by Ron Paul
I am pleased to report that last week we received notice that the Texas Department of Transportation will recommend the I-69 Project be developed using existing highway facilities instead of the proposed massive new Trans Texas Corridor/NAFTA Superhighway. According to the Texas Transportation Commissioner, consideration is no longer being given to new corridors and other proposals for a new highway footprint for this project. A major looming threat to property rights and national sovereignty is removed with this encouraging announcement.
Public outcry was cited as the main reason for this decision. I was very impressed to learn that the TxDOT received nearly 28,000 public comments on this matter, and that some 12,000 Texans attended the 47 public hearings held earlier this year. They could not ignore this tsunami of strong public opinion against the proposed plans. I was especially proud of how informed my constituents became on the subject, and how eloquently and respectfully they spoke and conducted themselves, considering how upsetting the plans were for our communities in Texas .
This is a major victory for the people of Texas, and a reminder of what we can accomplish with civic involvement. The informed and active citizen truly is a force to be reckoned with, as we have seen with the defeat of this proposal. We must keep fighting the good fight, and remain ever diligent against the encroachments of big government. We must do this if we wish to maintain our traditional standard of living in this country. As tempting as it may be to simply live our lives with no regard to government, apathy will inevitably be punished by ever more government intrusion. That is what this fight was all about. We can win if we stick together.
However, now is not the time to rest on our laurels. The bittersweet aspect of this victory is that we had to fight at all. We took time away from family and friends, doing other things, to attend these meetings, inform others, write letters, post signs and submit our complaints, and we should not have had to. Government should let us be, if we are peaceful citizens, harming no one. In a perfect world, government could be trusted to act in the best interests of the people without overwhelming pressure of this kind. This is not a perfect world. Constant pressure is needed to keep government in check, and we succeeded this time. But this will not be the last time citizen efforts and involvement will be required. We still face many unreasonable encroachments of big government today, from confiscatory, economy-strangling taxation to creeping disregard of the right of habeas corpus and other Constitutional rights, to thousands of nuisance bureaucratic regulations interfering with our every day lives. We have drifted far from what the founding fathers envisioned for this nation. Last week was just one victory towards getting back on the right path. We must continue to hold politicians’ feet to the Constitutional fire. If I had to guess, they will probably try to implement the NAFTA Superhighway again sometime in the future.
It is a never-ending battle, but it must be fought, and can be won. I am proud to stand with my constituents in this fight, and in the other fights we have ahead of us.