We The People/Chapter 2: Responsibility

Chapter Two
Responsibility

Former President Gerald Ford had a really good quote years ago. I stole it from a book called Write It When I’m Gone, by Thomas DeFrank, a reporter who had covered Ford as vice president. Ford said:

Government will continue to be about as good as concerned and conscientious citizens make it.

True enough. These words cut to the heart of our American experience because when concerned and conscientious citizens hold those governing accountable the people will generally be well governed. Those governing know if they do not govern well they will not govern for long.

Similarly, when those governing are not held accountable, they will tend to do whatever consolidates their wealth and power. When us citizens are not particularly concerned or conscientious no one should die of shock when they find themselves with a partisan, fractured and bickering government.

Which is what we have right now. We have not been holding anyone, including ourselves, accountable and as a result we are over $20 trillion in debt with a tax code that even confuses the IRS. 

There’s more: 

We are despised the world over. 

A bit less than 15 percent of Americans need government help putting food on the table and a lot of our fellow citizens, perhaps even you, are either working one job that isn’t quite full-time, or are working a couple of jobs to make ends meet, something I’ve found myself doing at times the past few years.

I believe you and me – we the people – are entitled to better.

We are entitled to a country that has a flourishing economy anchored in low taxes and free markets.

We are entitled to an income tax experience that does not fill us with dread and takes too much of our money.

We are entitled to a country other nations respect.

More than anything we are entitled to good government because good government will make everything else happen.

We don’t have good government right now and we are not going to have it until we start demanding it on Election Day. We have a collective responsibility – to ourselves, to our country and, really, to a world waiting for an America it can respect again – to become demanding and participating voters.

Friends, I love our country and our fellow citizens as much as you do but, frankly, we are not a demanding and participating electorate right now. It is popular around election time to blame incumbents, the media and lobbyists but the bottom line is when the time comes to cast our ballots, we are the ones that did the voting. There were no obstacles between us and the government we want. Nobody filled our ballots out for us; the responsibility for our government is ours. We will continue to get substandard government because if we’re not demanding change, why should Congress deliver it?

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The Bottom Line: The American Way has always been about personal responsibility. When we start holding ourselves and our leaders accountable on Election Day we will find the country and government we want is there for the taking. 

Friends, the remainder of the book costs $4.99 to read. Click here to buy. All proceeds go to the campaign. 

Chapter 1: Liberty
Chapter 3: Peace
Table of Contents

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We The People/Chapter 1: Liberty

Chapter One
Liberty

Liberty may not be something you think about too much. After all, we live in America, we’re free, liberty is our birthright. Throughout history, however, most humans have not lived in a free country. Liberty, the ability to do with our lives what we want, as always been a battle.

Liberty is what made America America in the first place. 

For centuries, with a few exceptions here and there, people had no choice over who governed them. Very early those with land and money ruled those who had neither. As mankind evolved, individuals and families claimed dominion over territories and those who lived in them and thrones were claimed and then fought over. Some monarchs were benevolent, allowing their subjects to more or less go about their business as long as taxes and tributes were paid, while others were tyrants. Attempts to remove these shackles were costly and often unsuccessful.

Our first recorded attempt to govern ourselves came in ancient Greece, in the fifth century BC. Voting was for citizens, with citizenship reserved for – and this will surprise you – adult males, specifically those who had completed their military training. Citizens voted on everything, both legislative acts and executive decisions, acting as a rather large legislature.

The English had one of mankind’s earliest attempts at removing the shackles of monarchy. In the 13th-century some English barons got their shorts in a knot over the reign of King John with their rebellion resulting in the Magna Carta, in essence, a peace treaty that guaranteed, among other things, church freedoms, freedom from illegal imprisonment and limits on payments to the crown. Nobody really paid much attention to it, however, and over time it lost some of its practical significance. 

But not its moral significance. The Magna Carta’s influence continued over the centuries, including its profound influence on our own Constitution.

The United States, of course, earned its independence from Great Britain following the Revolutionary War. Ever since the word ‘America’ has been synonymous with liberty, representing not only a place but the idea that all men are created equal, that we all have the inalienable right to do with our lives what we want, provided we don’t bother anyone else while doing it.

What’s funny is the United States’ record on liberty is decidedly mixed. For centuries blacks were held as slaves and for a long time the blessings of liberty were available only to white, land-owning males.

Not only does America as a nation have a mixed record regarding human liberty, so do some of this nation’s most revered figures. Two of my favorite examples are Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

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Thomas Jefferson, of course, was the author of one of mankind’s seminal works, The Declaration of Independence. He was also the third president of the United States, the founder of the University of Virginia and a slave owner.

