Millions of people visit the U.S. Capitol annually. Some come as sightseers. Others come to participate in or watch a session or hearing. Others come to visit their representative or senator.
It is our right as citizens of the United States to meet with our elected officials. It is part of the First Amendment, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
So why is it that when Republican Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas gave a group of law-abiding citizens a tour of the Capitol, a Capitol Hill aide alerted the Justice Department?
It was because those citizens were part of the People’s Convoy, a group of truckers protesting the coronavirus mandates that have hindered businesses and infringed on personal rights. According to Politico, “a senior congressional aide alerted the Department of Justice about the truckers’ presence out of concern that the guided tour could help the protesters plan an entry into the building.”
These truckers did not misbehave while in the Capitol, nor were they suspected of breaking the law. They are citizens who have been trying to meet with elected officials to present their viewpoints on an important issue.
Leftists don’t want to hear it. Much like the Canadian government did during the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa in January, Democrats in the U.S. want to take an authoritarian approach. We must do what they say because they said so, and if someone disagrees with them, he is an enemy of the state.
Luckily, the U.S. hasn’t gone quite that far yet, and some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are still interested in hearing what the people who elected them think about the issues of the day.
“Who would have known that taking a friendly group of hard-working American truckers, including Kansans, on a public tour of their nation’s Capitol building would cause such a stir?” Marshall said in a statement to the Daily Caller. “Let’s not forget, these are the essential workers who showed up to work every day in the earliest months of the pandemic to deliver goods and food to Americans.”
Knowing the People’s Convoy was coming to Washington, D.C., the Democrat-controlled government overreacted.
It erected fencing around the Capitol and prepared to deploy 700 members of the National Guard to assist the police because Democrats thought the truckers would disrupt President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. During the convoy’s time in the area, police blocked off-ramps from the D.C. Beltway to try to keep truckers out of the city. While the volume of vehicles in the convoy has slowed traffic around the capital, the Biden administration’s overreaction has caused a greater disruption.
And through it all, the truckers have remained peaceful. They are the sort of citizens lawmakers should want to meet with. They are hard-working Americans who make up the backbone of this country.
“Hard-working Kansans — especially those who have driven over 1,000 miles to get to D.C. — deserve access to their U.S. Capitol,” Marshall said.
Although the Capitol is currently closed to the public, the Senate allows small public tours in a limited area. Marshall complied with these conditions.
So why was this aide worried? Because these people disagreed with him, and that makes them enemies.
People like that aide are people we don’t want working in a government that is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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