My Declaration of Conscience

Published: March 21, 2024

By Jim Lichtman
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If I were a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, this would be my address to members.

Mr. Speaker, Members of the House:

We are failing.

We’re failing the American people because we’re failing to govern. I know it, you know it, and the American people know it. We have a duty to solve the country’s problems. Instead, we’ve become the problem. Division and infighting have replaced leadership. Character assassination has overtaken respect. Fear, ignorance, and bigotry have overwhelmed reason and tolerance, that has led to arrogant negligence. Those who defend it and those who remain silent contribute to the problem.

We have traded political position over the needs of the people we serve. Instead of working to ensure the help Americans need, too many are willing to say anything to gain attention. Party loyalty has replaced duty to the Constitution.

Moral integrity used to be the standard by which we were judged. Now, we’ve become a punchline for late-night television.

But it wasn’t always the case. We fought wars for moral reasons. We stood up to bullies, dictators, and tyrants for moral reasons—now America’s at war with itself for reasons I don’t understand. We’re not a perfect country, but we have always demonstrated the moral resolve to work through our differences.

It’s time for us to look into our consciences and ask ourselves why we are here.

If we want to reclaim the American people’s faith in us, it will take all of us in this chamber to stand up and stand for faithfulness to the truth and the Constitution that has always been consistent with our character and courage.

We have a moral responsibility to do nothing less.


  1. I have wanted someone else to think about and for Jim to write about this issue.
    We’re failing the American people because we’re failing to govern

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