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To the Republican Leadership, or Lack of Leadership, In the US Congress?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Reed Hoffman

Wake up and smell the coffee. Can’t you see what’s happening in our country? We elected you to do precisely the opposite of what you are doing.

Your priorities should be God, country, community, family, and self. In that exact order. I believe that’s what Tom and George and Ben and the guys that got together in 1776 decided that America was supposed to be. A country made-up of strong individuals, coming from different phases of life, working together to construct legislation that benefits everyone.


That is not the situation in our Congress, and you know it.

As a citizen, taxpayer, and voter in this country, I am a US government stockholder, and you are on my Board of Directors. Your job is to work for me, not yourself.

To paraphrase former president Harry Truman, “If you get rich in politics, you’re a crook.”

Old Harry knew what he was talking about. Too many of you have removed God from priority number one and moved “me” up to the top of the list. It’s not that you’re not good people, but your priorities have shifted from country to self. That’s why we’re in trouble. 

Too many of you have never held a job or operated a business. You do not understand the issues facing the people that hired you. The one introductory lesson you have never learned: you can’t pay for something with money you do not have. In your case, tax revenue. Quit stealing my kid's future to give away buying votes.

Yes, it is stealing. Huge Bills are created with nice-sounding names. The intent of the legislation sounds reasonable; however, in action, it will cost millions more than the problem needs, bloating the government even further as a means for you to buy votes.

Interestingly some of you professional politicians have a multi-million-dollar net worth. So do your children. That’s a pretty good trick for someone living on their congressional salary without outside business: or breaking the rules. Of course, if you read the rulebook, you probably know but don’t care; there are strict rules regarding engaging in business, as you could easily influence its profitability. Hmmm, I think ole Harry knew of what he spoke.  


You have developed two large classes of people in America, those that live off the government and those who must pay for it.

As a result, this is not the country I want to leave my children and grandchildren. I want to leave them something where they can see a bright future, where they can grow, where they can build a good life for themselves and their families, and they can worship their God if they desire to. They can be good citizens without carrying the heavy yoke of government every day.

They do not need to be told in third grade about the proper use of “pronouns,” if you get my drift. Everything they do does not need to be regulated by the Federal Government, including the size of their soft drink can.

Oh, yes, I hear Mitch McConnell on the Senate side and Kevin McCarthy, on the House side, stand up and make these heart-wrenching speeches, that oh, our inflation is going through the roof, gas prices are so high, our oil industry has been ruined, we’re becoming the laughing stock of the world! Oh, and by the way, would you guys on the other side of the aisle, pretty please cut that out?

Your answer is 78 texts I got on my cell phone over the weekend. They came from candidates across the country, asking for money. The members of this group with business or military backgrounds probably have the know-how to get us back on track. They are fighting millions, and millions of “dark money” dollars being slipped into the country from people overseas interested in taking control of our government.  


Thanks to your lack of leadership, I’m now on a fixed income, and sadly, I don’t have money to donate to people with a bit of patriotism who would work for me, one of the nation’s stockholders.

However, you have failed dramatically in your leadership. Turn off the computers sending out all the texts and emails, and I might mention that some of them are very insulting towards those who receive them. Shaming people into giving money is fraud and manipulation.

Get off your butts, get out in the country with the people you are supposed to represent, and raise the money yourselves.

When I first walked off Main Street and entered politics in 1984, hoping to win the election and then do what I could to help turn the economy around, Iowa was in one of the worst economic depressions the state had ever seen. Jimmy Carter had interest rates at 20%. Farms were being foreclosed on every day, and we would lose a bank about once a week. People on the farms and Main Street were suffering; sadly, many didn’t make it.

So how am I supposed to raise what, in those days, was a tremendous amount of money? Raise $270,000 in a climate like this?  

We did it a dollar at a time. I was up early. I knocked on doors, and I went to cafes. I went to machine shops; I went into welding shops; I walked down Main Street, talked to merchants, and then we’d have a meeting in the afternoon, and following that, I would meet some more people. Then that evening, we would have what we call the “meet and greet,” where we’d have people come to someone’s home, and I would chat with them. Hopefully, our conversation encouraged them to give me some money. I went home many nights exhausted, arriving well after midnight.


