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Letter: In Need of A Statesman

To the Editor:

Even as we examine the most iniquitous chapters of American history, even among those days and times characterized by the most reckless of evils, we find that hope has always prevailed over despair.

Those who came before us worked with great, sometimes awe-inspiring diligence to accomplish the central goal that our founding generation had envisioned for America: The raising of an efficient moral standard — one intended to work the preservation of liberty; the abolishment of slavery; the continual defense of our inherent, "self-evident," God-given rights; and the establishment of a true, republican form of government, "of, by, and for" the people.

Regrettably, in the midst of these noble endeavors, there has always existed a sad, predominately ill-favored side to our American legacy.

Since the founding of this nation, various forces have been at work, each driven by their own self-centered, self-focused, hedonistic appetite, yet sharing one common objective on the whole: To take power and control away from ordinary citizens and consolidate it into the hands of certain elite groups (the political parties being chief among them), each of them promising (and quite often delivering) special privileges and other fraudulent incentives to those individuals and coalitions working to keep them in power.

As a result, Americans have continually found themselves caught in a situation where the Constitution is ignored, and phony, liberalized political edicts are treated as if they had the legitimacy of law. The "inalienable" rights guaranteed to each and every one of us by our founding charters have essentially been taken captive under the mechanism of government regulation — abducted and held for ransom, as it were.

Through the use of carefully laid political strategy (intended to leverage votes), we find that certain liberties have been artificially "restored" to some, redistributed back to the people, but only on an incremental basis and only in ways that best suit the elite.

No longer are these objects to be considered God-given rights. Instead we find them depicted simply as government-sponsored privileges, extended to us by the generosity and goodwill of those in power.

Yet according to the truths embodied in America’s founding principles, we know that every human being is, by the Constitution, guaranteed his natural rights and the free exercise of them, without regard to any temporal designation related to class, condition, or circumstance, or the bogus subterfuges of regulatory power. These are merely political façades, meant to undermine a document once regarded as our nation’s highest law.

In turbulent days like this, when our foremost blessings are denied, neglected, renounced, and deliberately subjected to overtures of lawlessness, injustice, and other great moral atrocities, we are reminded that the task of defending these fundamental rights does not reside with the political parties.

It resides with the people.

"If people are obliged to support one person who doesn’t represent them in order to stop another who also doesn’t represent them, they end up with a government that doesn’t represent them."

This opinion, which has been circulated on the national level by Dr. Alan Keyes (and others of like mind), is one that indeed seems to resonate among us.

Here in Virginia’s 11th Congressional District, if history guides, it’s likely that voters will once again decide to run a "token slate" of independent candidates for Congress during this year’s election cycle. This practice is nothing new. What remains to be seen, however, is whether there are indeed any would-be patriots left among us, possessing the moral wherewithal to put forward a true alternative to the incumbent, Gerry Connolly. Whether there are any ready to lift up a decent, grassroots alternative, wholly independent of those sly, party-driven conditions and other politically imposed constraints, aimed at denying voters a genuine choice at the ballot box.

The task is one that would likely require time, hard work, and innovative thinking. Government "of, by and for" the people is not about being idle, passive, or timid; or takings cues from the party bosses, the money people, or the media outlets; or settling for those aspiring politicos who claim independence from the parties while in fact advocating the exact same brand of neo-confederate, pseudo-constitutional nonsense. It’s about taking the time to recognize and study what is truly needed for this country, and then finding, reaching for, lifting up, and actively sustaining the kind of leadership that corresponds to that need.

Such an endeavor would hardly be worth the effort if it were to merely inundate the field, as it so often seems, with a stagnant array of political hacks, beholden to the very same vestiges of party elitism and other pro-establishment "legislative themes" that Connolly and his political colleagues (on both sides of the aisle) so earnestly represent.

But I think we would do well, as a community, to raise at least one candidate of our own design, with the necessary character, vision, understanding, and moral courage to ensure that our founding charters work as they were intended to work. Someone who is able, without compromise, to articulate and exemplify the kind of complete respect for principled conservatism to which bona fide American statesmanship rightly and justly corresponds.

Joseph A. Glean

Former candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates