In July 2010, I initiated correspondence with Cory Fritz, John Boehner's Press Secretary. He was cordial and extremely receptive. At his direction, I sent both he and Boehner first edition copies of "E" is for English. Cory told me to send the book to his Washington D.C.townhouse, "to insure that it would not be lost in the shuffle."
The book itself is complementary of John Boehner. It calls him "a snapshot of
Middle America." I recall standing not seven feet from him in a rally for Andy Barr's Kentucky, 6th District Congressional campaign, October 2010. He made a short, fiery speech and was back on the bus. Later, I emailed Cory, applauding Boehner's visit while adding that "people were disappointed that he couldn't hang around for ten or fifteen minutes." Cory promptly replied that he looked forward "to our getting together in the very near future."
The mid-term elections came and went. Republicans recaptured the house. Boehner assumed his current position as Speaker.
West Chester, Ohio is exactly 100 miles north of Lexington, Kentucky. In December 2011, I personally delivered a carton of second edition copies of "E" is for English to the Speakers home district office.
When I entered John Boehner's headquarters, I was impressed by it's modesty. The 1980's furniture and inexpensive photographs reflected the Speakers "blue collar" origins.
The Secretary was all business. She was polite and attentive, telling me that the Speaker was out, had been out since Congress had recessed and nobody knew when he would return. Attached to the box was a personal note, thanking him for his review.
One week later, I called Speaker Boehner's office. He had not returned. But, the secretary admitted that "everyone in the office" was reading the book. That was my last contact. I never heard any more from John Boehner, Cory Fritz or any associated with the office.
At best, Boehner or likely an aide, glanced at the first few pages of the book, recognized it's aim and quickly dismissed it saying, "it would never get out of committee."
That is how Washington works. No time to spend on hopeless projects, no matter how much credence they may hold. Boehner has been through a tough two and one-half years. He has the Tea Party contingent wanting to remove him. He has the sly Eric Cantor standing in the background, awaiting his chance. He has both the Senate Majority Leader and Administration banking on a Democrat retake of the House in the mid-term elections.
Boehner will later be remembered as the "damage control Speaker." He was literally "damned if he did and damned if he didn't!" Amidst all of the bickering, infighting and name calling that characterizes a "split" Republican party, word eeked out that the Speaker's health was not good. Will this be his last two years as House Speaker?
Nobody truly knows. America is in deep water eyeing a shore that gets smaller with each passing day. There is a growing cynicism throughout the country. Splinter groups are sprouting coast-to-cost, predicting Armageddon. Conservatives are suspiciously looking at other conservatives suggesting that they are not actually conservatives but impostors. And the energized Democrat Party is smiling, smugly positioning themselves for the kill.
Why have we allowed this to happen? Simple. We gave up.
A lot of smart, well intentioned people have come to the conclusion that there is nothing that can arrest our nations' decline. Their comeback is "let's just try to make a little money and enjoy our families. Because there is nothing that we can do to stop what is happening. Just accept it."
In short, visionaries are no longer wanted in America. Nobody wants to stick their neck out. Some even fear a possible reprisal from the Obama camp in the event that their voice might become too distinct!
True, there are few dreamers who are not quite ready to accept the inevitable. They are generally dismissed with a shake of the head. In best cases, they are simply ignored. In worst cases they are ridiculed and chastised. Even those who might ideologically agree with their ideas or positions are quick to discourage them from "wasting their time and energy!"
Yes. We as a people have given up. We have lost our passion. We have grown lazy and complacent. We have taken the word of a society that tells us that "this is the way that it is." We have been lulled into a "dreamy apathy" by a standard that is quick to make excuses.
Is it fair to blame John Boehner for focusing on what he might accomplish as House Speaker rather than some hopeless cause presented by a well intentioned dreamer? Not really! Boehner, for all of his positive qualities is not a visionary.
Playing the odds and numbers has always been the Washington way. In fairness to Boehner, he has faced long, if not impossible odds on nearly everything since he assumed the role as House Speaker! Which brings me to another American who faced long, if not impossible odds: General Robert E. Lee.
