Now Finish the Job, America: Re-claim the Congress!


There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow.   Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government. – Daniel Webster

So, ordinary Americans can’t do anything about this political mess, huh?  It doesn’t matter how I vote, huh?  Those in political power control everything, huh?  Yesterday the American people showed that, finally, we’re not so inattentive to government, after all.

Against all the pundit and pollster predictions, the American people flexed their political might yesterday and said, in effect, “Enough is enough!”  In a solid repudiation of any “Obama legacy,” American voters rejected the social, economic and foreign policy of the Democrats, as embodied by Her Royal Highness Hillary Clinton.  To be sure, Hillary’s lies and corruption played a major part, but it was the spectre of another four (or eight) years of the disastrous Obama and Democrat policies that the majority of voters rejected.

But the left still doesn’t get it, as evidenced by Fox commentator Juan Williams’ on-air reaction last evening.  Williams, a lifelong liberal and Democrat, was almost painfully puzzled and confused by Trump’s unexpected victories, saying “This makes no sense!”  And for those who, like Williams, have made their living inside the rarified atmosphere of Washington, D.C.’s beltway, I’m sure it doesn’t, because those people, Republican and Democrat alike, believe that America is what happens there, that only their sensibilities and dreams are what matter and that those who don’t think like them are insignificant and to be ignored.

But the American voters have had enough of that, and last night they couldn’t be ignored any longer.  Several of the Fox News commentators recognized what the Trump victory really means: it’s not about Donald Trump, or even Hillary Clinton.  It’s about decades of disdain and even contempt for ordinary Americans by our elected and appointed political elites, about their decisions that go against the grain of fundamental American values like honesty, integrity, responsibility, accountability for one’s actions and being true to one’s word.  Most Americans live their lives by those values, and we’ve simply had enough of arrogant career political hacks paying homage to those values during campaigns then doing the opposite once in office.

As much as I despaired over the Trump candidacy (I supported Ted Cruz), last night I had the same feeling I experienced when the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the Russians in the “miracle on ice” in 1980.  You know, the year Ronald Reagan, a B-move actor who was also widely disparaged as unqualified, laughed at by the left and even many in the GOP, yet who became the greatest American president of the past fifty years.  Is it too much to dream that Trump might grow in office (a la Harry Truman) and follow the Reagan path?

Woodrow Wilcox


With this victory, the American people have reclaimed two branches of the U.S. government: the presidency, of course, but also the Supreme Court, for Trump will have the opportunity to appoint at least one or two Supreme Court justices.  Let’s hope he doesn’t follow the path of the Bushes, appointing supposedly strict Constitutionalists who turn out to be liberal ‘activist’ judges.

That leaves the third branch of our government to be reclaimed by the American people.  My elation over the fact that Hillary didn’t win is tempered by the sobering thought that this is a task that will require far more effort and commitment than the one-time casting of a ballot.  The truth is, while rejecting the GOP and Democrat establishments’ candidates for president is a significant step, it will come to naught if “we, the people” don’t also regain control over the Congress, for while we tend to think that a president is the most important part of our governmental system, that’s simply not true.


“The president proposes, the Congress disposes” is a famous truism that acknowledges the fact that it is the Congress that either approves or rejects the plans and policies of the president.  It is the Congress who controls the purse strings, and which can appropriate money, or not, thus implementing or thwarting even the grandest of presidential initiatives.

And Congress is a literal swamp of career politicians tied to the moneyed interests who supported their campaigns and to the career bureaucrats who are so astonished today that the foolish and ignorant (in their eyes) “deplorables” dared to defy the experts and establishments of both parties.  The Founders never envisioned the political class that we have allowed to emerge and control our election process and our government.

Unless we citizens take the next step and reject the very idea of “a career in Congress” by unseating the House and Senate incumbent in every election, then this victory will be short-lived.  “But they did a good job!” some will say.  Then thank them and send them back to live under the legislation they passed, or refused to pass.  We have 330 million Americans and I’d rather have a less-than-brilliant but honest person representing me in Congress than brilliant, wealthy lawyers who are corrupt, self-serving and contemptuous of the very people who elect them.  The Democrats and Republicans who have made a career of politics quickly learned how short an attention span American voters have, and they believe it will be business as usual for them.  It’s up to us to once and for all prove them wrong.

This is a victory for the American people, not Donald Trump (he just happened to be here; any other candidate and it would have been a landslide against Hillary), and it was long overdue in coming.  So celebrate it today joyfully (and note how the left is responding today).  But tomorrow, gird your loins and commit to the even tougher task of reclaiming our Congress from the arrogant, self-serving career politicians who infest it.  That’s a battle that will be years in the fighting, but victory means that you and I, ordinary Americans, will again control our own government, our own freedoms and opportunities, just as the Founders designed it.  It’s a fight worth making.

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Formerly a liberal and an atheist, Paul E. Scates served as a Marine in Vietnam and is a lifelong student of American history, politics and culture. A former contributor to national website, he writes his staunchly independent Conservative and informed Christian commentary for his fellow ordinary, working Americans, the “we, the people” who are ultimately responsible for preserving our Constitutional liberties.
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