Divided We Fail Update

Hello once again. I wanted to give you all an update concerning my earlier post about the AARP group, “Divided We Fail” which is pushing for greater government intervention in healthcare and retirement. In the early part of this month I wrote a letter to both Representative Goodlatte (VA-6) and Representative Garrett (NJ-5) as a follow-up to my earlier post about the subject called “Divided We Succeed?” Just the other day, I got a response from my Congressman Bob Goodlatte. Unfortunately, as I am not a constituent of Congressman Garrett, I assume by this point I will not get any answer from him, which is a bit of a disappointment but not entirely unexpected. Should I get a letter or email from the New Jersey Congressman, I will be certain to let you know.  Rather than comment right now, I wanted to post both my letter and Representative Goodlatte’s response.

To: The Honorable Representative Bob Goodlatte
Of the 6th Congressional District of Virginia

Good afternoon to you, Sir.

I am writing you today as a result of my research concerning the group Divided We Fail. Although I have seen their efforts, including their booth at the Republican Convention in Richmond in May, I never gave them much thought. Recently, however I decided to find out what they are all about, and I found the results troubling. According to their own mission statement, they believe that “all Americans should have access to affordable, quality health care”, “all Americans should have peace of mind about their future long-term financial security”, and “We stand as strong champions for the new American dream — to build a 21st century America where these issues are paramount so that all people can have the opportunity for a prosperous future. We also believe that individuals, businesses, health care providers, non-profit organizations, and government must work together to find solutions – personally, privately and publicly. We represent tens of millions of Americans and we believe that all of us share a responsibility for making our society work and restoring peace of mind to all Americans.”

If I understand them correctly, they are pushing for greater Federal government involvement in the areas of retirement and health care. The problem as I see it is twofold. First, as Americans, do we not have faith in the individual and the free market to plan for his or her own future, free from the tendrils of utopian Socialistic schemes? Second, and perhaps far more troubling, is the continued and blatant disregard for the U.S. Constitution for it does not grant such power to the National government. Although not as celebrated as the rest of the Bill of Rights, doesn’t the 10th Amendment reserve such authority to the states and the citizens? Is my comprehension of this unconstitutional effort led by the AARP the same as your own, sir? And if so, how is it that some supposedly conservative members of Congress support such a blatant move toward a liberal welfare state?

Thank you for your time. May you continue to promote the values and principles of the people of the 6th district.



To follow would have been Congressman Goodlatte’s letter in reply, however, after speaking with Congressman Goodlatte’s Chief of Staff a few moments ago, I was asked not to post the letter out of concern that it may be taken out of context.  Apparently it was not written for general consumption, just for me.  Therefore, out of respect for the Congressman, I will not be including his letter, truly sorry about that readers.  Nevertheless, I will mention that he does address the issues of health care choice, federal spending and a balanced budget amendment, and the 10th Amendment and the Enumerated Powers Act. I do want to point out though that the Congressman stated that he indeed did not sign the “Divided We Fail” pledge nor was he planning to do so.

Now, as voters in this great commonwealth, or perhaps another state, if you agree with my above letter, I strongly recommend that you write your Representative or Senators.  Perhaps your Congressmen or Women adhere to the principles of the Constitution, or maybe they do not, but I strongly believe that if enough of their constituents demand accountability, they will listen.  For myself, I think I’ll try contacting our newest Senator, Jim Webb.  He hasn’t signed the “Divided We Fail” pledge yet.  Let’s see what he says…

Until next time,

The Virginia Conservative

Divided We Succeed?

If you’ve been involved in politics in the last nine months or so, you have almost certainly seen the purple logo of the half donkey/half elephant of the group Divided We Fail.  As listed on their website, their mission is “we believe that:
* All Americans should have access to affordable health care, including prescription drugs, and these costs should not burden future generations.
* Wellness and prevention efforts, including changes in personal behavior such as diet and exercise, should be top national priorities.
* Americans should have choices when it comes to long-term care – allowing them to maintain their independence at home or in their communities with expanded and affordable financing options.


* Our children and grandchildren should have an adequate quality of life when they retire. Social Security must be strengthened without burdening future generations.
* Workers should be provided with financial incentives to save, should have access to effective retirement plans, and should be able to keep working and contributing to society regardless of age.
* Americans of all ages should have access to tools to help manage their finances, and save for the future and better, easy to understand information to help them increase their financial literacy and manage their money wisely.”

Now I admit that these goals sound nice.  I mean who wouldn’t want everyone to have affordable healthcare and suitable retirement?  Heck, going one further I would certainly like a check in the mail that covers all my needs every day, but wait…there are a number of nagging questions.  Who pays for it?  And what do I have to give up in order to get such a benefit?  The problem comes with implementation.  As they have lobbied every member of Congress for support that means that they are seeking oversight and increased power for the federal government.  As a believer of limited government and the private sector, such suggestions are appalling.  If you truly want some sort of socialist utopia where the government controls every facet of your life from birth to death, I hear that many of the Scandinavian countries have such programs in place.  Why don’t you try living there for a while?  Although ignored consistently, our Constitution doesn’t grant the federal government such power.  Doesn’t the AARP (who has created Divided We Fail) know that simple truth?  Do they want to drag us one step closer to the nanny state?  Can’t we still be allowed to succeed or fail based upon our own decisions and merit?

Looking through the list of Congressmen and women who have signed on to this pledge, http://www.aarp.org/issues/dividedwefail/about_issues/congressional_pledge.html you will notice that the majority are Democrats or Pseudo-Republicans.  Fortunately a majority of Virginia’s representatives have not signed this pledge of support.  Now I could be wrong, as there are several limited government conservatives who have signed up or have given letters of support like Rep. Scott Garrett of NJ or Rep. Paul Broun of GA, but this movement does give me considerable concern.  If my understanding is correct, which I’m fairly certain is the case, then I hope we do remain divided so that this group does fail.