Every prosecuting attorney knows that, no matter how conclusive the eyewitness and circumstantial evidence, it is next to ‘impossible to convince a jury to return a conviction unless a plausible motive for the crime can be presented. Human nature seems to demand a motive before we can judge anyone guilty of a wrongful act.
Likewise, anyone who speaks on national issues is constant ly confronted with one recurrent question: why did our leaders vote for those bad bills, approve those bad treaties, and con firm those bad appointments? Like the Greek monster Hydra that grew two more heads every time Hercules cut one off, heads in every audience pop up to demand why our President, Congressmen, and other Government officials do the unwise and unpopular things they do.
We are indebted to Senator George Aiken, the dean of the Senate, for explaining the motivation behind much of what happens in Washington. Retiring from the Senate at age 82, he made a final speech which he labeled a “confession.” Here is what Senator Aiken said:
“During the 34 years of my tenure as U.S. Senator, I have committed many sins. I have voted for measures which I felt were wrong, comforting myself with the excuse that the House of Representatives, the conference committee, or, if necessary, the chief occupant of the White House would make the proper corrections. “At other times, I have voted for measures with which I did not agree for the purpose of preventing the approval of other measures which I felt would be worse.”
So now we know why our Senators and Congressmen vote for tax increases, deficit spending, foreign giveaways, low-interest long-term loans to Communist countries, busing, government controls over education, and hundreds of other bills that defy logic, commonsense, fiscal sanity, and the wishes of their constituents. Each one is giving in to the pressures of the moment, secretly hoping that the other “house” will display more wisdom or more courage.
The United States is over the hill as a great nation if we resign ourselves to being governed by a gang of buckpassers, go-alongers, and weak sisters too pusillanimous to say “no” to legislation they know is wrong. I believe the politicians have misjudged the mood of America today. Our people are ripe and ready for leaders who have the courage to do what they believe is right, and oppose what they believe is wrong, regardless of the political consequences.