I Believe in the Permanent Record

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January 22, 2010 | Comments

I believe in the permanent record, that elusive checklist hovering somewhere out there in the atmosphere that moms, teachers and school principals use to keep us in line. Though it may not tangibly exist, I do believe there are serious, devastating, character-damaging choices people make in life that, once revealed, become part of one’s indelible being, not to be written off as “mistakes,” never to be erased, forgotten, or sometimes even forgiven.

Join the Ku Klux Klan: permanent record. Cheat on the wife with 16 women: permanent record. Drive drunk and kill a family: permanent record. Attack innocent people in the name of your religion: permanent record. Sell secrets to those who wish to harm our country: permanent record. Vote “yes” on a 2000-page health-care-reform bill that you haven’t even read that will nationalize and ration American health care, plunge our children and grandchildren into decades of punishing debt, and inject the government into the most intimate corners of American lives: permanent record.

As to this latter example, the democrats are in chaos at the moment, thanks to that 2000-page monstrosity they have jammed down our throats almost to the point of reaching the President’s desk for one of his staged photo-op signings. But after Tuesday’s election in Massachusetts, we are seeing mea culpas being performed all over the place by democrats, who have been shown quite dramatically that their days could be numbered on Capitol Hill. “We had no idea you guys were so mad,” they whimper. “We are listening now. We promise.”

But we the people know self-preservation when we see it. What these so-called representatives are realizing is that the fury of the American public that has made itself abundantly and very vocally clear for the last year (do the town halls and tea parties ring a bell, anyone?), the fury these arrogant stiffs have chosen to ignore and vilify, has the power to run them out of office and back to their hometowns faster than you can say Martha/Marcia Coakley.

So now that they have recognized America’s true power brokers (us), vested with power handed down by the Founders themselves, they beg us to forgive them. “We understand now,” they claim. “You want us to slow down and trash a bill that only a third of you support. And you want us to read the Constitution. Okay, okay, we will. We promise. And look, we’ll even stop being the President’s lackeys! See, we’re not his toys and his tools anymore. We’re in this for you! We made a mistake, that’s all. So we’re okay now, aren’t we?

No. We’re not okay. Permanent record. We don’t trust you, and we don’t trust the President, either, even if he suddenly begins speaking with a centrist tongue. You all made your choice and signed on to an agenda designed to destroy the fabric and fiber of our great nation. You showed us who you are when you voted “yes” on that 2000-page atrocity and called us Nazis and racists, simply because we want to protect our nation and our families. Worse yet, we know you would have gleefully voted “yes” on all the atrocities yet to come: amnesty, cap and tax, more stimulus bills, appeasement of terrorists….And now you beg us to forgive you, claiming you didn’t mean it.

But you did mean it. We never heard a peep from you about the bribes and the threats and payoffs, some of you even taking the bribes yourselves. You endangered our nation as it has not been endangered since those first shots fired at Fort Sumter back in 1861. You fired your own shots. You voted “yes.” And you would have voted “yes” again and again and again.

You misread or simply dismissed the power of the American people. You ignored your own convictions (if you even had any) as well as your voters, and you knew exactly what you were doing every step of the way. We told you, no. We told you again and again and again that we don’t want this, that we don’t want our country plunging deep into a hard-left rabbit hole, that we don’t want to abandon what makes us the last best hope, the shining city on the hill. But you ignored us. You defied us. You attacked us.

So go ahead and offer your apologies, make your peace with the man upstairs, and confess to your moms and your families if you feel like it. We, however, are in no mind to forgive you. You have shown us who you are, and you have shown us we cannot trust you. Our country is too precious to us. You woke the sleeping giant, and we will not sleep again.

I teach my children that they will be faced with countless choices throughout their lives, each bringing consequences. As they will see, doing what is right when others around you are doing the opposite and beckoning to you to join them is the most difficult choice of all. But stay on your path, stick to what you know is right, and you will have no cause for regret, no reason to fear you have damaged what you love, no need to beg for forgiveness.

As Aaron Tipton says in one of my favorite songs: “Whatever you do today, you’ll have to sleep with tonight.” Plenty of elected officials are tossing and turning “tonight” after what they did “today” and over the past months. They went along with the “in” crowd, and now they see the consequences of that choice scribbled all over their own permanent records. They should have listened to their moms.

Betsy Siino | Comments