Maybe it's All About Integrity

Boy, have we got problems.    

There are radical Islamist extremists out there who want to kill all non-Muslims and establish a worldwide caliphate, and the Ebola virus that just wants to kill any human being it comes in contact with. Putin seems bound and determined to restore the Soviet Union to its former glory, and China is trying to undermine the dollar while slowly building up its military. And it’s a sure bet North Korea and Iran are up to something as well.

Here at home, we have more people on government assistance than ever, more people who have left the workforce than ever before, more children being born out of wedlock than ever, a stagnant economy, a staggering debt, and a border that’s as porous as a sieve. And if this wasn’t enough, the LGBT crowd wants to redefine marriage, atheists and secularists want God out of the public square altogether, and according to some, global warming climate change needs to be dealt with now or we’re all gonna’ die. 

We still need to fix our education system (even though Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education way back in 1980 to fix education once and for all, and every president since then has put forward his own plan to fix education as well); and according to the progressives our approach to energy is all wrong (even though Jimmy Carter established the Department of Energy in 1977 to fix all our energy problems). 

It’s also pretty clear that our tax code needs reforming (still); our immigration system needs reforming (still or again, depending on your point of view); the EPA is out of control; and the VA is still a mess. Even our criminal justice system needs reforming (Google “restorative justice”). And now that Obamacare has completely screwed up healthcare, it needs more fixing than it did before. Some folks even think we should move away from capitalism in favor of distributism, not to be confused with redistribution, which is what socialists and progressives are pushing. And if all this isn’t depressing enough our police departments are becoming militarized while our military is being downsized.

But all is not lost!  The elections are less than a month away!  Once again we have a chance to go to the polls and vote for the best, smartest, most qualified candidates -- the candidates that have the vision, intelligence, backbone and integrity that’s needed to right the ship of state and get us back on the right path.

Except that given the plethora of dishonest and/or misleading campaign ads, the numerous attack ads, and the uninspiring candidates offering the usual, tired old hype, platitudes, and promises, making sure the best candidates get elected may not be such an easy task.    

But take heart! Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and a bunch of his fellow Democratic Senators have the solution to all our problems!  Udall thinks we need a constitutional amendment that will give Congress the “power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections...“ 
 
Yessiree Bob, our biggest problem -- and the whole problem with elections, it seems, at least according to Udall and his fellow Dems -- is not the lies, half-truths, distortions, quotes taken out of context, or character assassinations. It’s also not the fact that there’s no such thing as fair, unbiased, and honest reporting by the MSM anymore when it comes to politics, or that illegal aliens and dead people can vote in elections, or that voter fraud does actually take place, or that in many instances voters have simply lost faith in our government, or are just plain fed up with both parties, so they don’t bother voting. And let’s not forget the clueless know-nothings that just vote for the candidate who promises them more free stuff. Apparently none of these things need to be added to the list of problems facing our country. 
 
It apparently also matters not that we have elected representatives who, once they do get elected, pass legislation without reading it, or who spend way too much time fundraising, hobnobbing with lobbyists, or golfing, or that politicians today think lying is perfectly okay if it will help get them elected or re-elected.  Or even that some politicians waste time writing and introducing resolutions proposing constitutional amendments that they know will never get passed. 
 
No, none of these things are problems, and none of them have any impact at all on the low approval rating Americans give to Congress. The most critical problem our country is facing today, according to Udall, is the amount of ‘dark money’ that is being spent on political ads by corporations, or donated by millionaires to special interest groups aimed at influencing the elections (money from unions is apparently all right). So according to Udall and his cronies, we need to fix the evil of ‘dark money.’ Really? With all the problems out there it’s dark money that we need to be most worried about? This would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.
 
Apparently Udall and his fellow Democrats just can’t get past the SCOTUS Citizens United ruling. It sticks in their craw so much so that they needed to waste spend time drafting Senate Joint Resolution 19 calling for a constitutional amendment aimed at fixing the terrible injustice.  And then more time was wasted spent in the Senate debating this ridiculous resolution. Ted Cruz alone spent almost an hour on the Senate floor, and who knows how much time preparing his remarks, ripping this stupid resolution to shreds.  (Whether or not this was wasted time is debatable.)
 
So why did the Democrats in the Senate push for a joint resolution on a constitutional amendment that they know will never be passed? The answer is simple. Governing is as important as getting elected or re-elected. By bringing this resolution up for a vote Democrats can now point to the results and say, ‘See, the Republicans do the bidding of people like the Koch brothers. They didn’t want this resolution passed because they don’t want fair and honest elections.’ 
 
One of the stated purposes of the resolution is to “protect the integrity of government . . . “ Was this a “tongue in cheek, wink-wink” attempt to add levity to the resolution? It must have been because integrity does not really seem to be something that is important in Washington these days. 
 
Lest there be any doubt, integrity is defined by Webster as: unimpaired moral principles; honesty.  Given the dishonesty and lack of moral principles many of our elected and some of the wannabe elected leaders exhibit (are examples really needed?), it’s not that difficult to make a case that protecting the integrity of government may be something of a lost cause. 
 
Maybe some amendments aimed at restoring integrity to government are more in order. In fact, maybe the lack of integrity in Washington, and maybe even throughout these United States, is the reason we have so many problems to deal with.  
 
Mark Levin has offered up 11 amendments aimed at restoring integrity in his book The Liberty Amendments.  They might be a good start, or at least worth discussing. But the fact that there is not much serious discussion taking place about them is telling. And that fact that Udall’s resolution was brought up for discussion in the Senate is just as telling.

