|SAN ANTONIO, November 12 - Junior U.S. Senator Rafael “Green Eggs and Ham” Cruz from Texas recently returned to face his voters.
He had embarrassed himself as the head cheerleader of sorts leading conservative congressional members in (l) shutting down our government for 16 days, (2) dishonoring and blemishing the Senate floor with a most bizarre 22-hour Fidel Castro-type tirade, and (3) causing downright destruction to our nation’s established reputation as a leader around the world.
Instead of taking Senator Green Eggs and Ham to task for his inglorious activities, his supposedly fiscally-minded fans welcomed him back with applause; even though their hero showed severe fiscal irresponsibility by causing over 24 Billion dollars’ damage to the U.S. economy. It doesn’t make sense. The question is why? Why would a group of seemingly normal-looking citizen voters follow the likes of the inexperienced senator in demonstrating such disdain and hatred toward our national government, and ridicule our good ‘ole Uncle Sam? Why would they support a grown man who acts more like a schoolyard bully instead of a team player?
The most obvious reason is that incredibly, they abhor negotiation and compromise; two must-have talents (tools) to get things done in our two-party system. While the belligerent senator may think that since he was born in Canada, his solemn oath of office to “well and faithfully” discharge his duties was unimportant, his U.S.-born supporters should know better.
If it wasn’t so serious, the extreme far-right floor show we see almost daily would qualify for one of the pseudo-reality TV shows where characters say and do the most preposterous things. Seriously though, what is it they want? The answer is that it’s hard to tell. On the one hand, far-right extremists despise Washington D.C. and want to dismantle it. At the same time, they wave the Stars & Stripes and chant “U.S.A., U.S.A.” They disrespect the Union and scream secession, but then they whine they want their country back.
They express anger against FEMA, but they are quick to demand immediate FEMA help and federal dollars to fix natural disasters in their states. They cut food stamps from the budget, but in the same bill, they add farm and ranch subsidies in the millions of $$$ for themselves and their donor cronies. They don’t want to pay taxes, but complain that our roads and bridges are crumbling and that there’s not enough police to protect us from violence. At the same time, conservatives hide earmarks for their districts in legislation funded by tax dollars.
They claim they’re the defenders of liberty, but spend most of their energy in legislating bills to prevent some citizens from voting. They want Big Government to stay away from citizens’ lives, but they want Big Government to control women’s bodies. They are pro-life and anti-abortion allegedly to protect the sanctity of life; but they assist in the ending of life by supporting capital punishment. They shut down the government, furloughing thousands of federal workers and then shamelessly in TV/media photo ops demanded to know why federal workers were not at their jobs. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding and the pudding reeks of hypocrisy.
In closing, I’d like to address the following comments to primary/secondary school students, those in college/university, and young adults. Don’t be intimidated. The lessons you are learning in civics and history classes as to how our government has worked for over 200 years are still correct. Washington, D.C., serves us citizens in the 50 states as our main engine (heart). Regardless of what you hear from the far-right, the Federal government is not our enemy. It is us! Federal workers are our parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and friends. All federal workers, military members, and elected officials in Washington, D.C., do the job that keeps our proven complex government system working properly. By the way, that’s why we pay taxes.
Beware of those who scream “states’ rights”, code words for bigotry. Recall that it was in response to the excesses of states’ rights in Texas and the South from the 1850s through the 1950s that the federal government stepped in to assure liberty and justice for all. Let me remind you young people that our country is the envy of the world. Notably, we’ve set up our reputation as a 50-state Union. When its young recruits put on the U.S. uniform, they fight for all the 50 states, not only their state of origin. That’s what has made us strong as a nation with the most powerful military force the world has ever known. In our system of federation, states need each other. That’s why our nation deserves preserving at all costs. United we win, divided we lose.
Thus, I’m asking you to use your vote to keep and maintain a strong Union. Don’t be bullied by the ranting and raving of a small group of far-right zealots in Texas and other conservative-led states. Their aim is to undo the “one citizen, one vote” concept in our country by enacting laws of Voter ID, voter suppression, and redistricting to prevent certain citizens from voting, including college/university students. Dare to stand up for your rights. Register with plenty of time. Vote as if the future of the U.S.A. depended on it – because it does!
José Antonio (Joe) López was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and is a USAF Veteran. He now lives in Universal City, Texas. He is the author of three previous books: “The Last Knight (Don Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara Uribe, A Texas Hero),”; “Nights of Wailing, Days of Pain (Life in 1920s South Texas)”, and “The First Texas Independence, 1813”. Lopez is also the founder of the Tejano Learning Center, LLC, and www.tejanosunidos.org, a Web site dedicated to Spanish Mexican people and events in U.S. history that are mostly overlooked in mainstream history books.