Arguably the greatest military genius of all time, Lee prolonged a war that should have been over in 10 months to four years. And he did it by recognizing an age old fact about odds. "When odds are already against you, by slightly lengthening them, you create an element of surprise that is based on unpredictability."
Lee broke a lot of military axioms considered "doctrine" at the time. They began with his willingness to divide his army. In 1861, this practice was considered folly. He did it because he believed in himself and his ability to anticipate the opposition. It was indeed profound, if not revolutionary military logic. The result was devastating, very nearly resulting in Southern Independence.
What if John Boehner had taken the proposed legislation introduced in "E" is for English by the horns and run with it? Without question, it would have languished in committee. And even if he had gotten it to a floor vote, it is doubtful that it would have gained the two-thirds necessary. Remember, we are speaking of a Constitutional Amendment.
Why could we not pass such legislation without going the amendment route. There are a number of reasons. Beginning with an almost certain Presidential veto. An amendment to the constitution bypasses the President, going directly to the states. The President could voice his thoughts and opinions of it. But, he would not be involved in the amendment process.
Of course, with the current Senate composition, it is a given that Harry Reid would never allow such legislation to come to a vote. Let's suppose Republicans were to regain the Senate majority. Would it be possible to gain 67 "yea" votes? Probably not!
For those who have reviewed the proposed "E" amendment, just imagine the reaction to an English literacy test in America. Al Sharpton and critics would demagogue the proposal mercilessly! They would be joined by "left wing zealots" such as Charlie Schumer, Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi." These parties would label Boehner and any supporter of the "E" amendment as a "racist, bigot, fascist," and who knows what else!
That was the purpose of creating the "Eagles for America" movement. It might take years for the idea to catch on. But it could, eventually. Then, legions of "Eagles" would turn the tables on the Sharpton's, Schumers and Pelosi's" driving home the assertion that they were "un-American, un-Patiotic and unfit for leadership roles" in the United States of America.
Could this really work?
Yes. According to Washington D.C. based foundation, "U.S. English," 87% of America favors English as the official language. My primary issue with both U.S. English and Pro-English, the second D.C. foundation, has been their willingness to settle for "the low hanging fruit." Why not package voter fraud, immigration reform and identity theft in one sweeping amendment to the Constitution that would ultimately save America?"
"Eagles for America" would position opponents of the "E" amendment as opponents of "English as the official language and immigration reform." They would be "proponents of voter fraud." Opponents of the "E" Amendment would "favor shipping American jobs overseas," compromising individual privacy in favor of "creating a level playing field globally." Read Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat," if you remain unconvinced!
Wow! Talk about "anti-American!"
"Eagles" would position Schumer, Pelosi, Feinstein and Sharpton as "globalist thugs holding a long standing aspiration to enslave America in Stalinist style Communism." They would create images of mass starvation, Middle Class internment in big city ghettos, concentration camps and gas chambers. According to Eagles, all would be done under the guise of "sustainability."
The rhetoric would be intense. Because the "E" supporters would be, as a whole, better educated than their opponents, they would win. In doing so, they would save the less educated people from ignorance, poverty and eventual liquidation at the hands of their globalist overlords.
The media would be surprisingly neutral. A provision in the "E" Amendment amazingly would end media bias as we have witnessed over the past fifty years. Born from simple fear of material loss, subjective journalism would take a back seat to factual reporting.
The ultimate goal of Eagles for America would be to force the Schumers, Pelosi's, Feinsteins and Sharptons, along with their constituents, to literally rethink their U.S. citizenship. After all, who would want to live in a land where they were publicly scorned?
Is this "E" approach too far out in left field? Maybe for some. Unfortunately, America has reached a point of no return. We can continue to drift aimlessly toward some uncharted shore, with the assumption that everything will work itself out. Or, we can arrest the erosion by solidifying our population with a single defining ideal.
"A stronger, smarter, more secure America."
Is John Boehner the messenger for such a theme? At first glance, he looked to have the pedigree. The very same was thought of Union General, George B. McClellan. With everything stacked in his favor, McClellan never truly recognized the nature of the conflict, what was at stake and what it would take to win.
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