center was finished) was built in a little more than a year. That was in the early 1930s.
The Twin Towers were destroyed eight years ago. And what's replaced them? Nothing. Really? We can't quickly, efficiently, industriously rebuild what was there — only better? We can't put up the Freedom Center and call it that unabashedly, unashamedly and unafraid? In, let's say two years or three — four tops?
We can't fix our energy situation, build better cars than anyone on planet Earth or make health care the best the world has ever known without becoming something we're not? Of course we can. Or, we could.
But instead, we bicker, battle and fight amongst ourselves. Our arguments come to: "Oh, you hate! You're racist! You're a warmonger! You want to poison people and starve children."
I don't know a single person who would like to do any of those things.
So, who is it that's teaching us to behave this way? Our politicians.
One of the issues we have is the spreading sentiment that capitalism is evil. That redistribution of wealth is a good thing. Any time you mention the words Marxism or communism, the left paints you as some sort of nutjob, a McCarthyite.
First of all, that's just ridiculous. I'm not a U.S. senator. I have no power to subpoena witnesses, launch investigations or accept huge contributions from George Soros or GE.
Second, with any of these radicals in the Obama-sphere, we've just used their words and asked questions about them:
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REP. MAXINE WATTERS, D-CALIF.: This liberal will be all about socializing — basically, taking over and the government running all of your companies.
VAN JONES: No more broken treaties. No more broken treaties. Give them the wealth! Give them the wealth!
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JOHN P. HOLDREN: I think ultimately the rate of growth of material consumption is going to have to come down and there's going to have to be a degree of redistribution of how much we consume, in terms of energy and material resources, in order to leave room for people who are poor to become more prosperous.
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THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA: When the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's going to be good for everybody.
I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.
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OBAMA: The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth…. The tragedies of the civil rights movement was — because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change."
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Nationalizing our companies and redistributing our wealth and resources — we hear that stuff everyday now, right? So we're mixing in a little Karl Marx with our Founding Fathers — so what?
But as big as I think that problem is, it isn't even the biggest we face. What is the biggest problem we face today? Is it health care? No, as bad as it is, it's still, the best in the world. The economy? Nope. As bad as that is, we still have millions of people from all over the world struggling to get here. Is it global warming? Please. We just experienced the 34th coolest summer in U.S. history.
No, our biggest problem in this country is: corruption.
Corruption is the sickness that infests our nation.
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Charlie Rangel refusing to answer tax problem questions? Chris Dodd on the Countrywide thing? Barney Frank and Fannie Mae scandals? William Jefferson bribes? Duke Cunningham and other GOPers?
Our government is preparing for a potential crisis that we've been hearing about a lot: swine flu. How would we respond to an outbreak of swine flu? Well, you know that if it was your family that had an outbreak of H1N1, you can bet that health officials would keep you in your house. You would be quarantined. If it spread through your neighborhood, that would be quarantined.
The same way that flu spreads, so does the plague of corruption.
How do we stop it? Can we stop it by turning to special interests or unions? ACORN? SEIU? We all know it can't be. In this plague, Washington, D.C., is Patient Zero.
We need to quarantine Washington: Nothing in; nothing out.
We've all seen great people head off, newly elected to D.C., and what happens? They change. After a few months or a couple years, you start to think: "What happened to them?" They were infected with the disease of corruption.
No one in and no legislation comes out — infected legislation spreads across our country like… well, a plague.
So what do we do? We stop spreading the disease. It's time to reconnect with our founding principles. Fifty-six men signed the original documents that every American patriot still believes in with all their heart over 200 years later. Fifty-six men changed the world forever. We currently have 535 people in the United States Congress. You can't tell me that we don't have 56 committed patriots there who understand that there's an illness in D.C. and would like to do something about it, but just don't know how or what to do.
Let's offer them the way out.
First of all, we all demand daily to our representatives that they pass nothing until the corruption is stopped.
Second, we let them know that we all make mistakes and we offer them the chance for redemption. If they've been part of the problem, come forward, let us know about it and we'll be forgiving. Now, if you've broken the law, obviously, you'll have to pay for that. But if it's something that has dishonored you, your office or your family, then confess it, deal with it and we will stand behind you if you help us clean up this mess.
We need to offer a way out to members of Congress. Now we know that some of these people are like Typhoid Mary, just spreading corruption wherever they can. Others, can and will find redemption and feel good about themselves and their country again. Still others have maybe not yet been fully infected.
I had this idea the other night, while reading Thomas Jefferson. Let's begin the search for the 56 men and women who help us re-found America: Patriots, "refounders" willing to put their nation ahead of themselves and their party affiliation. Stop identifying yourselves as Republicans and Democrats; start identifying yourselves as Americans.
Republicans should begin the cleanup of the GOP and the Democrats clean out the corruption in the Democratic Party. We all know it's there — so, admit it: Clean up the mess and let's move on.
So, we stop talking about any policies or legislation passing — a total quarantine. We get Democrats to focus on fixing the Democratic Party and Republicans to focus on the Republican Party. Come out, find a microphone and purge the disease. Come out to CNN, if you're more comfortable there — it doesn't matter, just do it and restore your own party.
As for what you can do: You need to apply the pressure on Congress that enforces the quarantine. And, reach out to your neighbor with facts — not with emotion, not with anger, with facts. Don't worry about the game players — those stuck in the right vs. left rut — forget them and move on. Talk to the reasonable ones.
We can't seem to agree on anything anymore in this nation. But the one thing on which all reasonable Americans can agree is that we don't want corruption in our government. In nearly every poll taken for the past several years, it is the No. 2 concern on the minds of the people.
Let's stop thinking about it and do something about it.
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