That Jefferson owned slaves is not a bulletin. Like you probably do, I remember being taught this in school. We were told, well, yes, kids, Jefferson did own slaves, but that’s the way it was back then: whites owned slaves and Jefferson didn’t have much choice in the matter; he was merely a product of his times. Even modest reading into Jefferson the slave owner, however, shows this wasn’t entirely true and significant reading makes it crystal clear: Jefferson worked his slaves hard, disciplined them as needed and generally used them to live a comfortable life.

Heck, Jefferson was not only a slave owner, he was a slave innovator as well, one of the first to use his slaves as collateral for a loan and to force his slaves to become skilled artisans and tradesmen, thereby further reinforcing their bondage.

The Declaration of Independence notwithstanding Jefferson, frankly, never did much of anything to either end slavery in his country or on his plantation. Despite the fact he used his slaves to build a comfortable life for himself, Jefferson remains a revered figure, regarded as one of History’s preeminent spokesmen for human liberty.

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Abraham Lincoln presided over one of this nation’s most tumultuous times, the Civil War. From the start, Lincoln decided he was going to save the Union and that he was going to do whatever it took to do this. And he did, both using and ignoring the Constitution as he saw fit

To save the Union Lincoln engaged our country in a brutal civil war. Lincoln realized the Union had significantly more young men to sacrifice than the Confederacy did and as long as he was able to keep General Robert E. Lee from visiting the White House he could continue to send troops into battle until the South ran out of men. The death toll on both sides remains a staggering figure.

Lincoln also ignored the Constitution when it suited him. Lincoln imposed martial where he saw fit, curtailed a free press and had arrested those he felt needed to be arrested and held them without trial, all measures not in accordance with human liberty and there have always been those who consider Lincoln to be nothing more than a despot.

Despite this, Lincoln also remains a revered figure, not only in the United States but worldwide, often thought of by those as the man who ended slavery in the United States. We can still remember seeing a statue of Lincoln in Tijuana, Mexico depicting Lincoln holding a broken chain in his right hand.

These examples were made not to disparage two former presidents, or to show that I’ve been to Mexico, but to illustrate the battles we have fought over the years. Despite every obstacle our country has mustered – slavery, discrimination, intolerance – America has always meant something both to her citizens and to the rest of the world, providing the opportunity to build a good life, the results dependent only on the effort you were willing to put forth into making something good happen for yourself and your family.

The Bottom Line: The American Way was and remains liberty. Incumbent in that are concerned and participating voters holding ourselves and our leaders accountable. 

Introduction
Chapter 2: Responsibility
Table of Contents 

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We The People/Introduction

Introduction
2020 is the fifth time I’ve run for either the United States House or the United States Senate. Every time there has been voter discontent, but it’s peaking this year. I have never seen an electorate as fractured or angry or discontented as they are now.

Us Americans have a couple of options: can either wallow in our anger and discontent or we can put it to work for us, making it the fuel for us to make America America again. 

We should be angry and discontented because our country is a fiasco right now, a far cry from the American ideal many of us grew up believing in. By any measure, our government is a partisan, fractured and bickering mess. Our response to the coronavirus was late and incompetent, resulting in tens of thousands of needless deaths. We’ve been at war continuously since 1989 – over three decades – our finances are a mess and our social divides are threatening to make the problems of the 1960’s look like something out of Mother Goose. 

Now, in some respects, this really isn’t news. Throughout our history, it has always been something. America was born in war, came of age in war and war has long been our calling card. Our current racial tensions were born in 400 years of oppression and dominance. We’ve been in debt virtually our entire existence. 

But right now America is so far off its path our long-term viability is threatened. Between our perpetual wars, our mindless debt and our deep social divides I think America will be tossed aside the scrap heap of history before this half-century is out if concerned and conscientious citizens like you and me do not step in and do something at the ballot box because our country needs our help. It needs you and me – we the people – to take charge. 

America has always been as much an ideal as it has been a country, existing not only in fact but in theory, too. But the America that once meant something to the rest of the world is gone and the America that means something to Americans, too, is fading fast, too.

The good news is the solution to America’s problems looks us in the mirror every morning: 

There is nothing wrong with our country that concerned and conscientious citizens cannot solve. Collectively you and me – we the people – can make America America again. 

In this book, we will talk about the American Way, what made America America in the first place and what will make America America again both by looking at individual issues and the big picture. 

Like you do, I want a country we can be proud of and a country the world looks up to again. It will not be easy. It will require us to shed the familiar and do some things we haven’t done in a while. But it won’t be the first Americans have shed the familiar and it won’t be the first time we’ve redefined our country. 

