By Ski Ingram

At the beginning of each new year people from around the world gather at the stroke of midnight on December 31st to yell “Happy New Year” and then kiss their loved ones and anyone else who happens to be nearby.  At that given moment they are hoping for a better year than the one they just experienced.  Like you, I am hoping that 2023 will be better than the last two or three years.

Each year I look forward to watching the programs on TV that review the news events of the previous year. However, this year I didn’t have the energy to sit through them.  I just didn’t have the strength to review all the negativity of 2022. Yes, I am hoping that 2023 will be better than 2022 and after watching the voting for a new Speaker of the House last week I am optimistic.

The other day I received a poll question in my email from The question that day was, “would the Founding Fathers be disappointed with the current state of the nation?”  97.6% of the respondents stated Yes; 2.4% said No. When I first saw the results of this poll I was encouraged.  I want things in America to change, but only if that change is for the better.  When Americans realize that the country isn’t the great country that it once was then things will begin to change for the better.  I want America to go back to what it was when we believed in God and the rule of law.  When police officers and members of the military were praised and treated as the heroes they are.

I want to go back to a time when the government used our Constitution as a guide for every new law they write.  I want to go back to a time when members of Congress had the best interests of the country in mind instead of how they can personally game the system to enrich themselves.  I want my individual freedom restored.

I want to go back to time when Americans were free to believe as they please, go where they please and associate with whomever they please without the government looking over their shoulder. I want the cancel culture cancelled. I do not believe that a few should have the power to tell others what they can do and say in the free society that America was founded to be.  I want to go back to when Americans would say “I disagree with what you are saying, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

I watched with great interest the “fight” for the Speaker of the House of the 118th Congress.  I listened to the words being spoken by some of our politicians and many of our news pundits.  I was very encouraged by what some of our politicians were saying.  I was disappointed with what others had to say, especially about those leading the fight for reform, something I feel is very much overdue.  Some said that those who opposed Kevin McCarthy were destroying democracy. One even called them traitors. They were being vilified in some very hateful terms.  I expect this type of behavior from the left side of the aisle, but I did not expect it from the right. It causes me to wonder where their loyalties lie. What we were witnessing, if you know anything about American civics, was democracy in action.  This is how it was designed to be. In the end it all worked out.  The majority got what they wanted (Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House) and the few got, what I believe are, some very important concessions from the new Speaker.

I read a meme on Facebook the other day. It said “I was once willing to give my life for what our country stood for. Today, I’d give my life to protect my family from what this country has become.”  I believe that is what the 20 congressmen who stood their ground and fought for what they believe in were doing, risking their political life in an attempt to take back Congress from the swamp it has become. I’m proud of them for doing so.  One of those men is my Congressman, Andy Biggs. I liked and respected him before but, today my respect is tenfold.

Over the past few years Congress has usurped too much power from the American people.  On that day, January 7, 2023, much of that power was restored. Maybe, just maybe, the power in this country will be returned to the people.

I am remined of a quote from the holiday movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey is speaking to Mr. Potter when he says, “Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about … they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community.  Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?  Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle.  Well in my book, my father died a much richer man than you’ll ever be.” 

Congress was just reminded that the power in this country belongs to the people.  George Bailey said it best, it’s the people who “do most of the working and paying and living and dying.”  It is my prayer that Congress will realize this and remember it in the future.  Our Founding Fathers understood it and so should the 118th Congress.