But what gives us pause today is not the sentiments of faith, hope, and peace expressed by free citizens in a free society, but the curtailment of the people's inherent right to have the government represent them. Washington is awash in influence peddling, money, and political corruption while the people are denied access to the right to have their voices heard on matters of national importance. Such affairs as this, the tyranny of perpetual government terror on its own people, the role of favors, gifts, and money in legislation and elections robs the people of their government.
There is no higher duty then service to one's community and country. We achieve and celebrate that service in so many ways small and large. It is through that work, through the building of communities, through the ordinary acts of extraordinary people that the spirit of democracy and freedom is kindled.
Our spirit of liberty and justice today is threatened by monied interests who have bought influence and sway in the government at the expense of the people. As a free and democratic people we demand certain basic rights. We believe in:
1. the right of the people to expect their legislators to be honest, ethical, and hardworking towards conducting the people's business
2. the right to a government free of special interests and money in lobbying
3. the right to fair and free verifiable democratic elections
4.the right of the people to expect their representatives in the Congress to devote their undivided time and effort towards accomplishing the work of the people and providing for the general security of the nation without outside influence and purchasing access
5. the right of the people to expect their legislators to uphold the time-honored traditions and adhere to the old standards of bipartisanship, deliberation, dignity, goodwill, judgement, reason, and tolerance befitting the elected representatives of a free people
Constance Lavender is a pseudonymous HIV positive freelance e-journalist from Galloway, New Jersey. Ms. Lavender believes that a free country is premised on a free press. Her work has appeared in numerous online venues including OpEd News and the Gay Financial Network.