I believe it’s a journey worth taking. It’s one we must take together and it’s one we must take right now.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The American Way: Liberty

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We The People/Table of Contents

We The People: Making America America Again
By Gaylon Kent

Friends, the Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2 are with my compliments. The entire book costs $4.99 and all proceeds go to the campaign. Click on the button to buy.

Introduction

Chapter 1
Liberty

Chapter 2
Responsibility

Chapter 3
Peace

Chapter 4
Low Taxes, Capitalism and Free Trade

Chapter 5
Health Care

Chapter 6
The 2nd Amendment

Chapter 7
Affirmative Action

Chapter 8
The Death Penalty

Chapter 9
Our American Government

Chapter 10
Morality Laws

Chapter 11
Term Limits

Chapter 12
Making America America Again

Chapter 13
The Only Issue That Matters

Afterword

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Plain Talk: Let’s Make a Difference

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You And Me Have Everything To Offer America

Honestly, the Republicans should be able to muster up someone better than a lying sexual predator who believes the moon is part of Mars as their 2020 presidential nominee. And, frankly, the Democrats should already have someone better setting the pace for their 2020 nomination.

Neither does. The GOP continues to defend the indefensible, brilliantly circling the wagons and towing the Trump party line. There are now twelve people vying for the Democrats 2020 presidential nomination, a figure that shows how fractured their party is. The Iowa caucuses are on Feb. 3 and we are still waiting for a Democrat to capture the imagination of their party. 

Both parties are appealing only to their most hardcore members right now, leaving the rest of us in the dark. If either party has a long-term plan for an America at peace with some semblance of fiscal sanity, they are brilliantly keeping it to themselves. 

While the Republicans and Democrats have nothing to offer our country you and me – we the people – have everything to offer. Because it is participating and demanding, concerned and conscientious citizens like us that will make America great again. 

I believe the government we deserve is there for the taking but we must demand it on Election Day – no one is going to give it to us. We must demand better than the status quo. We must demand an America that is not a partisan, fractured and bickering mess. 

We must demand better because we deserve better than what we have now. The America we deserve starts with you and it starts with me and it starts on November 3. 

I’ll lead the charge. Let’s go. 

Many thanks for reading,

Gaylon

Friends, click here to contribute to Gaylon For US Senate. 

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Trump Is The New Normal and America Is Lesser For It

YEAH, THIS IS A BULLETIN: President Trump’s impeachment hearings will continue this week. It should be a solemn occasion but, like with most things associated with Trump, he has turned it into a sideshow, with his usual smorgasbord of rants and insults. He does not appear to have any sense of the magnitude of these proceedings, appropriate because he has yet to show any appreciation for the history or the magnitude of the office we’ve always thought he never really wanted in the first place. Running for president was merely another way to draw attention to himself, Trump’s only real concern. 

Dry Technical Matter: The first two days of testimony were a mixed bag. Day 1 produced substantive testimony that could well result in articles of impeachment. Day 2 did not. It mere showed Trump to petty, vindictive and manipulative, but that’s hardly news. We’ve known that for decades. 

Back On Message: Trump is so ignorant of anything that is not right off the top of his head it’s doubtful he could name the other four presidents who’ve had impeachment hearings held against them (Buchanan, Johnson, Nixon and Clinton).  He’s a man, after all, who believes the moon is part of Mars, so his answers could run the gamut from Elvis to Herschel Walker to Charlie Brown.

Write This Down: With his standard attacks, lies, insults and ridicule Trump is making a mockery of our presidency, insulting every single one of us and we are taking it. We’re not saying enough, we’re not protesting a man who admits to grabbing women by the pussy, whose Trump University was a boiler room scam and who believes the Continental Army’s securing of British airports helped win the Revolution. 

We’re not saying we deserve better. 

We’re getting blather when we should be demanding civility and decorum. We’re getting second-rate, fractured, bickering government that should shame every single one of us but we’re choosing to tolerate it. 

USA! USA! Paced by the lapdogs in the media who escorted him into the White House in the first place, Trump is the new normal. Lies and insults are par for the course now, as is the shooting of our children in their schools. We’re taking all of it. 

Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: The 2020 elections will provide another opportunity for America to herald to itself and to the world whether we will retain a status quo that will eventually destroy our country – probably before this half-century is out – or whether we are going to dismiss the status quo and demand better.

We deserve better than the government we have now, but nobody is going to give it to us. We must demand it on Election Day. 

