As the dust settles on this year’s election season, we have already heard the voices of dissent sniping at their political opponents. One would have hoped that Americans would have been safe for at least a few weeks from the nastiness of old-time politicians’ intent on greedily swallowing up the power which they believe they have inherited as a result of the outcome of an election.
However, we now know that our hope for civility will not come easy, civility will only be restored to the halls of Congress by those true patriotic politicians who care more about our nation, than they do about the outcome of their next election.
Consider for a moment whether going forward as a nation if we want more of the same, or whether we want change. In the words of Ronald Reagan, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” So, are there any real voices of change; are there any national voices of reason willing to step forward not to greedily swallow up the power of leadership, but rather, are there any national voices of reason willing to get Americans to do the greatest things?
One such voice of reason and courage rang as loudly as the Liberty Bell this past week. This past week, Seth Moulten, a truly courageous congressman from Salem, Massachusetts, decided to risk everything, including his political future, to lead the battle to return control of the House of Representatives to more reasoned voices and leaders. Those who know even a little about Congressman Moulton should not be surprised that this humble man of courage, this former Marine Corps captain who led one of the first platoons into Bagdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, this man who went on to serve four tours of duty in Iraq, would be the one courageous voice willing to risk it all not out of greed for power, but out of a true sense of patriotism which has defined his private and public life.
The irony of Congressman Moulton’s decision to call for change, a decision which is clearly intended to reject the politics of division, is that he serves our country in the shadow of Lexington and Concord where the first battles of the Revolution were fought for the freedoms we now enjoy as a free people. Let there be no doubt, that the battle which Congressman Moulton has ignited for control of the leadership of the House of Representatives is almost as important as those first battles which were fought by true patriots, patriots intent on tossing off the shackles of King George III, only this battle which is being fought by modern day patriots is a battle intent on throwing off the shackles of mean spirited and greedy politicians.
As Americans we should ask ourselves the question of why should any of us care about the leadership of the House of Representatives? The answer to the question should be obvious for anyone who has listened to the words of those who might serve in leadership positions. Do we want old-time greedy politicians who have already announced their plans to use their power to disrupt Congress controlling the future of our nation, or do we want leaders who want to move our nation forward for the good of all Americans, not just a handful of the rich and powerful.
In the end, and to close with a few more words from Ronald Reagan, “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.” Regardless of whether Congressman Moulten’s battle to bring about a change of leadership in the House of Representatives is successful or not, Seth will never have to wonder whether he has made a difference. His courage in lending his voice to the battle for change will long be remembered by all Americans, regardless of party affiliation, since in the end we are not defined as either Democrats or Republicans, instead, we are all Americans.
So, as I often do, I would invite each of you to travel with me to my imaginary mountaintop and this time that mountaintop will be known as either Lexington or Concord, a mountaintop where all Americans can shout loudly a sincere thank you to Congressman Moulton for his courage to call for change, change that will cast off the shackles of dissent in the leadership of the House of Representatives, and return those leadership positions to politicians who want America to move forward for the good of all Americans.
Mark Wohlander, a former FBI agent and federal prosecutor, practices law in Lexington, Kentucky.
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