My favorite historical site in the entire world is Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Well, actually I have to say that the entire historic district of Philadelphia is my favorite historical site in the world, and all it includes, including Independence Hall, the old Second National Bank building, Betsy Ross’s house, the City Tavern, the Liberty Bell, the first Presidential residence, Penn’s Landing, the old Quaker Meeting House, and everything else in the area. I’ve been there twice, and seeing it a second time simply enhanced the emotional experience I had the first time. If you understand what happened in that very plain, small, gray-painted room, on two different occasions, then I think it would be almost impossible to enter that building without the tears welling up in your eyes and the emotion welling up in your chest. It is a place where the very hand of God himself was present, guiding events and protecting the participants. From that room, and the minds of those who gathered there, emerged two documents that literally created and shaped the United States of America. I will never cease to be in awe of those events and now that I live in the same state, will not fail to visit as regularly as possible.
My most recent visit to Independence Hall took place on August 2, 2011, the 235th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in that very place. Yes, the official date for the declaration is July 4th, 1776, but it took about a month for the draft copy that was approved by the Second Continental Congress to be prepared and made ready for signing. On that same day, I heard a news story about members of the legislature in Pennsylvania who are presenting legislation that they have cut and pasted from websites of special interest groups. Apparently, these interests are writing proposed legislation that benefits their particular interest and then posting it on their websites. Then they lobby legislators to take their legislation and present it for a vote. The news report stated that as many as 24 legislators in the state house have participated in this activity.
I am certain of one thing. Not a single individual gathered in Philadelphia in either 1776 or 1789 would have envisioned such a thing, nor would they have tolerated it. As a voter and a citizen, I can guarantee you, I won’t tolerate it. I’ve begun a search to find out which legislators have done this, and if one of them happens to be my representative, he will be hearing from me, and perhaps even find me in his office waiting room. One thing is certain. I will not vote for anyone who can’t at least demonstrate the ability to think for themselves, and that includes any legislator who has cut and pasted legislative proposals from a special interest group’s website.
I find it quite curious that the legislators who are doing this in our state all happen to be members of the same political party. I’d sure be interested to know why that is the case. Yeah, they’re Republicans all right. Good job guys, way to go. You’ve disappointed a lot of people who might have supported your own ideas. Basically, what you’ve done is give your opposition in the next election their campaign theme. People who depended on you and counted on you to represent them in the legislature are going to lose their voice because some of you thought you could get away with this. Good luck with that.
And shame on you!