We Must Demand More Because We Deserve Better

When I ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008, my opponent for the first several months of the campaign was Camille Andrews, the wife of the sitting congressman.  Her husband Rob, a 9-term incumbent, had decided to break his promise to his Democrat colleagues in New Jersey by challenging Sen. Frank Lautenberg in the primary.  Under no circumstances, Rob vowed, would he run for re-election to his congressional seat.

And so, on the same day that Rob lost decisively to Lautenberg, Camille was nominated by her party to represent the First Congressional District.  Throughout that summer, however, Camille didn’t hold a single campaign event and it soon became evident to everyone that she was simply acting as a placeholder for her husband.  True to form, Rob “reconsidered” his decision not to run for re-election and, a few days after Labor Day, had his own wife removed from the ticket.

The outcry was immediate, with the extremely liberal Philadelphia Inquirer calling Rob a “bald-faced liar” in an editorial and offering me – a conservative Republican – their endorsement.  Three other newspapers followed suit and my upstart campaign began to gain traction… and attract national attention.  Maybe, just maybe, we could catch political lightning in a bottle and become the first Republican to represent our district since 1974.

However, the handwriting was already on the wall when I knocked on the door of a swing voter in Palmyra – a “soft D” in political terms – during the waning weeks of the campaign.  “I’m voting for Andrews,” the man told me matter-of-factly when I asked for his support. 

“But doesn’t it bother you that he lied?” I asked, referring to Rob’s broken campaign promise and the way he had unceremoniously dumped Camille from the ticket.  “All politicians lie,” the man responded.

“But shouldn’t you demand more?” I countered, promising him that, if elected, I would always tell him and the rest of my constituents the truth.  He had no response that I can recall.

On Election Day, Rob Andrews received 206,000 votes and I received 74,000.  My vote total and percentage were 35-year highs for the GOP in NJ-1, but apparently 72% of the electorate had agreed with the man in Palmyra.  All politicians lie… and it doesn’t matter that they do.

My 2008 congressional campaign – and this series of events – came to mind this week as I listened to the State of the Union address.  For more than 70 minutes, President Biden told a series of half-truths and outright lies, claiming credit for the accomplishments of others while conveniently omitting his own policy failures.  He also served as the poster child for the phrase, “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure,” as he purposely twisted data in a lame attempt to sugarcoat his disastrous foreign and domestic policies.

To no one’s surprise, the Democrat lemmings in both the House and the Senate wildly applauded his lies and innuendos, rising to their collective feet time and again as he proposed undermining the Second Amendment and codifying infanticide.  Meanwhile, Bill Clinton’s classic line from his 1996 SOTU address, declaring that “The era of big government is over,” would have seemed as inappropriate and out of place as First Lady Jill Biden kissing Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff on the lips in the House gallery (which it was!)

Which leads me to one simple conclusion and one simple statement: We must start demanding more from our elected officials… period.  No more complacency and no more capitulation.  Senators, Congressmen, and yes, the President of the United States all work for us.  That is the way that our Founding Fathers established our constitutional republic and its trilateral federal government; a government that Abraham Lincoln referred to as “of, by, and for the people.”

Mr. Lincoln also called America a nation “under God” in that same address and so, we should demand that our elected officials pay more than lip service to “Nature’s God” by reaffirming and reestablishing the Judeo-Christian principles upon which the United States was founded.

We should also require honesty, integrity, and full transparency from elected officials and their appointees… or send them packing forthwith.  And to ensure that they don’t continue to overstay their welcome, desperately clinging to power for decades if not generations, we must insist on term limits and an across-the-board freeze on all federal salaries. 

Maybe that will drive some of the 3,000,000 nonmilitary federal employees into the private sector or early retirement… including more than a few octogenarian members of Congress and one octogenarian President, who has spent 46 years and counting on the public dole.


Dale Glading is an ordained minister and former N.J. Republican candidate for Congress.

Dale Glading
About Dale Glading 51 Articles
Dale Glading is an ordained minister and former N.J. Republican candidate for Congress.