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The Politics of No

The Politics of No

You have to wonder why people do the things they do. I mean, for example, you’re a politician. There’s a law coming up on the legislative floor that 90% of all Americans support. So you do – what, vote no? Seriously? Why?

I’m sure that those Senators who voted no on the Manchin-Toomey bill had to be aware of the widespread support for stricter background checks on gun sales, including adding those checks on sales made at gun shows, over the Internet and between individuals not members of the same family. I find it hard to understand why the NRA is against making sure only responsible citizens become gun owners other than that they want to continue to create an atmosphere of fear in which people continue to buy guns at an astounding rate. Certainly gun manufacturers want to see that continue.

But I’ve spoken out on this subject on a number of occasions and I don’t propose to do that here. What I choose to write about rather is how our elected representatives can so blatantly choose to go against the will of the people that elected them. The simple answer is that they have no interest in representing their constituents – no, our Senate – and by extension, the House as well – are actually representing corporate interests and special interest groups.

This is corruption, plain and simple. I’m sure that if you ask any one of the Senators who voted against this bill that they’d say they were voting their conscience, or even worse use some trumped up justification that the law would make selling your gun to another individual illegal (a blatant lie the NRA used to whip up support in defeating the bill). It doesn’t matter however, how they justify it. The fact of the matter is that they don’t really give a crap about the people. They only care about money and power.

After all, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? That’s the way it’s been for centuries. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Those we elect to enact laws to make our lives better and to protect us from those who would do us wrong are instead only enacting laws that align with their own self-interest. The self-interest of money to finance re-election campaigns. The self-interest of support among the rich and powerful. The self-interest that has nothing to do with service to the electorate.

This is the list of shame – those who voted against Manchin-Toomey. Their names should remain with you when it comes time to vote them back into office. You should remember how they put your children at risk by refusing to enact legislature that would keep guns out of the hands of felons and the emotionally and mentally disturbed. They voted against your safety so that the manufacturers of guns could make greater profits. They voted against your safety so that they could further erode the ability of our president to lead. Remember these names:

Lamar Alexander (TN); Kelly Ayotte (NH); John Barrasso (WY); Roy Blunt (MO); John Boozman (AR); Richard M. Burr (NC); Saxby Chambliss (GA); Daniel Coats (IN); Tom Coburn (OK); Thad Cochran (MS); Bob Corker (TN); John Cornyn (TX); Michael Crapo (ID); Ted Cruz (TX); Michael B. Enzi (WY); Deb Fischer (NE); Jeff Flake (AZ); Lindsey Graham (SC); Chuck Grassley (IA); Orrin G. Hatch (UT); Dean Heller (NV); John Hoeven (ND); James M. Inhofe (OK); Johnny Isakson (GA); Mike Johanns (NE); Ron Johnson (WI); Mike Lee (UT); Mitch McConnell (KY); Jerry Moran (KS); Lisa Murkowski (AK); Rand Paul (KY); Rob Portman (OH); Jim Risch (ID); Pat Roberts (KS); Marco Rubio (FL); Tim Scott (SC); Jeff Sessions (AL); Richard Shelby (AL); John Thune (SD); David Vitter (LA); Roger Wicker (MS); Max Baucus (MT); Mark Begich (AK); Heidi Heitkamp (ND); Mark Pryor (AR).

Let us hold these people accountable. It’s time for the American people to say no – no to politicians who vote for the almighty dollar instead of what’s in the best interests of their constituents. Let’s remember that when they are campaigning with their sound bites and expensive ads that the money that paid for those ads has the blood of the children of Sandy Hook on it. Let us remind these bought and paid for Senators that the real power resides with the people. We voted them into office. We can vote them out.