Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just exactly how inclusive do we really want to be?

"The Peoria 9-12 Project is designed to bring us all back to the place we were on Sept 12, 2001. The day after America was attacked we were not obsessed with political parties. As Americans, lets stand together and defend the values and principles of the greatest nation ever created.

Our Mission:
The Peoria 9-12 Project is an organization of conservative, non-partisan, Americans promoting the vitality of the U.S. Constitution. It is our goal to influence public officials to support legislation driven by our 9 Principles and 12 Values.

Our Vision:
Educate our members and communities on political issues.

Hold public officials accountable to the people.

Track proposed legislation and use our voice to influence our representative's vote.

Protect the U.S. Constitution.

Empower, support and encourage our members and like-minded citizens.

We have different chapters: Peoria, Pekin, Chillicothe, Morton, Germantown Hills, Metamora, and Bloomington.
All the chapters communicate and support one another on large events, petitions, and everyday issues."

Now this is the statement offered when you click on the "Read more about us" tab at the Peoria 9/12 Project. It seems innocuous enough, to be sure, until you read carefully the line that says "Empower, support, and encourage our members and like-minded citizens". Which really means, of course, we only want to involve people who think like us.

Which is very un-American. The 9/12 group is a part of the Tea Party, that group of Americans who tried to place some fairly unsavory riders on the bills that were holding up the passage of a federal budget. They certainly have some good points, among them some very dedicated people who would like to see more transparency in government at all levels, which could not possibly hurt anyone. But to begin a statement with a desire to return to a non-partisan unity for all Americans seems a bit contradictory when you read that line about "our members and like-minded citizens".

You see, they want to protect the Constitution, because they feel that we have strayed from the intent of the framers/founders of this nation. What they fail to see is that we have not only maintained the intent, but built upon their intent based on the will and the desires of the people. I can state many instances, but perhaps the most telling was the passage of the 13th Amendment. While the framers/founders first counted "slaves" as three/fifths of a person, they knew it was a ploy to get slave owners to ratify the Constitution. They knew it would become a point of contention that would have to be dealt with at some point, but knew they would not have enough votes without including that language. So they left it to us to change it, and lo and behold, we did. And that was closely followed by the 15th Amendment, and the 19th, and so on and so forth, until we have the current Constitution with the current amendments.

The Constitution was meant to be a fluid and living document that allowed the people to govern themselves as needed. It was never intended to be static. This can be seen in the document that precedes it, the founding statement of this nation that is also called the Universal Franchise, or more commonly known at the Declaration of Independence.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness..."

All Men, meaning of course all mankind. Black Men, Brown Men, Yellow Men, Red Men, White Men, Straight Men, Gay Men, etc. etc. etc. et. al.

Now I have lately been taking some flack for supporting the rights of a certain Gay Felon in his bid for a shot at the nomination for the next Congressional election as a Democratic candidate. Matthew Woodmancy is a 27 year old man who has definitely screwed up on more than one occasion, to be sure. The revelation in the press came as no surprise to me, since I had known this since the day I first met Matthew, auspiciously on the day of the "State of the Union" speech this year. I have spoken with Matthew many times since, and have even aided him in his endeavors by providing him with editing assistance on speeches, helping him to properly format his platform, and generally standing by him in his endeavors. Why? Because he is a man who has genuinely learned from his mistakes.

Were they serious mistakes? Yes. Were they stupid mistakes? Yes. Is he likely to make them again? No. Is he genuinely interested in serving the people of this Congressional District for the right reasons? Yes. Does he realize what a difficult task it will be to find even a few people who are willing to support him? Yes. Knowing that, does he still have the courage to try? Yes.

You see, it is pretty easy to make that decision when you are squeaky clean, when your life has come up roses, when you have all the positive attention in the world and are viewed as the "boy wonder" of the elite. It is even easier when you are finally elected to become corrupted by the system due to your naivety and lack of real world experience, to become another cog in the machine. Like a representative who teeter totters on important issues like, oh, TIGER II funding, while introducing meaningless legislation for the standardization of lighting on farm equipment that uses public highways instead of taking a firm stand on real problems that face the district.

However, when you have to try climbing up to overcome tremendous disadvantages from the onset, including a mother and grandmother who are both facing serious medical conditions, a dysfunctional family that is constantly divided, and personal poverty, the decision to place yourself in the public eye is far from easy. It is almost an impossible task. Yet Matt believes he will be able to overcome these tremendous odds to serve the people of this district. I personally believe that in this nation, he has the right to try.

No comments:

Post a Comment