Standing on the battlefield where 50,000 Americans gave their lives only four months prior, Abraham Lincoln delivered an address that would go down in history as one of the country’s greatest. In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Lincoln assured his audience that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Today, the greatest threats to our unique form of representative government are not from Mexico, Iraq, or North Korea, but from within the Washington establishment itself. Politicians on both sides of the political spectrum have forgotten that they are there not to further their own careers but to represent the people that put them in office.
At least one group of conservatives is preparing to keep their politicians honest. They have unleashed the “Citizen’s Mandate From the November 2014 Election” to remind Republicans that the American people spoke loudly and clearly only a couple of months ago. The subtitle of the memo is “Stop the Fundamental Transformation of America,” a direct reference to one of President Obama’s long-stated goals.
In a statement, Richard Viguerie, the chairman of Conservative HQ, said, “The message from voters was an emphatic rejection of President Obama’s policies, which he said were on the ballot.” He and 52 other conservative leaders and organizations are demanding that the GOP-led Congress do what the American people elected them to do.
The memo details a number of areas where Congress needs to act. They implore Congress to “fight for constitutional, limited government,” “shine the light of oversight on abuse of power,” and “fight efforts on gun control, amnesty, bailouts and other lawless initiatives.”
The conservatives behind the Citizen’s Mandate insist that GOP leaders heard the wrong message when they tallied the votes in November. Instead of realizing that their base was telling them to go out and repeal Obamacare, stop illegal amnesty, and fight the president’s worst “transformations,” they heard what the mainstream media wanted them to hear. That Americans were sick of gridlock and wanted Republicans and Democrats to work together peaceably.
“They could not be more wrong,” said Andrew C. McCarthy in National Review. “November was all about Obama’s liberty-strangling, crony-coddling, financially reckless agenda. Voters emphatically defeated these policies.”
In concluding the memo, the group behind the Mandate says that “Congress has an historic opportunity to lay down a marker for freedom and stop the erosion of freedom emanating from the pen of President Obama.”
It remains to be seen whether or not Republican leadership can take their eyes off 2016 long enough to take advantage of that opportunity.