From that experience, the feeling became that if they bought a ticket, they would ride the train. Our people worked their butts off and raised that $270,000, with an average donation of 17 bucks, one check for $100, and nothing bigger.

We did it with bake sales, no bake sales, auctions, and people working hard to organize more people so we could meet them and greet them. The folks would donate a buck or two. Yes, they bought the ticket, and they rode the train.

It's hard work. I came home one time from being on the road, was very discouraged, and considered dropping out of the race. As I pulled up in front of our office, a gentleman was standing beside an old pickup that was rusted out. It had four extremely worn tires, but none of them matched. He was standing next to the pickup, wearing a pair of not the cleanest overalls in the world. As I walked past him, he stuck out his hand and asked, “Are you, Jim?”

“Yes, Sir.” 

He handed me a folded, dirty old $5 bill. It had to have been a fortune to him!

“I think you will do a good job for me,” came softly from his lips.  

He turned, opened the door, climbed into his pickup, and drove away without another word.

My eyes stared at that $5 bill as I walked into the office. There were tears in my eyes. Because that’s what this was all about. I was supposed to go to Congress and work for him. 

That’s what our forefathers wanted. Not to represent me. Not to get some nice soft seat where you didn’t have to worry about getting fired for two years.  


As a taxpayer, understand clearly what I am saying; you work for me, not the other way around.  

You are the only one that can save us. You must get off your collective rear ends and become men and women who stand for America first. “Me” should be somewhere way, way down the list. Demonstrate patriotism rather than personal gain.

I voted against the Americans with Disabilities Act. My staff went ballistic. They told me I would probably lose the election, but they stood behind me 100%. One remark regarding my opponent, “They will run a commercial showing you throwing a guy in a wheelchair off a Cliff!” 

Come election time, they did, but we won the election, as I stood solid for what I believed in. People understood my reasoning when not viewed through the prism of slanted mass media and paid attack commercials.

I believe the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is excellent in its intent and purpose. However, it is another massive government program that is nothing more than the full Employment Act for trial lawyers. 

I used to forecast the weather and missed it now and then, but I didn’t miss this one. Time has shown that another bloated program was born, paid for with my kid’s and grandkid's futures.

Those of us out here in the country are unhappy; we see our savings disappear, we see our grocery bills climb, and our fuel bills mount. Oh, my goodness, our utility bills are headed sky-high. We also are watching China and Russia raising their ugly heads again. 


You might not have liked Trump because his personality could be a little grating from time to time. However, let’s remember that our economy was doing exceptionally well during his time as president. Our oil industry had become self-sufficient, and we weren’t buying oil from countries that hate us. China and Russia were sitting quietly in their corners. Peace was starting to break out in the Middle East. America was respected.

And, of course, Congress was spending way too much money. It seems like we just don’t have people on either side of the aisle, whoever had to balance a checkbook.

So, ladies and gentlemen, as a former Member of Congress and a U.S. citizen who wants to leave this country as good or better than he found it, please, please show some leadership. No more of those fancy speeches concluding with, “and you guys be good.” 

Do something about it. Turn off the computers and the texting. Get the candidates out on the trail where people can meet them, and learn who they are. We’ll have a better government if you do, and it will be much more like what George, Tom, and the boys that got together back in 1776 decided this country should be.

Please, for the sake of my children and grandchildren: don’t throw this great country away.

A few strong words to “leaders” on both sides of the aisle: stop the power game, and start playing the Patriot game. That’s what you were elected to do! You should be a group of people with diverse ideas, but you must respect each other. 


America must come first. Stake your lives and futures on the line, as have great soldiers, sailors, and airmen who continue to step up to defend this country.  

Audie Murphy didn’t become the most decorated soldier in World War II by sitting in his foxhole and texting messages. He got up and got into the fight. To him, America was number one, and he placed himself somewhere way down the list.

What’s your choice going to be? Will God and country be number one for you??

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