As a member of the media in the United States, I consider it a great honor to take part in Charlottesville's T.E.A. Party on April 15th as Thomas Paine. (learn more by following this link) My fear is that these events, along with the work of the National Center for Constitutional Studies on teaching the principles the founding fathers' used to build our country, (click here to learn about Charlottesville events) could go for naught if we don't encourage those amongst us who believe that "We The People" is still a viable governing philosophy to represent us in our decision-making bodies. If we keep sending people to represent us that cast vote after vote to reduce our freedom and bolster their own authority and influence, no matter the party affiliation they espouse, our efforts will be just more 'sound and fury signifying nothing.' We need to realize that of the seven deadly sins, sloth may be the deadliest one when it comes to freedom. I don't think the average American realizes how little time it really takes to be involved in their local government. A couple of hours here or there to attend a meeting or work session is what it takes. You might hear some amazing things at first, especially if you drop by places like planning commission meetings or other such gatherings of appointees rather that the 'elect-eds.' That will slowly change the more these appointees realize that the citizens are watching their deliberations and, most importantly, sharing what they see in the form of letters to their elected appointors, letters to the newspaper, calling talk radio shows (a personal favorite) and BLOGGING. Once the ones who covet position for authority realize that we won't trade freedom for a peaceful evening of "American Idol," we will need representatives that, quite honestly, don't NEED the job. James Madison wanted 'citizen legislators' who would serve their community in Congress for a while and then go back to their life once their neighbors decide that someone else would represent them better. Last weekend my family and I were celebrating the bicentennial of Thomas Jefferson's return to Charlottesville at the end of his Presidency, I pointed out to my kids that it's important to make note that Mr. Jefferson left that position conspicuously out of his epitaph. He ran for President because he felt that Adams was building too big of a central Federal Government that had allowed it's debt to grow to $80 million (compare that to ANY of the bailout bills!), not because he coveted the position. The American Revolution is unique in the pantheon of such political upheaval because it was lead by the people who HAD THE MOST TO LOSE. These people didn't NEED to do this, they had station and wealth. If anything, they were diminishing their position by creating this free society.
It seems ironic, but I believe that if we spend a little less time there, maybe we can find representatives that, like Jefferson, just want to do what's right and then go home.
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