Boy, have we got problems.    

There are radical Islamist extremists out there who want to kill all non-Muslims and establish a worldwide caliphate, and the Ebola virus that just wants to kill any human being it comes in contact with. Putin seems bound and determined to restore the Soviet Union to its former glory, and China is trying to undermine the dollar while slowly building up its military. And it’s a sure bet North Korea and Iran are up to something as well.

Here at home, we have more people on government assistance than ever, more people who have left the workforce than ever before, more children being born out of wedlock than ever, a stagnant economy, a staggering debt, and a border that’s as porous as a sieve. And if this wasn’t enough, the LGBT crowd wants to redefine marriage, atheists and secularists want God out of the public square altogether, and according to some, global warming climate change needs to be dealt with now or we’re all gonna’ die. 

We still need to fix our education system (even though Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education way back in 1980 to fix education once and for all, and every president since then has put forward his own plan to fix education as well); and according to the progressives our approach to energy is all wrong (even though Jimmy Carter established the Department of Energy in 1977 to fix all our energy problems). 

It’s also pretty clear that our tax code needs reforming (still); our immigration system needs reforming (still or again, depending on your point of view); the EPA is out of control; and the VA is still a mess. Even our criminal justice system needs reforming (Google “restorative justice”). And now that Obamacare has completely screwed up healthcare, it needs more fixing than it did before. Some folks even think we should move away from capitalism in favor of distributism, not to be confused with redistribution, which is what socialists and progressives are pushing. And if all this isn’t depressing enough our police departments are becoming militarized while our military is being downsized.

But all is not lost!  The elections are less than a month away!  Once again we have a chance to go to the polls and vote for the best, smartest, most qualified candidates -- the candidates that have the vision, intelligence, backbone and integrity that’s needed to right the ship of state and get us back on the right path.

Except that given the plethora of dishonest and/or misleading campaign ads, the numerous attack ads, and the uninspiring candidates offering the usual, tired old hype, platitudes, and promises, making sure the best candidates get elected may not be such an easy task.    

But take heart! Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and a bunch of his fellow Democratic Senators have the solution to all our problems!  Udall thinks we need a constitutional amendment that will give Congress the “power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections...“ 
 
Yessiree Bob, our biggest problem -- and the whole problem with elections, it seems, at least according to Udall and his fellow Dems -- is not the lies, half-truths, distortions, quotes taken out of context, or character assassinations. It’s also not the fact that there’s no such thing as fair, unbiased, and honest reporting by the MSM anymore when it comes to politics, or that illegal aliens and dead people can vote in elections, or that voter fraud does actually take place, or that in many instances voters have simply lost faith in our government, or are just plain fed up with both parties, so they don’t bother voting. And let’s not forget the clueless know-nothings that just vote for the candidate who promises them more free stuff. Apparently none of these things need to be added to the list of problems facing our country. 
 
It apparently also matters not that we have elected representatives who, once they do get elected, pass legislation without reading it, or who spend way too much time fundraising, hobnobbing with lobbyists, or golfing, or that politicians today think lying is perfectly okay if it will help get them elected or re-elected.  Or even that some politicians waste time writing and introducing resolutions proposing constitutional amendments that they know will never get passed. 
 
No, none of these things are problems, and none of them have any impact at all on the low approval rating Americans give to Congress. The most critical problem our country is facing today, according to Udall, is the amount of ‘dark money’ that is being spent on political ads by corporations, or donated by millionaires to special interest groups aimed at influencing the elections (money from unions is apparently all right). So according to Udall and his cronies, we need to fix the evil of ‘dark money.’ Really? With all the problems out there it’s dark money that we need to be most worried about? This would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.
 
Apparently Udall and his fellow Democrats just can’t get past the SCOTUS Citizens United ruling. It sticks in their craw so much so that they needed to waste spend time drafting Senate Joint Resolution 19 calling for a constitutional amendment aimed at fixing the terrible injustice.  And then more time was wasted spent in the Senate debating this ridiculous resolution. Ted Cruz alone spent almost an hour on the Senate floor, and who knows how much time preparing his remarks, ripping this stupid resolution to shreds.  (Whether or not this was wasted time is debatable.)
 
So why did the Democrats in the Senate push for a joint resolution on a constitutional amendment that they know will never be passed? The answer is simple. Governing is as important as getting elected or re-elected. By bringing this resolution up for a vote Democrats can now point to the results and say, ‘See, the Republicans do the bidding of people like the Koch brothers. They didn’t want this resolution passed because they don’t want fair and honest elections.’ 
 
One of the stated purposes of the resolution is to “protect the integrity of government . . . “ Was this a “tongue in cheek, wink-wink” attempt to add levity to the resolution? It must have been because integrity does not really seem to be something that is important in Washington these days. 
 
Lest there be any doubt, integrity is defined by Webster as: unimpaired moral principles; honesty.  Given the dishonesty and lack of moral principles many of our elected and some of the wannabe elected leaders exhibit (are examples really needed?), it’s not that difficult to make a case that protecting the integrity of government may be something of a lost cause. 
 
Maybe some amendments aimed at restoring integrity to government are more in order. In fact, maybe the lack of integrity in Washington, and maybe even throughout these United States, is the reason we have so many problems to deal with.  
 
Mark Levin has offered up 11 amendments aimed at restoring integrity in his book The Liberty Amendments.  They might be a good start, or at least worth discussing. But the fact that there is not much serious discussion taking place about them is telling. And that fact that Udall’s resolution was brought up for discussion in the Senate is just as telling.