I am deeply concerned about the erosion of our Constitutional rights while our elected officials in Washington continue to avoid their Constitutional duties. Here are some of my concerns:
(1) The failure of both Democrats and Republicans to openly debate the authorization of military force in the Mid-East, Africa and any of the 76 countries around the world where we have actively deployed America’s sons and daughters.
(2) Our cowardly Congress extended the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) -- without full legislative hearings -- which violates our 4th Amendment rights that protect us from unreasonable searches. FISA allows the National Security Agency to use warrantless wiretapping to monitor all our phone calls and continuously collect the metadata of every citizen of the United States – a file of all of our texts, emails and web searches identified by our name.
(3) Corporations and wealthy individuals buy our elected officials and then write laws and policies that have poisoned our environment, contaminated our water systems, put cancer-causing chemicals in everyday items from stain-resistant carpeting to firefighter foam and gear. These laws and policies also prevent federal efforts to honestly evaluate these toxins, understand the chemical burden on our bodies of interacting toxins and then allow corporations to avoid accountability.
(4) Our bought and paid for politicians take the corporate position on all issues even when We the People desire national solutions to national problems such as the cost of healthcare and a transition to a renewable economy.
(5) Our broken two-party system continues to pass unjust laws without the consent of the governed – including legislation that led to mass incarceration and institutional racism, and recent legislation that allows state agencies to seize or kidnap children from loving families without evidence, without warrants and without court orders.
(6) And those of us who complain, who cherish our First Amendment protections of free speech and to peaceably assemble and “petition the government for a redress of grievances” are threatened and harassed.
Democrats and Republicans, incapable of building on our strengths to solve national problems, have brought our democracy to a breaking point while waging endless wars and enabling the destruction of our planet.