Yippie! On November 8, 1994, conservatives won, and won, and won. Homeschoolers' good friend, Congressman Dick Armey [R-TX], is now the number two guy in the House of Representatives. Wow!
Many of you may recall that when Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, my article opened on a different note. I urged those of us who believe in family values to be concerned and prepared. HSLDA and the National Center began the preparations that allowed us to respond to H.R. 6. But I also wrote that we should not see Clinton's election as the end of the world, causing us to lose heart. I said there were some good things he would do, and I correctly predicted that he would sign the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But I also correctly joined many others in saying that he would attempt to do much harm to the causes of virtue and liberty.
Here's the same message in reverse. I am thrilled with the conservative victory, which was for many a long-awaited takeover of both the House and Senate. Many, many good things may be done. Notice I said "may." But I have already been dismayed by some of the statements I have seen coming from some Republican leaders during the lame duck Congress session that handed us GATT. (It is interesting to note that in the GATT debate the most patriotic, conservative-sounding speeches were made by typically liberal Congressmen. Senator Robert Byrd [D-WV] was "further to the right" than even Jesse Helms on this issue and delivered the most impassioned speech of the entire debate, quoting not only the Constitution, but a large portion of Genesis, chapter 3, as well.)
The home schooling community is made up of Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and members of the U.S. Taxpayers' Party. But far and away the uniting principle of most people who choose to home school is a commitment to individual freedom. And freedom-loving Americans are tired of business as usual. We want changes. We want relief from government spending, taxation, and especially government debt. Many of us want to see a drastically reduced federal government, starting with the elimination of the United States Department of Education.
These are not radical ideas. They were the ideas that helped to bring a conservative majority back to power in Congress. And ladies and gentlemen, this team, like all its predecessors, needs to be watched.
Home School Legal Defense Association and the National Center for Home Education are going to do everything we can to help advance the freedom agenda. We are going to continue to work on the Congressional Action Program so that we have the best action network in the nation. We are going to push for less federal government, more parental rights, and preservation of religious freedom.
Specifically, we can look for Senator Charles Grassley [R-IA] to introduce a bill entitled "The Parental Rights Restoration Act." I worked with his staff in drafting this bill. It is a great bill that would ensure that the God-given right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children receives the highest level of judicial protection from government interference. There is a better-than-believed chance of eliminating both the federal Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts. We can anticipate many other good pieces of legislation.
As long as our newly elected leaders are faithful to principles, they can count on our hard work and support.
We cannot rest. We must not sleep. The Administration which supports the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Women's Rights Treaty, developed the massive health care plan, and nominated Steven Breyer to the Supreme Court is still in the White House. And in two short years there is another congressional election which could forfeit all the ground that has been won.
There will be an unbelievable pressure on incoming Congressmen to forget America and to start listening to Washington. It is our job to help the members of Congress—duly elected officials of both parties—hear from America, remember their commitments, and keep their promises.
— Mike Farris