“When the flowers bloom early,
Then wither and die young
They are licked by the Devil’s split tongue
Oh the sins of our fathers have beaten us numb
On these tree-lined, white-picket lawns
On these golden Street of Rome…”--Rick Elias “Street of Rome”
I’ve pounded out an opening sentence at least half a dozen times here. Each one seemed to start off saying what I wanted to say but then fizzled. Then I remembered this brilliant line from a wonderful song my friend Rick wrote.
The sins of our fathers have beaten us numb…
I love eloquence, but eloquence doesn’t seem to capture my outrage right now so I’m going to go with blunt force.
If any good has come from the recent wave of sexual assault / misconduct accusations hitting the media –besides the obvious change in the workplace attitudes—it shone a light on yet another unspeakable abrogation of the public trust by our elected officials. Prior to these accusations, did any of you know there was a huge government slush fund, set aside for the sole purpose of paying out claims against congresspersons for sexual misconduct?
I didn’t and I like to think I’m a student of our government. I know I pay attention. I know I’ve read the Constitution at least once. I have yet to find the part where it says that funds collected from our citizens shall be used to pay for the sins of our leadership.
So far, upwards of fifteen million dollars has been paid out to claimants in order to buy their silence and assuage their wounded souls.
The worst part of this is; the list of offending Congressman is private. There is actually a bill being put forth to make this public and disclose the names. So let’s recap, shall we:
Congresspersons, (I’ll not pretend it is only men doing the offending, although they are likely the majority) are even more deviant than we have come to suspect –and that’s saying a lot—and they’ve set up a slush fund, out of our money, to keep it quiet, ostensibly enabling themselves to keep up the bad behavior.
So, while I was sleeping in a 1996 GMC Yukon and eating food samples at Sam’s Club to survive, and fighting with the Unemployment office for the $134 a week I was eligible for after my benefits expired, these people were cornering staffers in their offices for the purpose of copping a feel, and God knows what else, and we paid for it!
It’s not the first time these people have done something like this. Remember the House Banking Scandal in the early 90’s? Where House members were bouncing checks all over Creation on the taxpayer’s dime without even facing overdraft charges? Yeah…they had their own little banking system, separate from you and I, and they were bouncing checks as they saw fit and never faced the music for it. How would that work in the real world?
I’m sure, if I checked, I would find their homes decorated with items they bought on the office supply account, paper they took from the House storage closet, clothes in their closets that they charged to their constituents as the necessities of business. But now I’m paying for their sexual deviance?
I don’t know what makes me angrier; the fact that I had to pay for their sins, or the fact that I could have used a tiny chunk of that money to get back on my feet. Okay, I know I’m angrier about paying for their sins, but honestly…they talk about cutting our taxes like they’re being benevolent, and then we find out they’re using our money like this?
That list needs to be public, today! That fund needs to be shut down by close of business today as well and any Congressperson who has paid out of it needs to be held accountable and forced to repay the money by whatever means necessary. Seize their personal property if need be. Keep their paycheck. Better yet, dismiss them immediately and make them pay it back after they find work in the private sector. Cut off that special healthcare package they have and make them live the way the rest of us live.
I wonder what the founding fathers would think about a slush fund to silence claims about sexual deviance. Perhaps the only thing that hurts more than the exposing of this criminal cover-up is the knowledge that you and I can’t stop it. We’re dependent on the very people who created this smokescreen to remove it. That’s like hiring a drunk for a bartender.
I don’t blame them entirely. I blame us. I blame the voters who keep sending the same people back to Washington every election cycle because they get something in return. Not representation. Not leadership. They get a bribe. They get some pork stuck on the end of a highway bill somewhere and their district benefits and their trucking company or road building firm or consultant group makes some bloated figure because “their guy” got them a contract. Or worse, simply because said guy has an “R” or a “D” next to his name. Generations of voting the straight ticket has done this. That and a lack of term limits. In the end, the sin we’re really paying for is our own. We sent these people there and watched as they became ghouls.
What standard are we holding these people to now? What moral compass do we look to for the outrage we should be feeling? We removed God entirely from our schools and our government and we stand in gape-mouthed shock when we find out we’re here. Here where our leaders create a fund whose sole purpose is to cover their sins, on our dime.
In what way are we better since abandoning our Christian heritage? Name one.
We’re not and even speaking this way will cause uproar.
We’d better find our moral compass in this nation and we’d better do it soon. We’d better get back to “clinging to our God, guns and Bibles” to quote the previous “president.” Because clinging to our own devices got us here.
This country needs a moral sea change. We need godly citizens who will start electing godly officials again. Sadly, I don’t see this happening. Thus, we’ll continue paying for someone else’s sins. We’ll be beaten and grow number, until we’re withered and dying.