Letter: Think long term
I understand my conservative neighbors’ concerns about inflation, health care, the waves of pandemics washing across our nation, and the state of education or lack thereof. I won’t assume to know all the reasons why these issues more than others decide for them why a candidate is “out of touch” and why their candidate may be better. But, with respect to one, our senior United States senator, Michael Bennet, I’d like to offer my perspective.
Inflation will come and it will go. Nor can it be blamed on any one administration any more than can the immediate cost of a gallon of gasoline. Certainly public policies contribute factors. But how far back? For example, the double-digit inflation that haunted the Carter Administration found its origin in LBJ’s “guns and butter” policy to both fight a costly war and create The Great Society. And while it took Paul Volcker’s strict interest diet to tame it, it was Reaganomics that claimed the credit when the economy finally stabilized in the 1990s under Bill Clinton’s tenure.
While the proponents of lobbying may defend the practice under the First or the Ninth Amendments, the truth is, as that institution has evolved, it is little more than legalized public bribery. Sen. Bennet wants to prevent the further abuse of this practice by banning federally elected officials from serving as lobbyists. Period. He has put his money where his mouth is by refusing to take corporate PAC money, a form of legalized bribery and blackmail. He stands against senators and congressmen/women from making personal stock trades while in office, thus removing the temptation to benefit from information they would be naturally privileged to by virtue of their office. This would be called insider trading if it involved the purely business community.
A senator, unlike a congressman, is elected to a six-year term and must also meet the same age requirement as a presidential candidate. These constitutional mandates mean the office looks at things in the longer term. Our senior senator has identified a handful of ills that, over time, have corrupted the roots of our liberty tree. He has chosen to honor the perspective of his office and offers a legislative platform to heal this festering corruption that has contributed to our collective unease over our increasing social inequality.
Colorado is remarkable among our current 50 states. The Centennial State adheres to the ideals of resilience, individuality and independence balanced with the need for the common good with a state constitution that requires a balanced budget. That recognizes the value and values of all its citizens, not just the ones that adhere to certain religious principles, even as it tips our collective hat to the deity through our state motto: “Nil sine Numine,” “Nothing without the Deity.” It deserves a remarkably modest man willing to take small steps to help heal our country by addressing these fundamental issues rather than the passing lightning storms that raise the hackles on our necks and divide us unnecessarily.