U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo views the world differently than most of the people living in the 16th Congressional District, yet he keeps getting re-elected. Why?
Rep. Manzullo is proud of his conservative stand against unions, women’s rights, immigrants, the environment, health care for all, food safety, pensions and public broadcasting, and so on. Rep. Manzullo, along with Rep. Joe Walsh, were the only two Illinois representatives to receive an A+ from the Americans for Prosperity free market organization.
His conservative world view does not match the basis of American democracy. Our democracy is founded on morals opposite of Mr. Manzullo’s. American democracy is one of empathy, citizens caring for each other, both social and personal responsibility. In founding the American democracy, our founders set up the government to protect and empower everyone equally. Today, that protection would include health, environment, Medicare and Social Security. And empowerment begins with a free and equal public education. Our freedom depends upon a commitment to care and act on that care for our fellow citizens. Rep. Manzullo rejects all of this.
Rep. Manzullo believes only in individual responsibility, not social responsibility. His voting record since 1992 shows that he does not think government should help its citizens. The part of government that he wants to cut is not subsidies to corporations or to big oil. He wants to cut all the parts of the government that help people.
He believes there should be no power higher than the market. Government should only spend tax dollars to protect the market and promote market values, but should not regulate it, tax it, protect neither unions nor worker rights, nor protect the environment or create food safety laws. Mr.Manzullo’s world view goes so far as to say government should not do public service. The market has private service industries to do that.
It is these conservative values that led to the economic collapse. Ask yourself if Rep. Manzullo’s world view is accurate, why has the unemployment rate in the 16th Congressional District more than doubled since he took office in 1992?
16th District voters need to decide which world view they want representing them in Washington this November. Do we want someone who is committed to the market at the expense of the people, or do we want someone who is committed to democracy in the American tradition, a tradition of caring about our fellow citizens?
From the Jan. 25-31, 2012, issue