Every election the tide changes from one party to the other. While some attribute this to the democratic process, the real reason for this phenomenon is simple: both parties consistently break their promises to make way for their own interests. We face a national debt upwards of fourteen trillion, an unemployment rate in the double digits, and potential collapse of the world markets as evidenced by the duress in the European Union.
Our politicians, nonetheless, ignore real problems because doing so gives them a better chance at reelection. Self-interest rules Washington and has for many years. The next election takes precedent over the good of the nation and dictates every decision the majority of our politicians make.
This pattern must come to an end. People in America and beyond desperately need Washington to take a role of leadership in these troubling times. Our politicians must commit themselves to serving the people who elected them and take a stand for what is right, instead of what is politically convenient.
We conservatives often forget that our own candidates fall prey to the same temptations as those across the aisle.
Rick Perry advocates freedom and limited government intervention. His campaign centers on the conservative policies he implemented in Texas. Yet, four years ago he passed a mandate forcing middle school girls to receive an HPV vaccination. Not surprisingly, Merck & Company, the vaccine’s manufacturer, contributed over $500,000 to Perry’s campaign.
Newt Gingrich vehemently criticizes the relationship between politicians and large banking institutions. Since 2001, however, he has received consulting fees of between $1.6 million and $1.8 million from mortgage giant Freddie Mac for providing “strategic advice.”
Former Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign contributions follow this pattern as well. The largest sources of money for Romney originate from finance industry leaders, including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America. Goldman Sachs employees have also given nearly a quarter of a million dollars in contributions.
These findings beg the question – where does the true allegiance of our politicians lie?
Ultimately, government is only a reflection of its people. We elect our leaders and we bear the consequences of our choices. The only way our country will change course is if we stand up, demand real solutions, and hold politicians accountable to the promises they have made.
You and I have the ability and the right to make America better than ever before. However, we must take an active role in the political process and fight for the principles that made this country exceptional.
David Wilhelmsen graduated from high school in 2010. He was named the 2010 Prescott Area Youth Leader of the Year; served as President of the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council and President of Saint Vincent de Paul. Wilhelmsen began attending Hillsdale College in the fall of 2010, and received all A's his first year. He was elected Vice-President of the Hillsdale College Republicans; chosen to be Chaplain of the Alpah Tau Omega Fraternity and also selected as Chairperson of the Hillsdale College Saint Judes Children's Hospital Board.