Senator Byrd from West Virginia.
Senator Byrd and our Founding Fathers
The world of politics lost an icon this week. Senator Robert Byrd was 92 years old, and was the longest seated U.S. Senator. First, My heart goes out to his family and friends. He cannot be replaced.
On this Independence Day Weekend, my thoughts turns to the way our country was founded, the principles it was guided by. Please take a moment and see that I said "was guided by". These days, it seems that politicians only quote the U.S. Constitution, or the Declaration of independence, when they wish to make themselves look good or a personal foe look bad.
What our founding fathers believed about elected officials, is that they should serve God, their Country, and The U.S. Citizens, and never their own interests. The common good even if it demanded reducing the size of government, the size of congress, or even the size of their paychecks, was their master. Our founders also wanted elected officials to serve for a brief time and then return to the private sector, while giving some one else a chance to serve! Now, politicians stay in office longer than I have even been alive. I am 40 years old!
Why do I bring this up during the week that a U.S. Senator passed away. Its really quite simple. One of Robert Byrd's colleagues made an unbelievable statement. He said" Senator Byrd was a real senator's senator. He kept reminding us what we were here to do." A senator's senator? Excuse me? Senators are paid a lot of money to represent us, not each other, not a consensus in Washington D.C., but we the people! If the Senate and congress would just grasp that one concept, then this elderly gentleman would not have had to tell them what to do, or remind the other senators why they were they. If they would start listening to us, and serving us, and the common good, they would know what to do next! Politicians are so out of touch today, that most are a senator's senator rather than the people's senator. I am sorry but Mr. Byrd's family should be outraged by that insult. Why? Representatives are there to represent those "back home" , not to be coached or instructed. I do not want some one from Illinois or Florida, telling my representative in New York what to do or how to vote! They are supposed to be our Senators. A complement would be to say " He was a real people's Senator".
Listen to us, those that elected you, rather than your friends or mentors in D.C. and you may just survive November, 2010.
Our founding fathers had it right, and many in Washington have it wrong! I do not blame Mr. Byrd for the ridiculous statement made by his colleague. No, I blame those who are still so entrenched in politics that they ignore our founding principles. Enjoy the fourth, and try to remember what we should still be learning from it!