Last night I was talking politics with my pops. He, like most people is very frustrated with the direction of the country. He is fed up with the business as usual politics of Washington and is fed up with both major political parties.
Can you blame him? I certainly don’t.
He mentioned to me that he as his buddies were talking and think the best thing we could do as a nation, this election, is to vote every single incumbent out of congress to send them a message. It does surprise me that this will not happen even though congressional approval is below 20%. We don’t like them, but we keep them there. It makes no sense.
At first, I thought this would be a good thing. I mean getting rid of every congressman (with the exception of Ron Paul I hope) and 1/3 of the senate, what’s not to like about giving to boot to this group of individuals. No more Pelosi, certainly has a nice ring to it. But after thinking about it a little more, I’m not sure it would do much good.
We would not have addressed what really got us here in the first place. Sure, we’ll have a new set of faces, but who is to say they will be any different than the ones we just sent packing. I’ll bet there wouldn’t be any difference at all.
The problem is that we don’t know who we are sending there in the first place. We people vote for members of congress, they usually just vote for the same guy they always vote for, or they always pick who has the R or the D after their name. That is all they need to know before casting their vote. Then after they put them there, they don’t keep track of what they are doing. Since the constituents aren’t holding them accountable to themselves, the congressmen can easily serve other interest who will hold them accountable.
Ralph Nader said, “Democracy requires active participation.” This is one time I’ll 100% agree with Ralph.
We don’t need to change who is currently in congress. We need to change how we vote for congressmen, we need to change how we hold them accountable, and we need to change the political system we currently operate under.
We need to send people to congress who are dedicated to reducing the power of the federal government over state and local governments and over the lives of individuals. This is a select group of people. We you hand power of to most people, they will want to hold onto it and probably try to increase it. We need to elect man and women of principle. People who will do the right thing when power is handed to them.
The reason why the power of the federal government needs to be reduced goes back to what Nader said, Democracy does require active participation. It requires responsibility and accountability. The people can not actively participate on the national level. Most people will never lay eyes on a president or even one of their senators. My senators represent approximately 7 million people, my congressman, Thelma Drake, represents around 640 thousand. My voice is lost in the sea of other voices if I choose to write them about issues that concern me. Most of us can’t drive up to DC and sit in on a meeting of congress, and even if you did, you wouldn’t be able to speak. Individual citizens can not influence these people, only the well-funded special interest groups.
This is why the US Congress needs to stay out of local issues. Housing, education, transportation, issues like vary from locality to locality and congress shouldn’t try to use its one plan fits all approach to legislation. These things need to be settled by states and local governments. You can stop by your city council and tell them what you think. They will listen to you because you are no longer a voice among millions. The councilmen live in the same neighborhood as you do and you know what mutual problem you face. The concern there is your community, not who is going to fund their next campaign.
The federal government needs to revert back to doing what it was design to do. Congress needs to worry about national defense, negotiating treaties with foreign nations, maintaining the federal court system, and settling disputes between states. That’s about it. Until congress starts reducing its powers back to constitutional levels, it will not matter who we have actually serving in congress.
If we keep sending Republicans and Democrats we know nothing about, we will continue to see the trend of bigger government, higher taxes, and less civil liberties. We have seen this regardless of which party is in power at any given moment. This is because they know they will get another trip to the plate. They have been taking turns for years and it has continued.
It won’t change until we put a stop to it.
It won’t change until people wake up and take responsibility for their irresponsible voting habits.
We need to stop voting according to political party. Political parties benefit from having a big federal government. We need to send candidates who are dedicated to reducing government. Republicans claim they want smaller government, they sure have not lived up to that creed. Let’s send people who will.