As the parent of eight, I want to thank President Trump, 418 members of the House and the entire Senate for recognizing the fundamental threat human trafficking poses to our nation.
By encouraging government bureaucracies and industry to coordinate resources within the Department of Transportation, the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act will help streamline efforts to end the scourge of human exploitation.
And that will improve our ability to find and eradicate terrorists, who rely on our transportation network to move people, drugs and weapons on our own soil.
Partisan acrimony and special interests tend to go hand in hand with bureaucratic government inefficiency. But for this critical measure, those groups came together in a bipartisan way to cut red tape in support of our national interest.
Except for one lone vote, embarrassingly, from Florida’s First District U.S. House member. Representative Matt Gaetz voted no. For philosophical reasons, he said.
The military has been developing strategies to work with outside “stovepipe” agencies for some time. Cooperation between different bureaucratic systems was a lesson Desert Storm and Desert Shield taught on the ground, in real time.
There, in a foreign desert environment, airmen, marines, soldiers, and sailors came together to complete the mission, defeat the enemy, preserve lives and materiel, and be prepared to fight another day. My squadronmates courageously flew missions in the vanguard of our attack because they trusted our “purple” compatriots supporting us from other branches of the military, implicitly.
We didn’t have time to discuss the finer points of inter-service government theory; we learned how to work with other branches as the situation on the ground demanded, and we got things done. I am proud of each and every one of the military men and women I served with. They knew what it takes to defend our country, risking both life and limb in the process, and they did it without grumbling over interservice academic minutiae.
If we can translate that ethos to civilian government and industry, we can accomplish anything. We can vanquish any enemy.
The preservation of our great nation requires constant vigilance against those who would do us harm. It has always demanded it of the military; but in the age of domestic terror, it also demands it from government and civilian organizations on the ground, in real time.
I will always wonder, if our government had had better information flow in place, if we could have avoided 9/11.
The primary mission of the federal government is to protect its citizens; with corollary goals of safeguarding property and our unalienable God-given rights. Our elected representatives to that government have one job: to create legislation that promotes the best interests of our nation.
On Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show, District One’s current congressman recently stated: “Take for example the Hezbollah story you just mentioned. It’s not just cocaine that’s being trafficked. You have got Hezbollah working in common cause with narco-traffickers in South America to move opium, to move heroin, to move people into the United States.”
And yet, knowing that, our congressman voted against a measure designed to cut bureaucratic snarl and help our odds of beating those very same threats.
On 9/11, terrorists attacked pillars of our American values. They brought down the Twin Towers, representing our economic vitality; the Pentagon, representing our military might; and targeted Congress, representing our democratic constitutional form of government.
They hate our position in the world as a beacon of hope and inspiration precisely because we have demonstrated that we can work together for a common good.
But we need leaders with the conviction to place the national good above their own personal ambitions and ego. A nation that hopes to promote integrity in the rest of the world demands leaders with integrity.