Since 2014 there has been a constant murmur that has been whispered in the ears of the people in the NY 22nd Congressional District. That hushed statement has been a call to have a Representative who is abhorrent to the word “No.” Most recently this has been said again by Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. on January 28, 2016, as he announced he will not run for the NY-22.
But I believe this is the worst stance to take. This is the white flag of surrender before the battle ever takes place. This is a declaration of abandoning our values, in the hope of appeasing the other side of the isle – as if this will somehow magically create compromise. This is a false hope, and we only need to look at the Omnibus Spending Bill to see the proof of how fearing the word “No” equates to not compromise but surrender and losses to all of America. It’s that Omnibus Bill that will cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs lost to H1b and H2b visas, that will continue to allow the selective enforcement of law, that provides justification of the overreach of the Executive Branch and more.
Worse, what has the fear of the word “No” cost the people of New York and the nation? In New York, decades of avoiding “No” has led to increased taxes, a loss of businesses, and the mass exodus of population – weakening our status in Congress and our voice in the nation. The failure to utter the word “No” allowed the creation of the NY SAFE Act. It is the PC battle against standing up for our values that allowed Sheldon Silver to conduct a decade’s long corruption of New York politics, to the detriment of the people of New York and by extension the nation.
The denial to say “No” is part of why our national debt is $19 trillion and climbing. It is why our current President is enacting Executive Orders, one after the other, eliminating the voice of the public and effectively dissolving the power of Congress. Without saying “No” and standing for our core values we lose our freedoms, endanger our future, and negotiate from a position of weakness.
A key word is negotiate. Because there is supposed to be an open and honest debate in our politics. At every level we are supposed to defend the values and interest of the people being represented without hesitation – or limitation based on the fleeting impression of maintaining political power. It is only the ability to honestly compromise with a full understanding of core beliefs and absolute lines of no retreat that have allowed the greatest laws and policies to exist.
The Constitution was not created because all of our Founding Fathers agreed day one, or that every belief they held was included. It was because they honestly, with deep thought about the future, fought for their beliefs, and came to compromise that was in the best interest of all. This is what our Government is supposed to be about, and how it’s supposed to work. Only when we don’t stand firm, with the ability to say “No,” and an eye to meaningful compromise that will benefit the future do we all lose.
So I reject this very PC and short-sighted fear of the word “No.” It is an essential part of our nation. It is an essential part of what is missing in our Government. Politics is not about everyone agreeing on everything, nor is it one Party forcing submission on another. It is an honest battle of ideals, disagreement, and compromise. Calls for anything short of that are, if we are honest, declarations of political posturing meant to provide a political outcome to benefit some, but certainly not the American people as a whole.
If the people of the New York 22nd congressional district are to be best served, and our nation is to have the brightest future, fear of the word “No” cannot be on the table. Without that, it wouldn’t matter if a mouse or a man is elected to the seat. The result will be the same, surrender and loss, with the public paying via their freedoms and hard earned money.
On February 2, 2016, regional county committees will begin to hear from candidates, and endorsements will be handed out. But the revelation will be who fears the word “No” and who will stand for the people of the the district.
** This commentary is the opinion of Michael “Vass” Vasquez alone, and has no connection to any political campaign nor reflects the thoughts of any company. **