Roy Exum: A Plea To Washington

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Several years ago a distinguished gentleman from the state of Washington wrote an impassioned letter to the two women who still serve as the state’s senators, Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. It has since become considered one of the best ever, and the fact-finders at Snopes have confirmed Bill Schoonover, also a lifetime Democrat, did indeed write it.

Just over a week ago – last Tuesday, the 115th Congress convened and this paragraph from the New York Times the next day said it all: “On a day usually reserved for pomp, constitutionally mandated procedure and small children parading around in fancy dresses, Congress instead pitched itself into partisan battles.”

As the Internet version read, “You can be Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, Independent or Libertarian and I'll bet this will hit a nerve. Our country is in real trouble. Here is what an old sage wrote is wrong with us:

* * *

Senator Patty Murray
Senator Maria Cantwell
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators:
I have tried to live by the rules my entire life. My father was a Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army, who died of combat-related stresses shortly after his retirement. It was he who instilled in me those virtues he felt important - honesty, duty, patriotism and obeying the laws of God and of our various governments. I have served my country, paid my taxes, worked hard, volunteered and donated my fair share of money, time and artifacts.

Today, as I approach my 79th birthday, I am heart-broken when I look at my country and my government. I shall only point out a very few things abysmally wrong which you can multiply by a thousand fold. I have calculated that all the money I have paid in income taxes my entire life
cannot even keep the Senate barbershop open for one year! Only Heaven and a few tight-lipped actuarial types know what the Senate dining room costs the taxpayers. So please, enjoy your haircuts and meals on us.

Last year (2013), the president spent an estimated $1.4 billion on himself and his family. The vice president spends $ millions on hotels. They have had 8 vacations so far this year! And our House of Representatives and Senate have become America's answer to the Saudi royal family. You have become the "perfumed princes and princesses" of our country.

In the middle of the night, you voted in the Affordable Health Care Act, a.k.a. "Obamacare," a bill which no more than a handful of senators or representatives read more than several paragraphs, crammed it down our throats, and then promptly exempted yourselves from it substituting your own taxpayer-subsidized golden health care insurance. (Let's eliminate that exemption and put the Congress under the Affordable Health Care Act)

You live exceedingly well, eat and drink as well as the "one per-centers," consistently vote yourselves perks and pay raises while making 3.5 times the average U.S. individual income, and give up nothing while you (as well as the president and veep) ask us to sacrifice due to sequestration (for which, of course, you plan to blame the Republicans, anyway).

You understand very well the only two rules you need to know - (1) How to get elected, and (2) How to get re-elected. And you do this with the aid of an eagerly willing and partisan press, speeches permeated with a certain economy of truth, and by buying the votes of the greedy, the ill-informed
and under-educated citizens (and non-citizens, too, many of whom do vote ) who are looking for a handout rather than a job. Your so-called "safety net" has become a hammock for the lazy. And, what is it now, about 49 or 50 million on food stamps - pretty much all Democrat voters - and the program is absolutely rife with fraud and absolutely no congressional oversight?

I would offer that you are not the entirely to blame. What changed you is the seductive environment of power in which you have immersed yourselves. It is the nature of both houses of Congress which requires you to subordinate your virtue in order to get anything done until you have achieved a leadership role. To paraphrase President Reagan, it appears that the second oldest profession (politics), bears a remarkably strong resemblance to the oldest.

As the hirsute first Baron John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton (1834 -1902), English historian and moralist, so aptly and accurately stated, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." I'm only guessing that this applies to the female
sex as well. Tell me, is there a more corrupt entity in this country than Congress?

While we middle class people continue to struggle, our government becomes less and less transparent, more and more bureaucratic, and ever so much more dictatorial, using Czars and Secretaries to tell us (just to mention a very few) what kind of light bulbs we must purchase, how much soda or hamburgers we can eat, what cars we can drive, gasoline to use, and what health care we must buy. Countless thousands of pages of regulations strangle our businesses costing the consumer more and more every day.

As I face my final year, or so, with cancer, my president and my government tell me "You'll just have to take a pill," while you, Senator, your colleagues, the president, and other exulted government officials and their families will get the best possible health care on our tax dollars until you are called home by your Creator while also enjoying a retirement beyond my wildest dreams, which of course, you voted for yourselves and we pay for.

The chances of you reading this letter are practically zero as your staff will not pass it on, but with a little luck, a form letter response might be generated by them with an auto signature applied, hoping we will believe that you, our senator or representative, has heard us and actually cares. This letter will, however, go on line where many others will have the chance to read one person's opinion, rightly or wrongly, about this government, its administration and its senators and representatives.

I only hope that occasionally you might quietly thank the taxpayer for all the generous entitlements which you have voted yourselves, for which, by law, we must pay, unless, of course, it just goes on the $19 trillion national debt for which your children and ours, and your grandchildren and ours, ad infinitum, must eventually try to pick up the tab.

My final thoughts are that it must take a person who has either lost his or her soul, or conscience, or both, to seek re-election and continue to destroy the country that I deeply love. You have put it so far in debt that we will never pay it off while your lot improves by the minute, because of your power.

For you, Senator, will never stand up to the rascals in your House who constantly deceive the American people. And that, my dear Senator, is how power has corrupted you and the entire Congress. The only answer to clean up this cesspool is term limits and replacing their retirement with the same Social Security plan the rest of us will receive (if they don't put that program into bankruptcy). This, of course, will kill the goose that lays your golden eggs. And woe be to him (or her) who would dare to bring it up.

Sincerely,
Bill Schoonover
3096 Angela Lane
Oak Harbor, WA

* * *

Don’t you wish you had written that? And don’t you wish Chuck Fleischmann would read it?

royexum@aol.com


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