There is an enduring custom of making New Year's resolutions. There is nearly an equally enduring custom of quickly breaking those very same resolutions!
This year I will urge you to not only make a couple of New Year's resolutions, but keeping them!
If you are familiar with my website, you know that I always include the statement, “Democracy is not a spectator sport!” I ask that you resolve to follow this statement and educate yourself as best you can to have as deep an understanding of the critically important issues as you can and then use the knowledge and information that you accumulate to decide on what course of action our government officials, on all levels of government (local, state and federal) need to follow to provide solutions for the most significant challenges and threats our citizens and our nation faces today.
Immigration is a critically important issue on levels of government and has a huge impact on nearly every challenge and threat that our nation confronts today. Everything from national security, criminal justice and community safety to the economy (including unemployment and the deficit) the environment, healthcare and education are among the most prominent of these challenges.
The fact that you are reading my commentary likely means that you are already attempting to gather information about immigration and related areas of concern. The next course of action has to be to develop a relationship with the politicians who are elected to represent you and their other constituents. The problem is that all too often, the constituents are not being represented but those who have the wherewithal to make the significant campaign contributions are being represented. This is why I often note that we currently have the best government money can buy!
Of course there are a number of political representatives who actually do represent the majority of their constituents and these rare leaders most definitely are entitled to your support! Indeed, you must support these candidates in any way that you can. If you can spare the money, send them campaign contributions. If you don't have the money, volunteer to help them win their next election.
If, as most of us have come to understand, you are not being represented by a particular politician, then you need to contact his (her) staff and make it clear that they must change their actions and that if they don’t that not only won't you vote for that politician in the next election but that you will work tirelessly to seek to have anyone who opposes them in the next election win that election!
When I was growing up I was told by my parents that religion and politics were subjects that should be avoided at all costs because it was not polite to conduct such discussions in a social setting. If you are familiar with my writings, you know I often quote my parents because they often provided me with essential sage advice- advice that still guides me to this very day. However, this is one of those rare times when I believe that they erred. I certainly do believe that religion is a matter that need not be discussed publicly, but where politics is concerned, I ask that you consider the precise wording of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Please read those words carefully. When asked about the First Amendment, most folks will rattle off that it includes freedom of speech, freedom of press and freedom of religion. What is often left out is the second half of that amendment:
“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
At the time of the founding of this nation the only way that people could have a discussion, a debate or engage in a dialogue was to stand face to face and have that conversation. There were no telegraphs, telephones, radio or television programs or the internet. Clearly the Founding Fathers understood that people needed to hold meetings in which such discussions, debates or, perhaps, arguments, could be conducted. All that they asked was that these encounters were peaceful. They also understood that the citizens of our nation had the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances- and boy do we have grievances today!
James Madison has been quoted as saying:
"Education is the true foundation of civil liberty."
Therefore I implore you to resolve to educate yourself as best you can about the issues of the day, to engage in discussions with friends and neighbors either in person or on the internet and to not only vote but to develop a relationship with those who are paid to represent you in all levels of government.
You must make these politicians as accountable as you would if you were the owner of a business and they were your employees, because, in point of fact, they are your employees!
No politician should be permitted to remain in public office if they make a mockery of our laws, including our immigration laws! Those immigration laws, I would remind you, were promulgated to protect our nation and our citizens. The immigration laws are not a formality but go to the foundation of sovereignty and national security. Any politician who places the needs and wellbeing of illegal aliens ahead of citizens who live within his (her) jurisdiction is not representing you or the other citizens!
To cite an example, if a politicians believes that an illegal alien should be provided with instate tuition, that politian is making it clear that he believes that state borders are more important than our national borders and needs to be voted out of office!
If a politician favors expanding the H-1b Visa Program for “High Tech” workers, at a time when American engineers, scientists and technicians are losing their jobs, then that politician should lose his (her) job!
In March of 1962 the Twilight Zone aired one of its most famous episodes. That episode was entitled, “To Serve Man.” Man.” In this program, nine foot tall extraterrestrials landed and provided the facade of being here to help us. They were found to be carrying large books written in their native language. It did not take long for the translators to decipher the title of the book but the rest of the book took some time. The title of the book was found to be “To Serve Man.” They convinced many humans to board their spacecraft to travel to their home planet. It was only after this that the contents of the books that these visitors carried were translated- it turned out to be a cookbook! The human species may have been served, but their best interests most certainly were not!
It is important that we really pay attention to the purpose of the various proposed immigration measures and ask few fundamental questions: Would the proposed measures help or hurt the average beleaguered citizen of the United States? Would the proposed measure enhance or harm national security or community safety?
Please resolve that this year you will take your citizenship and the obligations that go with it seriously- and make these the resolutions that you keep for the entire year!