The Cajun Congress
It's the People, Not the Party.
Many of us who love our country and state and more importantly, the people and culture of south Louisiana, have come together to form what has been given the name of THE CAJUN CONGRESS.  The Cajun Congress is, in many ways, a tribute to our Acadian ancestors who simply refused to blindly pledge allegiance to the King of England and who took it upon themselves to band together and forge a new economic, philosophical and political culture, independent of large and far away governmental authority.Much like our ancestors, we have become governed by a federal government who exercises regulatory power on its people mostly due to its largesse in funding through the state government distribution, with very little input from those who ultimately are the folks who, on a daily basis, live, work and endure the consequences of federal government decision making.

 

Unlike our ancestors, we do not propose anarchy and do not advocate secession from the Union or the State of Louisiana.  But what we do propose is to band together to share ideas, to act cooperatively, and to gather information which we can then use to plan our own strategic maneuvers to bring to the attention of our elected agents and officials new formulas for economic and political success in government.

 

Cajuns, like their ancestors, have never been shy and unopinionated.  They are historically a people whose industrious nature and common sense approach to problems have allowed them to carve a wonderful paradise out of what most people considered wasteland.

 

We have taken the natural environment we found ourselves cast into and have created, through cooperative effort, a modern reputation for having the hardest working people, some of the best food and a cultural connectivity that is the envy of the world.

 

From a small band of French families, our people have flourished to the wonderful mix of people, politics and prosperity that even today is proving to be somewhat resistant to world and national economic pressures.  Much like our gumbo, we have a great mixture of natural ingredients that make us successful and attractive to all who interact with us.

 

However, we have not and will not continue to be successful without some forward pro-active thinking and acting and without a renewal of our historical familial and community cooperative efforts.  We must band together again, if only to share our thoughts, ideas and plans and mostly to listen to the thought process of our people who experience the ultimate daily result of government and economic planning.  And, we must do so away from the restraints of partisan political pressure to conform to some “national” policy or party platform. We must be free to share our thoughts and ideas with each other much like a family who can disagree yet still respect each individual opinion.

 

What we must seek from each other is not party loyalty to policy, but new ideas, forged from practical experience in government and private life.  What we have in common is the fact that all of us have ideas, all of us want our country and state to be safe and comfortable places to live, and all of us share in the hopes and dreams that we can educate and employ our children close to their family and friends.  All of us want to believe that we have contributed to society in our lifetime and much like the motto of our beloved KBON radio, we know “We must gather up our heritage and offer it to our children!”

 

When we look around us we see and wonder why our fundamental basic professions cannot function.  Teachers spend more time in administrative “cover our ass” tasks than they do actually sharing knowledge.  When farmers produce a crop they are burdened by more and more federal and state regulations each year.  Fishermen haul their loads into the dock only to find that the prices have been depressed by foreign dumping of product on the American market.

 

There are some fundamental facts that we in south Louisiana can take advantage of if we just put our heads together.  If we can put our collective thoughts and available assets together and work cooperatively towards common good we all will prosper.  It is time to begin to question conventional intellectual wisdom and reach into time honored common sense ideas to solve our economic and political problems.  We should be asking ourselves such questions as:

 

1. If south Louisiana produces the majority of rice and sugar cane in America, why can’t we make Rice Crispies or other cereal products? 

2. If we have the largest fresh water river basin in the world in St. Martin Parish, why can’t we irrigate our crops for fear of salt water intrusion or sell fresh water to states who have none?

3. If we have abundant oil and natural gas in our back yards and pastures, why can’t we produce our own fuels cheaper or make our own bio fuels here?

4. If we have such proximity to the Gulf, the Mississippi and other river tributaries, and an expansive coastline, why can’t we be the port of call for a number of specialized goods and more importantly, the export channel for our own goods?

5. If we are blessed with a wonderful agricultural and aquaculture environment, why are we not the largest packing and food manufacturers in America?

6. If credit is essentially a form of trust in one’s ability to pay, why do we deal with banks and other financial institutions thousands of miles away, who do not know us and who are controlled by people who have no interest in our region?

 

 

There are many other such questions and there are many of us with ideas about how to answer them.  The idea behind the Cajun Congress is for all of us to participate and meet together to discuss the common issues of our region, to share ideas and catalog available local assets which might help to resolve those issues.

 

History is with us.  Our ancestors were not simply blind followers of the edicts of the King.  They had their own ideas on governance, community association and economics.  As traditional as we south Louisiana Cajuns are, this is simply another tradition being honored and passed on to other generations. 

 

To join us you simply need to have an interest in improving the plight of your family, friends and community.  Your dues are your experiences, your intellectual and practical ideas on government and economics.  Your payment is simply to share those ideas with others and to keep a vigilant eye for ways to improve the system as a whole.

 

All are welcome.  No one will be excluded and all will be treated with respect, collegiality and all will be heard. No matter what economic or formal educational level you have achieved, we consider you to be one of us.  Many of the world’s greatest inventions and ideas have come from some of the most simple, practical thoughts of man.  We believe that there are no stupid questions and no bad ideas, if they originate from an honest belief or a good heart.

 

We intend to schedule meetings in each community and ultimately hope to have parish and regional meetings in the future.

 

If you are interested you are most welcome to join.  We are not soliciting contributions of any kind at this time but will accept the donation of a kind thought and a sincere promise to assist.




Photo taken at Avery Island, Iberia Parish.
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