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  • Writer's pictureGregory N. Austin

The U.S. Congress and the Wild West

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

The current majority in the House of Representatives has no political slate to improve society. They only want to condemn their opposition. We need voters to get their friends to vote. To get their friends to register to vote. We must send a message that we do not want to return to the Wild West.

Dodge City 1878 (Kansas State Historical Society)

I like old Western Hollywood movies and the Western TV shows of the ‘50s and early ‘60s. There is a central theme in the majority of these films. A bad guy in town gets the backing of enough of the citizens to then be a force against law and order. The bad guy threatens, cajoles, and murders his way to power. Now enter the good guys, who decide that enough is enough. They want to stop the situation and reshape the events for the good of the community. It really happened time and time again in the West. Finally, civil behavior won out. Even guns were subject to being banned in many towns. The mayor, the sheriff, or a marshal were forbidding guns because drunken cowboys were murdering each other, as well as innocent civilians being shot.

OOPS! Let’s look at 2023 for a new perspective. Guns have become a unique part of American life. As many as 30 million Americans have convinced themselves that guns must be a protected part of every citizen’s rights. But the reality is, there is a connection between the number of guns and the number of deaths by guns. As the early West was positioning issues over guns, often the sheriff told transient cowboys to leave the guns in his office. So now these lessons learned in the early West need to be revisited. Modernly we kill about 50,000 Americans a year by guns. Several states are allowing open carry. The number one killer of children under 18 years old is by guns. Meanwhile, we have over one mass shooting per day of 4 people or more in the United States. Let’s examine our legal system for insight on how to overcome this mess. No caring voter should be happy with this situation.

The U.S. House of Representatives is supposed to reflect the will of the people. It is supposed to ultimately do the bidding of the majority. Again, a majority of the American public wants more control over guns, not less. They want fewer assault weapons than the 20 million or so currently on hand. The power of the NRA and other lobby groups seems to carry the day too often. Some representatives in the House wear miniature assault weapon jewelry on their lapel. Just what is the ethic behind this weird and disgusting development? You can believe it is power and money. Every American is entitled to know how much money was given to the politician wearing the assault weapon pin. How much money does it take to suppress one’s conscience over all the mass shootings and killing of children?

No other country allows their politicians to be bought so that guns can proliferate a society. We are repeating history in America. The old western communities learned that guns are a dumb idea for maintaining an orderly, law abiding society. Let’s wake up and embrace truth and correct this madness.

Now Congress in addition to weird concepts over guns often wants to practice rowdy, loud disinformation positions to protect the former President Donald Trump. In some cases, the Republican majority in the House are willing to accept marching orders from the ex-president. You talk about the Wild West! Now the U.S. Constitution is forsaken by a few against the many! The corruption of law and order and accountability in the House is obvious. Now flim/flam, lies, innuendo, exaggeration and disinformation are observed on a regular basis.

Let us recognize that when truth confronts fictions, there is often a crucifixion. And sadly, truth can be a victim. The American voter had better recognize this sad possibility. So, we must trust the good guys to emerge on these important matters just as they were successful in the Wild West movies. The current leaders in the House are desperately clinging to power and their need to be re-elected. In 1994 Tom Foley, the Speaker of the House, lost his bid for re-election. The reason? President Bill Clinton passed a tax bill which passed by 1 vote. This tax increase cost the Democrats the House and the Senate. Tom Foley said in his defense that by losing this election, he had kept his honor and conscience intact. (Please note that that tax increase did lead to a balanced Federal budget for President Bill Clinton. He was the last President to have a balanced budget.)

Now the majority in the House are carrying out the marching orders of Newt Gingrich, who said in 2020 in so many words that when the Republicans take over the House, they will weaponize congress every chance they get to make the opposition pay for their actions against President Donald Trump. Now the House is riding a wave of overreach, hatched by Mr. Gingrich, not seen since the Wild West. Even Democratic Representative Adam Schiff has been censured by the majority without a shred of proof of any wrongdoing. This is nuts! They are taking actions that will stain their reputation for years to come. It seems that a wannabee autocrat can still have an impact on the actions of the House members. The voter must participate in bringing back decency and recognize the need for accountability and the rule of law. They must exercise their franchise and bring back responsible government that faces and tries to correct serious issues in the marketplace. The current majority in the House of Representatives has no political slate to improve society. They only want to condemn their opposition. We need voters to get their friends to vote. To get their friends to register to vote. We must send a message that we do not want to return to the Wild West. Those 55 men in Philadelphia gave the people the right to choose their destiny. It is now an important time to pivot back to thoughtful and considerate good government.

Don’t be on the sidelines at this critical time in history!

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