I received an email today from a good-hearted well-intended friend of mine that strongly advocates a strategy for creating more Congressional accountability to its citizens. Read below what the email said, followed by the response I said to my friend. Then, in light of this example, I urge you to consider the steps you’ll take when you receive seemingly credible politically oriented emails from others… BEFORE you decide whether to pass them on to others.
I always wondered why Congress passed laws on its citizens that they made themselves exempt from — the Health Care Bill is the latest example. I think this idea of a 28th amendment is a good one – perhaps it’s time we the people govern them more — not the other way around!
THE EMAIL I RECEIVED FROM MY FRIEND
An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution
This will take less than thirty seconds to read.. If you agree, please pass it on.
For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they didn’t pay into Social Security, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that is being considered….in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop. This is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.
Have each person contact a minimum of Twenty people on their Address list, in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.
Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution
"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ."
You are one of my 20 plus. Please send to at least 20 others
WHAT I WROTE BACK TO MY FRIEND
While I of course agree that it’s absolutely necessary to require the level of accountability on the part of Congress that is built into the proposed 28th amendment, the premises on which this proposed amendment is based are lies. Here’s the truth:
- Lies Regarding 28th Amendment: http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/government/a/proposed_28th_amendment.htm
- Lie Regarding Congressional Retirement: http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blcongress.htm
- Lie Regarding Congressional Exemption from Employment & Civil Rights Regulations: www.compliance.gov/publications/caa-overview/congressional-accountability-act/
- Lie Regarding Congress Being Exempt from Health Care Bill: www.factcheck.org/2010/01/congress-exempt-from-health-bill
All of the violations that were put forward as rationale for this 28th amendment are lies. So, I must ask: where is the accountability in using lies to promote greater accountability?!
On top of that, most people don’t understand how much time, energy and expense (from our tax dollars!) is involved in generating a constitutional amendment and getting it successfully ratified. To undertake this massive a process the benefits need to be far greater than the price that we as citizens would pay to foot the cost for this process.
I would be the first to support this amendment if the violations used to justify this undertaking were large and real. They’re not. I therefore oppose my tax dollars being used to get this amendment ratified unless and until the rationale for adding this amendment is based on truths rather than lies.
Shame on those who are manipulating well-meaning people like you into forwarding these kinds of emails in good faith. Talk about integrity deficits. Sheesh!
It’s absolutely fine with me if you want to forward this email to the people to whom you sent the original email.
Now that you’ve read this example, let me again urge you to consider what steps you’ll take from now on whenever you receive seemingly credible politically oriented emails from others… BEFORE you decide whether to pass them on to others. If you need some ideas about what you might do, please consult my Three Secrets to Becoming a Spin-Buster material: