SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER . . . FROM INSIDE THE HALLS OF POWER
Anyway, I really urge you to read the entire speech. It's a stunning display of intelligence, honesty and guts. Even if you disagree with aspects of his politics (and likely you will), there's no way you can't be impressed with his general points about the America was live in, today in 2006. A few highlights (by no means exclusive):
* Since the use of power to achieve political ends is accepted, pervasive, and ever expanding, popular support for various programs is achieved by creating fear . . . . Often government caused the problem in the first place . . . . FEMA originally had a small role, but its current mission is to centrally manage every natural disaster that befalls us. This mission was exposed as a fraud during last year’s hurricanes; incompetence and corruption are now FEMA’s legacy . . . . The economic impossibility of this system guarantees that the harder government tries to satisfy the unlimited demands, the worse the problems become. We won’t be able to pay the bills forever, and eventually our ability to borrow and print new money must end. This dependency on government will guarantee anger when the money runs out.(Emphases added). Again, I strongly suggest you give it a read. You'll be amazed that a member of the House actually gave this speech.
* Short wars, with well-defined victories, are tolerated by the American people even when they are misled as to the reasons for the war. Wars entered into without a proper declaration tend to be politically motivated and not for national security reasons . . . . The lack of a quick military success, the loss of life and limb, and the huge economic costs of lengthy wars precipitate anger. This is overwhelmingly true when the war propaganda that stirred up illegitimate fears is exposed as a fraud. Most soon come to realize the promise of guns and butter is an illusion. They come to understand that inflation, a weak economy, and a prolonged war without real success are the reality . . . . But no one is allowed to ask the obvious. How have the 2,500 plus deaths, and the 18,500 wounded, made us more free? What in the world does Iraq have to do with protecting our civil liberties here at home? What national security threat prompted America’s first pre-emptive war? How does our unilateral enforcement of UN resolutions enhance our freedoms. These questions aren’t permitted. They are not politically correct.
* I personally am convinced that many of our wars could be prevented by paying stricter attention to the method whereby our troops are committed to battle. I also am convinced that when Congress does not declare war, victory is unlikely. The most important thing Congress can do to prevent needless and foolish wars is for every member to take seriously his or her oath to obey the Constitution. Wars should be entered into only after great deliberation and caution. Wars that are declared by Congress should reflect the support of the people, and the goal should be a quick and successful resolution.
* The major obstacle to a sensible foreign policy is the fiction about what patriotism means. Today patriotism has come to mean blind support for the government and its policies. In earlier times patriotism meant having the willingness and courage to challenge government policies regardless of popular perceptions.