Politicians and Statesmen

The recent death of former Congressman, Ralph Regula of Ohio, made me wonder if we’ll ever see any true representatives of the people any longer. Congressman Regula shunned the spotlight, begrudgingly left his family farm in rural Ohio, and served the people of his district without rancor or division. He served his constituents whether they voted for him or not, whether they were Republican or Democrat, and he worked across the aisle with those who trusted him regardless of the “R” after his name. Congressman Regula was true to his word, and delivered on his goals of “getting the job done for his people”. He preferred to be called a “representative to Congress” rather than the loftier title of “Congressman”, because it more accurately described who he was. He was a Statesman, in the image of our Founding Fathers. The Representative to Congress, Ralph Regula, passed away last week at the age of 92, on his farm and surrounded by just family. That is the only way this Statesman would have wanted it.

Why do I bring this up today? Because we are currently witnessing the complete opposite in Congress today. Spineless politicians spouting divisive talking points and only driven by the voices of lobbyists, big donors, and what effects their decisions have on their poll numbers and the next election.

For seven years the Republican politicians pledged repeal of Obamacare, even almost unanimously voting several times for the repeal, in both the House and Senate. They were bold and courageous when they knew it didn’t matter. They knew that their votes had no consequence other than to dupe the voters into believing they were serious.

This essay is not about whether you believe in Obamacare or not. It is about politicians who have decided that the next election is more important than their souls and the people that elected them and pay their salaries.

The major reason the Republicans took control of both chambers and the Presidency last year was because people believed that they meant to radically change things; to repeal Obamacare, to cut taxes for the middle class and corporations in order to spur jobs and hiring, to stop shipping jobs overseas and hire Americans in need of work, and to end our policy of no borders.

The first test of their true intentions was repealing Obamacare. Whether you agree or not, that was their universal pledge, and if you continually make that pledge to the American people, you damn well better buck up and keep your word, regardless of the consequences to your career. If you are one of those Senators or Congressional Representatives who made that pledge during the campaign, then you have no choice now than to back it up. If you were one of those who voted for repeal when you knew it was merely symbolic, then you should have the courage to do it again when it matters. If not, you are bold faced liar and a coward. We all should check our own representatives and examine their record. Did they vote for repeal when it didn’t matter and back down when it did? Did they campaign on repealing Obamacare only to cower when action was required? If they did they can no longer be trusted with our vote nor our support. They have shown themselves for who they are, politicians, and not Statesmen.

One thing you can say about Democrats when they held power; they had the courage to pass tough legislation, and to back up their words with actions. Republicans have, once again, shown that they are not worthy of the power we have given them, and are much better being relegated to the minority, where they can whine and promise. It is a surety that they do not know how to govern, nor have the courage to even try.