Can you walk a mile in their shoes?

The Cherokee are reported to have saying, “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” I wonder how many people are open to that aphorism when it comes to the members of the U.S. Congress––in particular to the tea party Republicans?

Assume for one minute, if you can’t walk that particular mile, that you are a tea party representative, that you’ve been elected to come to Washington to fight against the trend of the federal government to take over more and more of our lives, to oppose further deficit spending, and to reform the tax code and the entitlement programs that threaten to bankrupt us.

When you arrive, you find the only chance you have to slow down the agenda of the President and Democrat Party is to take advantage of the constitutional power granted to the House of Representatives with regard to the federal budget because when you try to hold conversations on some of your concerns, you are ignored, belittled and pushed aside.

What should you do? Should you turn your back on the people who elected you because theirs is a minority view in Washington? Should you betray your own beliefs in hopes that your enemies will be nice to you after your constituents throw you out office? Should your vote be controlled by poll numbers, media commentaries, or pronouncements from the White House press secretary?

A minute is up. You can go back to being you. Now, will you continue to condemn those you disagree with for doing what they were elected to do? Will you condemn them for voting their conscience? Perhaps their refusal to bow down to the pressure being placed on them will give you pause. Why would someone be so stubborn you might ask yourself? Maybe you ought to consider that they might be sincere, principled people with whom you could work if you would only give them a little credit and listen to their concerns. Maybe you ought to ask yourself if they might be right on some of the issues that brought them to Washington.

You also might want to ask yourself why Senator Harry Reid would rather see a cancer-stricken child without services than work with tea party Republicans? Perhaps he and the rest of the Democrat Party leadership care more about crushing the tea party than taking care of the people they claim they’re working for. Maybe they are happy about this so-called shutdown because it gives them a chance to denounce those who oppose them, to get the media to slam them, and to get their donors to empty their wallets in advance of the 2014 election. Maybe if you walked in Harry Reid’s shoes, you might not like the fit. Try it and let me know.

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