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The Blood of Those Slaughtered In Mexico Should Be Poured In The Rotunda Of The US Capitol

INSERT OWN TRAGIC LEAD LINE HERE: Funerals for the nine Americans shot to death Monday in a small, remote town in northwest Mexico were held Thursday. Three women and six children were slaughtered. None of this is news. Children and foreigners, once more or less off-limits, are now fair game for Mexico’s drug cartels. 

Dry, Technical Matter: Mexico has been at war with its drug cartels since 2006, obliged to do so by America’s own drug war, which forces cartels to smuggle in products a lot of Americans want. The profits from smuggling drugs into America are not small, and the fight amongst cartels for control is as violent as it is competitive. 

Fly In The Ointment: We have no one to blame but ourselves. A violent America has produced a violent world and our drug war has produced the violence in both countries that attends the importation of narcotics into America. 

Here He Goes: The shootings illustrate one of the reasons to end the drug war, over and above the fact it is not the government’s job to criminalize a personal choice like this:

Legalize drugs and violence like this disappears. 

Oh Crap, He’s Appealing To Logic And Reason: Is the US/Mexican border currently awash in violence over the importation of coffee? Of course it isn’t. Coffee is legal. Legalize drugs and drug lords immediately go from drug smugglers to vendors trying to move some product. 

Get Out Your History Books: This week’s shootings reinforce a lesson Prohibition taught us, a lesson America still refuses to heed: morality laws do not work, unless your goal is to make criminals rich, then they work fine. The violence that currently attends trying to smuggle drugs into the US will remain as long as such drugs remain illegal. It’s a lesson America should have learned decades ago. 

It’s time for us to learn it now.

Thank you for reading,

Gaylon

Click here to donate to Gaylon for United States Senate. 

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The GOP Has Nothing To Offer America

One of the more interesting elements of the end of the second decade of the 21st-century is the continued existence of the Republican Party. Founded in 1854 in Wisconsin by citizens opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, their first elected president was Abraham Lincoln in 1860. They are still around, we suppose, out of habit, because they no longer have anything to offer our country. All they’ve got for us right now is blather and bluster, lies and deceit, catering to the fears of white America. Somewhere Richard Nixon is smiling broadly.

The Republicans have not produced a decent elected president since Eisenhower, who left office almost six decades ago. The GOP litany of presidential failure is long:

Nixon was a crook. Reagan presided over a scandal-ridden administration and was the most managed president in history, a precedent we have yet to recover from. George Bush was gracious but was unable to earn a second term. George W Bush lied to get us into war. President Trump disdains protocol, manners, good sense. He believes Colorado borders Mexico, that the moon is part of Mars and that the Continental Army won the Revolution by securing British airports, fallacies most of us were disabused of in middle school if we ever believed them in the first place. His only real talent is drawing attention to himself.

(Gerald Ford, of course, wasn’t elected president. A good, decent man, he did well in his two-and-a-half years in the Oval Office under circumstances the Son of Man would have found challenging.)

The GOP should go away. Their recent stampede of a House impeachment hearing was childish and petulant, a witless act that merely showed blind followers defending an indefensible president. We thought that a Trump defeat in 2016 might spell the end of the GOP but there’s still hope: an impeachment, a Senate trial that tears the party apart regardless of its verdict, more mindless blather from our president, and it is not entirely unreasonable to foresee and America without the Republican Party.

Good riddance. The GOP would be doing us a favor by disappearing.

Thank you for reading,
Gaylon

Click here to contribute to Gaylon For US Senate. Thank you. – gk

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We The People Excerpt: Low Taxes

From We The People by Gaylon Kent:

 Another aspect of America life that is well off its tracks is our income tax code. Currently, it is over nine million words long and is so confusing the IRS gives out wrong information 25 percent of the time (Source: The Flat Tax Revolution by Steve Forbes). It is so confusing that individuals and businesses spend over $400 billion just to comply with their tax obligations. That is $400 billion drained from the American economy, money that is not being saved, invested or spent.
   This is insane. We are entitled to an income tax return that can be filled out on a single sheet of paper and an experience that doesn’t cause us to pull our hair out.
   We are entitled to a government that does not take too much of our money.
   A flat tax would provide us will all these things. A flat tax of five, and certainly no more than ten, percent would ensure the government is not taking too much of our money, would provide for an income tax return that was a single sheet of paper and would make April 15 a less annoying and frustrating day than it is now.
   The business of America is business so let’s eliminate the corporate income tax. I’ll be honest, I didn’t always favor this. I used to think it was reasonable for businesses to pay a little something for the opportunity to make a fortune in this country, but on the campaign trail some years back a business owner pointed out that taxes were nothing more than an expense they passed on to us consumers. That made sense, so I changed my position: there is no reason to saddle us consumers with what is essentially another tax on us.

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