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Letter: Vote principle over party this election cycle

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The impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump are over. The proceedings were emblematic of the polarity in the country as the left and the right vilified each other, vying for title of most patriotic and having the greatest fidelity to the constitution. Members of both the House and Senate invoked the wisdom and intent of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution as the foundation of their arguments and position on the two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It’s laudable that members of Congress look to the Founders and the Constitution during one of the most important proceedings that they may undertake. One can conclude they possess superior knowledge of the Founders and the Constitution, understand and follow the tenants of both as a guiding principle and must themselves be free from engaging in the same behavior as enumerated in the articles of impeachment. But is this true?

The Founding Fathers abhorred a large central government. The Founders were well aware of the potential for abuse of power and tyranny inherent in a central government. The states were and still are sovereign. Through the state citizens would have a strong voice and influence with their fellow citizen/elected officials. The federal government was only granted limited and enumerated powers as contained within the Constitution and Bill of Rights. As we ponder how Congress walks the talk with upholding the Founders tenants and the Constitution, consider the following examples of ongoing abuses of power either perpetrated or tacitly supported by Congress:

The profligate spending resulting in trillion dollar deficits and over 23 trillion dollars of debt. The inability of Congress to balance the budget, control spending and reduce tax burdens.

The quid pro quo of conditioning federal taxpayer funding of state initiatives upon compliance with federal mandates.

Legislation permitting federal government warrantless surveillance and suspension of due process on U.S citizens.

Conducting military conflicts under “authorization to use military force” as opposed to Congress’s responsibility to declare a “state of war.”

The quid pro quo of funneling taxpayer funds to constituent districts for political favor or support.

Federal firearm legislation which usurps the State’s, or the people, sole authority to regulate firearms under the Second and Tenth Amendments contained in the Bill of Rights.

Monetary expansionist policy of the Federal Reserve eroding the purchasing power of the American people.

The FBI wanton lying on FISA warrants, conducting illegal surveillance, meddling in investigations, allowing the destruction of evidence and usurping the Justice department’s authority.

The same Congress that impeaches and tries the President turns a blind eye to their own members who participate or tolerate these and many other continued abuses of power.

The Founder’s vision of strong sovereign states and limited central government was correct then and it still is now. If we are truly outraged by our elected officials’ abuses of power, truly believe in limited government as intended by the Founders we, the people, need to make a fundamental shift.

Government’s power is granted by consent of the governed. When we vote party over principle, when we vote straight ticket, when we decide our vote is to solely keep the other Party out of power, are we truly fulfilling the obligation the Founders placed on us of preserving the Republic? Are we truly behaving as responsible citizens who value liberty and want to preserve the Republic when our lack of action provides tacit approval of these abuses and enables further abuse of power?

This election cycle we need to change. This election cycle we need to vote principle over party.

Thomas Knueven,

Chairman of the
Libertarian Party of Montgomery County

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