Letter to the Editor: Hypocrisy of Congress

Dear Editor:

First and foremost I want to inform the readers that I’m a Republican. It wasn’t the principles of the party that attracted me first, but the elitism from the Democrats that pushed me away.

It was a slow, cathartic growth that occurred between 2008 and 2012, which can only be referred to as my “Road to Damascus moment." From reading about Keynes vs. Hayek I chose the latter, then to Friedman, Sowell, Williams, and beyond. I also arrived to this realization from actually feeling the effects of policies, seeing how cities and states are managed, the flight of various ethnic groups, the stagnation of wages over decades, and generational feeling of hopelessness that I have witnessed from others.

I begin with government healthcare, in March of 2011 the House passed a Senate bill 219 to 212 with all 178 Republicans voting no. It was signed into law on March 23 and was called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It was done disingenuously, but legal. Remember that Senator Ted Kennedy died, and Massachusetts elected Scott Brown. This meant if the House made any changes the Senate version, it wouldn’t have the votes.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats were unable to pass a bill, but the Senate had enough votes to do so. Congresswoman Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid made a deal that House would pass a Senate version unchanged, if the Senate passed a separate bill by the House that made the changes. The bill was referred to as the Reconciliation Act of 2010, which ultimately led to President Obama signing the ACA into law.

The hypocrisy is that the President, his family, and staff are allowed to purchase private insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Members of Congress used to receive the same, but now can choose from approximately “112 gold level plans” which cover about 80% of the actual health care costs. While for average Americans, the costs keep rising annually along with a penalty for not purchasing it. So once again the American public is forced to purchase something the majority of us didn’t want, and the ones who forced it on us are either exempt or don’t have to live the results of their decisions the same way we have to.

Another issue that I find a bit hypocritical is Washington’s attitude toward school choice or voucher programs. An argument can be made that this school of thought can be applied on the local level as well. Many members of Congress and local representatives send their children to private schools while advocating against school choice and charter schools. President Obama’s children attend Sidwell Friend’s School which is not a public school, and then he isn’t in favor of extending the voucher program in D.C. so children in poor communities can attend better schools outside of their own. He should want all children to have the opportunity to acquire the same level of education his daughters were fortunate to have but I guess maybe the unions and donors had something to say about that.

So I guess America’s children’s education is expendable for the sake of what is politically advantageous at the moment. 

I also find members of Congress’ attitude toward immigration deceitfully hypocritical. Many members swear up and down that they are for immigrant’s rights but tell a different story in actuality. This is theory translated into practice, not reality translated into truth. Many members in real life who  supposedly empathize with the immigrant struggle don’t live around them, don’t sent their kid’s to their schools, don’t attend mass, service, or synagogue with them, and only come around when it’s election time.

Many of them like Congresswomen Lorena and Linda Sanchez for example, who are supposed to be so pro- Latin, pro-Mexican American, pro-civil rights, pro-multiculturalism, pro- immigration, or whatever, don’t even have Latino husbands. Then the next thing you know it is election time, and they are visiting famous “Latino communities” reinforcing every stereotype imaginable appeasing for votes. Then after they win, they are never seen again until two years later and we fall for it again.

Many of them don’t see immigrants as individuals. They only see them as a future base for their party to help keep them in power, and they use the threat of “rejecting your own culture” to reinforce it. This same strategic game plan is then used by the local Archdiocese, social groups, and activists and then is reinforced using media. They don’t care about anything that has to do with self-empowerment because if they did, they would lose support so the objective is to keep them dependent and looking towards the government for the answers.  I find it ridiculous and hypocritical.  I don’t even know how immigration in general as a topic in media became exclusively Latino anyway?

According to 2 U.S. Code, members of Congress must have protection. Members of the leadership have full time security detail from the Capital Police who follow them in Washington, and when they return to their districts. Other lawmakers can usually decide the levels of protection they want and there usually should be security at public and private functions if we remember what happened to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. We are already familiar with the role of the Secret Service towards the Presidency in terms of protection, and we understand its importance.

Here’s what gets me, it’s Congress’ attack on the gun laws with regulations compared to the reality of everyday Americans. It differs regionally, inner city realities compared to hunting in the country for instance, but the results are national. President Obama has issued regulations requiring more background checks on purchases, has hired more federal agents to enforce existing laws, and crack downs on dealers engaged in sales. 3000 people were shot in 2015 in Chicago alone, and the majority of these regulations are only going to curb law abiding citizen’s Second Amendment right.

The actual criminals don’t care about laws because they already ignore existing ones and what is the likelihood that they will get caught anyway or have anyone say who they were in fear of retribution? Or in some states like California, due to prison overcrowding and felony to misdemeanor re-classification, they won’t spend much time in jail if any. With mental health, how can we qualitatively assess it from individuals in real time who purchase them legally, without violating their Second Amendment rights?

I don’t know how people can protect themselves when it’s increasingly harder to do so, but once again Congress members do not live in the same reality as the laws they pass for others.

Johnathan Quevedo