THE SEDUCTIVE BEAUTY AND POISON OF THE CAPITOL

A few months ago, I was given a 3-hour personal tour of the Capitol with a handful of tea party leaders by a Republican Congressman. This tour was different from normal tours as we were able to access the House and Senate floors. That night, I stood behind and gripped the podium where presidents give the State of the Union address…which was an amazing thrill.

We visited the Senate floor and I touched the very desk where Daniel Webster delivered towering speeches, often cracking the lid while slamming it shut to emphasize a point. We visited the rotunda where I imagined, in front of their statues, if George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would have ever imagined the government they helped create through inspiration, compromise, prayer and reasoned debate would one day have a $16.7 trillion debt? I came to the conclusion they would torch everything in sight. The sense of majesty and history felt in the Capitol is like one I have never felt. It was beautiful, ornate, and holy in some ways. Yet, in others it was horrifying.

For those who have never visited the House and Senate chambers, they are opulent with gold leaf, murals and massive paintings of the Founding Fathers. History hangs thick in the air. Almost thick enough to cut and one wonders how many of our national heroes have tread in the very spot where one stands. The chambers reminded me of photos I have seen of Versailles. It is most certainly opulence fitting the greatest nation in the history of the world. And then, all at once, the history, majesty and magic suddenly ended.

The desk of John McCain! I stood beside the desk of John McCain on the front row of the Senate floor. Immediately, patriotic visions of Adams, Jefferson and great American statesmen turned into realities of the modern-day arrogance and corruption from those we call leaders. Then the desk of Lindsey Graham…and Orrin Hatch…and John Kerry…Olympia Snowe. And immediately the horrors of the institution cried out like a scream in the dark.

My host was most thorough in his tales of the history of the Capitol and its inhabitants. He is a conservative congressman who has served many terms. Yet, I couldn’t help but notice he was in love with the place and what takes place there. He let himself show when he spoke of swapping jokes with Steny Hoyer or chatting with Nancy Pelosi. Those who refer to me as a terrorist, extremist and teabagger! All of those stories made me a little more ill. Don’t misunderstand, the congressman votes right the vast majority of the time and is a good man. But he was seduced by the Capitol, its history and the unequalled power given to those who hold public office.

By the time we finished our tour on the House floor, I felt a sense of revulsion. The Capitol was the most beautiful and ugly thing I had ever seen. The building is fitting of the goodness and greatness of America. But the inhabitants foul the sacred history of the institution. They too have bought into the ugliness of power. Too many elected officials no longer are concerned about their constituents or, in too many cases, the country in which the Capitol represents. They have created for themselves a system where they are re-elected at a rate of more than 99%. We see leader after leader dying in office. That is the only way they will leave. Robert Byrd is a perfect example having to be wheeled in on a gurney to make votes before passing. Did West Virginia need one more bridge with his name on it? Texas Congressman Ralph Hall will turn 90 in office if re-elected. Why does one who has long ago outlived their productive years choose to remain in office? Simple. The seductive poison of near unlimited power.

We stood on the viewing area of the second floor of the Capitol that looks out over Washington and directly views the Washington monument. My thoughts returned to September 12, 2009 and the million man Tea Party march. I thought about the estimated 1.7 million American patriots who traveled at their own expense to stand at the pinnacle of American governmental power to clearly say we have had enough. No, there was no destruction, fires or looting that we are witnessing from the Occupy movement. Just hard-working, patriotic producers whose values, morals and ethics have made America great. What an honor it is to me to have spoken at that event to that patriotic army declaring their undying love of country and unwavering belief in the Constitution.

When I returned inside after reflecting on the march a few minutes, I immediately thought of Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Sheila Jackson Lee and the hundreds of corruptocrats who infect our government and country. I don’t know how we will end up. I don’t know what will happen or if America will survive the legislative malfeasance done to our republic at the hands of these criminals. All I know is I felt a certain rage burning inside. One that said I am prepared to fight. Even if I lose my life, I choose to not live as a slave to socialist masters.

The winds of war are blowing in America…on the left and right. Who wins will determine the future of America. Will we continue to slide down the slippery slope of totalitarianism or will we fight to restore liberty and self-determination? Our adversaries are determined and will not go gentle into the good night of productive responsibility. They have fed at the trough of welfare and social programs for 50+ years. The question remains whether the productive people of America will rise up and cast off the chains of tyranny that have gradually been placed upon us? Will we repudiate statist lies and propaganda and raise our voices and our arms in defense of freedom? My words in response to that question echo the sacred words of Henry: Give me liberty or give me death!

I cannot help but think of another quote from Samuel Adams, from whose tavern the Sons of Liberty raided the British ships in Boston harbor in protest of the tyranny of taxation without representation. This is one of my favorite quotes from the Founding Fathers:

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

Time to choose.


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