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I wrote to my Representative in the House and he responded. I cannot say I was surprised by his carefully crafted wording. He's a staunch Conservative. I'm a bleeding heart Liberal. I simply asked him to be a leader instead of a pawn in the current stalemate of Washington. I have decided to not identify him until the end of the article because I believe he is representative of most politicians today and I think it will be more meaningful if you try to imagine your own Representative or Senator in this article. I also do not mention Democrat or Republican. The problem affects all of us, no matter our party affiliation.

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"I am writing on behalf of the American people to ask you to please stop arguing. Some people call you 'our leaders in Washington' or our 'local official'. The middle class is failing. Good jobs are not plentiful. Our roads are filled with pot holes. Our bridges are rusting. Our damns are crumbling. We can't fix these things on our own, we can only do it collectively but in order to do that we need a team captain. We need YOU to be our team captain. That's what 'leader' and 'official' mean- they are variations of chief, trailblazer, supervisor, director. It takes coordination to run a big country like ours with the resources and the population we have. We can't exist without leadership- otherwise we are chaotic little ants and bees running around aimlessly. LEAD. Rise above. Be a LEADER."

He responded with the usual doublespeak (his statement are in plain italics thorughout the article). This is my response:

"While I appreciate your response I feel that, perhaps, you did not understand my entreaty. I expressed to you concern about the lack of leadership in DC, that our current elected officials spend too much time arguing and bickering and not getting real problem solving done and your response was, "The best answer to the immense challenges facing our nation is a return to the principles of limited, Constitutional government." Ok, this is the Constitution:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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."

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Based on the Constitution it is your job to provide for the people of this country, as in "promote the general Welfare". Welfare: noun, 1. the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization; well-being. Our welfare is dependent on jobs and secure working and living conditions. Safe infrastructure to get us to our homes and families and jobs would qualify as 'general welfare'. You also state it is your job to "protect(ing) our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". I agree. It is your job to do just this, yet, you have done nothing to safe guard our social security from those who wish to cut it. We pursued a secure retirement through our hard work and efforts and contributed in good faith to a fund, that Congress is now speaking of cutting, Social Security. We have the "God-given rights to life" yet, Congress denies that Climate Change is an issue to be addressed and is threatening to undermine the work of our rightfully elected president at the Paris Climate Conference. This affects our ability to live because we cannot live without fresh air, clean water and healthy resources. Our right to life includes the right to walk into a movie theater, a school, a business without being killed, yet you refuse to address the issue of mass shootings and defend us against the money and clout of a single organization, the NRA. The current lack of response to mass shootings by Congress indicates a lack of "provi(sion) for the common defence". A minority of people are trampling on the pursuit and liberty of the majority of Americans who want security and safety in public places. From an article in Salon: "According to the survey, released today, a majority of Americans support a wide array of policies being discussed in Congress: 89 percent support closing the so-called gun show loophole by requiring background checks for all firearms sale; 69 percent support banning the sale of semiautomatic assault weapons; while 68 percent support banning the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines. Meanwhile, more than 80 percent favor prohibiting "high-risk individuals" from having guns, including those convicted of a serious crime as a juvenile or those convicted of violating a domestic-violence restraining order." 

You state it is your job to "uphold(ing) the Constitution ..... by a commitment to .....principles of individual rights, personal responsibility, limited government and free enterprise that define us as a people." Please show me the paragraph where it states in the Constitution that it is your job to "limit government" to the point of inefficacy? As we have seen with the prison system, not all aspects of a country's function are handled best by private enterprise. Defunding government entities to the point of suffocation does not prove the government is ineffective, it simply proves that, like any enterprise, in cannot be run effectively without adequate funding and support.

How do you justify "personal responsibility" when you, and others in Congress, allow the financial institutions in this country to gamble with the savings and investments and security of the money of individuals? Why are some individuals allowed to gamble with people's retirement money? You espouse limited government yet allow the major corporations of this country to run rough shod over the poor and middle class. Why are there different standards for one group of people (business executives) and another for the rest of us?

You claim, "The oath taken by members of Congress to uphold the Constitution entails protecting our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the American people are increasingly vocal about their desire to see their elected officials hew to that oath." And "I believe a majority of Americans support this view, and it is up to our nation's leaders – in politics, business, and in local communities ". Where do you get your information? The polls indicate quite the contrary. Americans are extremely dissatisfied with the decisions that are made in Congress. How does this statement square with the evidence that Congress has low approval ratings? Like the recent PEW poll that says only 19% say they can trust the government always or most of the time. Or the recent Rasmussen poll just nine percent (9%) of Likely U.S. Voters think Congress is doing a good or excellent job.

I have written and expressed to you in the past that your town halls are planted with loud people who do not let others voice a differing opinion. You claim it is free speech. No, it is loud speech by bullies and it is your job as a leader to ensure that ALL voices are heard not just the loud ones that share your view. I have also expressed to you the bullying that goes on in your social media and your solution is to block dissenting comments. Your job as leader is make the platform a place for ALL voices to be heard and respectfully ask bullies to allow for different opinions. A healthy debate allows for both parties to be given equal time. You need to rise above the fray and make the best determination for your constituents. Half the people in your district do not show up to vote and you think you win because 25-30% of the count of eligible voters was in your favor, do you understand you have not won? You simply stacked the deck in your favor. When you Gerry meander districts to ensure a win for your party, you have not won, you have cheated. The fall of past empires clearly shows political corruption preceded the fall. You are participating in that corruption. Why don't you allow ALL your constituents a voice? Why not listen to what everyone in your district thinks? Are you afraid their answers won't coincide with your donors?

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"Most important is citizen involvement: every public meeting attended, every letter to the editor, every blog post, every call to a talk radio show, every conversation with a friend or family member makes a difference." This is what you claim yet it doesn't not appear to be reflected in your voting record. 75% of Americans want gun regulation yet when I wrote to you about gun regulation you told me you were supporting the 2nd amendment. Which 2nd amendment, sir? The real one as written in the Amendments or the one that has been doctored by the NRA?  You state that we should write letters to the editors, attend town halls, write blogs etc. What good is it if you won't read or listen to the ones that don't share your view? You and your staff have told me that you follow the desires of your constituents but I challenge you to prove to me that you are giving ALL your constituent a fair voice. I challenge you to have truly free town halls where you allow everyone to be heard and mediate the loud voices so that the quiet voices can be heard. I am not asking you to silence anyone. I am asking that you give all your constituents an equal voice. I am asking you to be a LEADER.

lead·er (lē′dər) n. 1. One that leads or guides. 2. One who is in charge or in command of others. 3. a. One who heads a political party or organization. b. One who has influence or power, especially of a political nature.

I am asking you to do the right thing for ALL of us." Please be part of the solution, Tom McClintock, not more of the problem.

Deborah Baron

Deborah Baron

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