Friday, July 5, 2013

What's a Freedom Index and How Do I Use It?

From the John Birch Society's web page:

"The Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based on the U.S. Constitution rates congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements. The percentages below are cumulative scores are based on key votes from 1999 through 2013. Click on a senator's or representative's name to get a detailed breakdown of his or her voting record."

There's a message system, too, although the instructions for using it show that it needs a bit more fine-tuning.

Hmm. Let's check this out:

http://www.thenewamerican.com/freedomindex/

I note wryly that my U.S. Representative, H. Morgan Griffith, is listed as "H. Griffith." I consider copying the explication below his Birch Society grade of 78%, then realize that it's a long explication of just about every federal law on which he's voted. Local lurkers can read the whole thing here:

http://www.thenewamerican.com/freedomindex/profile.php?id=G000568

How much reading does this site offer to constituents of people who've been in Congress for twenty years or more? For comparison purposes, I pasted the explication for relatively new Congressman Griffith into Word. Using the default Word template installed on this public-access computer, it fills up 23 pages. Then I pasted the explication for Senator Orrin B. Hatch into the same template...150 pages. Right, so most people will be using this site as a reference and reading it very selectively.

Anyway, if you want to know what your people in Washington are up to that they may not be discussing in their newsletters, this web site is for you. This web site is of course aware that you may not necessarily agree with the Birch Society's grading system, but the system is set up in such a way that you can change the "good vote, bad vote" marks and re-score if you want to. Fun!