On Truth

“It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth-and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.” Patrick Henry (1736-1799), in a speech to the Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775

I don’t like it when someone lies to me. Lying destroys trust and damages relationships. We all want to see the best in people, however, because of human nature, people often fail us. In one’s search for wisdom, one must search for truth, no matter how painful it is to discover.  For too long we have shirked our responsibility as the electorate to seek truth, and it has brought us to where we are today. There are three things that we must do maintain truth in governance, and it will require some work on our part, but I believe that our future is worth it.

First, we must make sure that our elected representatives are writing bills that uphold the entire U.S. Constitution, not just parts of it to please a certain group.  For instance, we should not pass a bill that celebrates the 2nd amendment, while at the same time violating the 5th, 6th & 14th amendments (like Senate File 2357). Our legislators took an oath, and for this legislation they were either not smart enough to write a bill that supports that oath, or they were only willing to write a bill that wins them political points. Given the fact that the Democrat majority voted down an amendment that would correct the unconstitutional provisions, I believe the truth lies in the latter. Either one (stupidity or selfish arrogance), however, disqualifies someone for elected office.

Second, we the public must read the text of the bills in order to expose the truth of what they contain. Politicians have a habit of using nice sounding titles on bills intending to hide the truth of what the bill actually says (like the Healthcare Affordable Act that the President signed, which doesn’t do anything of the sort). They also have a habit of claiming that something is in a bill when it actually is  not (like Iowa House File 596 that does not allow everyone to carry guns in bars, nor does it allow teachers to have guns in the classrooms, contrary to what some political ads say). If we don’t read these bills, how will we know the truth of what our elected officials support? Or for that matter, claim their opponents support?

Third, we must examine the character of the person we are electing to office, so we know if we can trust them.  We must start electing men and woman of virtue, who are willing to take a truthful stand on the issues. This does not mean that we should expect them to be perfect. Who really lives their lives expecting to run for the glass fishbowl that is political office anyway? However, when they do make mistakes, do they learn from them and move forward to be a better person, or do they hide them, lie about them, and continue doing them until they get caught? Are seemingly bad decisions truly the result of a character flaw, or the result of a difficult circumstance that left them no other choice? What is the true rest of the story? This one is easy – we just need to boldly ask them. I did so in the case of Kent Sorenson, and found out the truth to his opponents claims: he was late paying his taxes and had to file a personal bankruptcy in the past because of the medical bills from his daughter’s brain tumor. And considering the fact that he voted against every budget and debt increase since he was elected to the Iowa House, I would say that his past financial misfortune was not a predictor of any future poor stewardship.

Remember, if a politician is too weak and fearful to stand on the truth of their beliefs or voting record, then they are too weak and fearful to stand for the American people they serve.  I have included some of the voting records of the two candidates that are running for our local Iowa Senate seat. Decide for yourself if you like the truth about how they will represent you.

Subject Appel Sorenson
Supported Budget increases in the 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010 sessions (over $1 billion in budget increases so far) YES NO
Supported bonding and long-term debt bills (SF 376, 474, 477, 2389) YES NO
Supported the elimination of federal tax deductibility, which would increase the individual, small business, and corporate state income taxes (SF 468) YES NO
Supported increasing property taxes by cutting aid to schools and granting more bargaining power to unions (HF2531, HF2645) YES NO
Supported repeal of the  Iowa’s Right to Work law that allows individuals to choose whether or not to join a union & pay fees (SF 413, 3/8/07) YES NO
Supported removal of the American flag in schools and discontinuance of the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance (SF 470 4/21/09, HF1548, HF1571) YES NO
Supported the elimination Iowa Sovereignty, as provided for in the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution; and the elimination of the Electoral College process, as provided in Article 2, of the U.S Constitution, thereby exchanging the President choice of Iowans for the choice made by the majority of voters in other states (SSB 1128, 2/23/09, HCR 6, 3/2/09) YES NO
Supported a government run & taxpayer funded health insurance company (SF 389 3/19/09, HJR 2007, 2010) YES NO
Supported abortion and human cloning (SF 162, 2/14/07, HJR 2003, 2010) YES NO
Against the people’s right to vote on a Constitutional amendment in response to the Court’s ruling on marriage(via either a public statement to the press or at a legislative forum) YES NO
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