This I Believe

Marlene - Sarasota, Florida
Entered on October 2, 2006

This I Believe

It is my understanding that when legislators are voted into office that they take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Since this is one of the most important responsibilities inherent in their job as legislators and since we have moved into a time when we should have accountability, I propose a new litmus test of job performance for publicly elected officials. It is the not so original concept of 3 strikes and you are out.

If, in fact, your job is to uphold the Constitution and you have sponsored and pursued

three pieces of legislation that have been found to be unconstitutional, it seems quite clear that you are not competent at your job. It seems that you do not have a full enough grasp of the Constitution, or your responsibility to this country, to the real meaning of patriotism, to be a legitimate representative. The time and money spent on pursuing enactment of unconstitutional laws should be looked at by voters as the most unpatriotic and wasteful pursuit of their public servants.

Our commitment, as a nation, to the principles of the Constitution, apply to all people.

The only distinction that I could find in the Constitution about foreign born people being treated differently, is in regard to running for the presidency.

We are giving a president who has proven himself unwilling to look at fact over faith in making one disastrous decision after another and told, one more time to trust him.

Patriotism demands that we hold our leaders accountable to uphold the Constitution, not follow blindly like sheep from one disaster to the next on the basis of faith and trust.

Democracy is based upon what we do. The direction in which we are now moving is not in the interests of spreading democracy or freedom, but is clearly making America more vulnerable, not only by extremists, that are given more credibility with each new civilian death we are responsible for in Iraq, but for terrorists being used as an excuse to introduce levels of secrecy, illegal action at home and abroad, and the stripping away of rights, without which, our government becomes just one more army of a dying empire.

We cannot pick and choose who will get the benefits of the Constitution and who will not.

This is exactly what the founding fathers of this country warned of. The greatest threat to democracy is from those in power, within our country. I am not dismissing the reality of terrorists. But in fact, the purpose of terrorists is to make you live in fear. By all external measures, they seem to have won that battle.

When our country takes away the right to know why you are being arrested when you are imprisoned, without trial, without charges, we have lost our democracy. With this development, we have given the president and the police the right to hold you or me, your son or your daughter as unlawful combatants as well as “terrorists”. We have given our government the power to disappear people.


The law, will be overturned. But shouldn’t we have legislators who know what their job is

and do it instead of handing up our rights to an administration that is based upon faith not on democratic principles and policies.

So, in the interests of saving time, money and most importantly our democracy, I propose the 3 strikes your out law. Any legislator who sponsors three pieces of legislation found to be unconstitutional, be identified as too incompetent to perform their first and most important job and patriotic responsibility entailed in their pledge of upholding the Constitution of the United States.

I am a writer, by profession. Mostly , I write grants and am working on getting my second book published, as well as working on a novel.

Sometimes I wake up with an inability to stop myself from writing political opinion pieces.

My deep concern about the chipping away of rights and values that are the most important elements that makes our country a democracy.