We Can’t Fix Government
Benjamin Franklin once said “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
While we tend to blame President Obama for the decline of America, the truth is, the decline has been happening for many decades. Many Americans have fought and died to protect the liberties we hold dear, but others have worked to subvert the constitution and usher in communism. The Communist Party USA planted its evil roots in the United States in 1913 and has been working fervently ever since to successfully impose the tenants of their Communist Manifesto. Meanwhile, we look to our elected leaders to protect us from this abomination.
It has been our habit to elect those who utter the prettiest words, the best promises, to the elected office they seek in order for them to protect our interests. Once we cast our vote, the majority of us return to our American dream. We focus on planning the perfect wedding, working the perfect job, having the perfect family, driving our kids to soccer practice, planning healthy meals and finding great bargains that we can brag to our friends about over lunch. Before we go to bed we watch fifteen minutes of news and shake our heads at the upheaval in the political arena, but we lay our heads down to sleep with nary a thought as to how these problems will be solved. After all, we elected the guy/gal who is supposed to be the expert and represent our ideals.
The problem with that is, those elected officials are no longer the people you voted for.
Here’s how it works. Candidate X decides to run for office on his party ticket. They have wonderful ideas about how to fix what’s broken. You meet them personally and, being a good judge of character, you decide they really do have a heart to fix things. They don’t need the money, they seem humble and genuine, and you’re sure they just want to do the right thing. Let’s say they manage to win their office. Off they go to the capitol building, either in their state if they are a state representative or senator, or off to DC if they are a Congressman or US Senator.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “freshman senator”. And it means just what it implies. The first thing this freshman is told is that they should just keep quiet and observe, see how things are done before they get too involved. Don’t rock the boat. And they are told this by their party leaders.
If a certain bill happens to make its way out of committee and to the floor, each party has a whip who goes around to each of their members and reminds them of how the party has agreed to vote. When did they agree? In Caucus. Before there are any votes on the floor, the members of each party will gather in a private meeting (caucus) where they will discuss the bills up for vote and come to agreement on how they will vote. Yes, a member can go against the wishes of the leaders, but to do so can be costly to them.
The cost of not towing the party line is that you will not receive any support from the party for any legislation you try to get passed. And that is just the beginning. If you consistently refuse to acquiesce to their wishes, it is not unheard of for their own party to find someone to run against them in the next election and even to finance that campaign. In other words, their own party will eat them alive.
This is why the politicians in any elected office are at the mercy of their party, and this is why we can never send the right person to office to help fix the problem. It must be an all or nothing proposition. And while we all know that will never happen, even if it did, we would have to be on the watch for the same cronyism to build up again. Our representative government does not represent you and me.
Which brings me to the lobbying industry. There are so many bills on so many different subjects, it’s impossible for our representatives to be knowledgeable about all of them. Often, they rely on lobbyists to educate them, not only on the subject, but on the factions that support or oppose the subject. And let’s face it; lobbyists are able to dole out perks to these elected officials. There are campaign and elected office rules and laws they must follow, yet our representatives somehow always seem to benefit from these purveyors of legislative advice. But there is another thing to consider. If Congress was not constantly passing more laws for us to try to keep up with and follow, we would not need all these lobbyists, would we? Yes, the American people have a right to lobby our government to address our grievances, but was this ever meant to turn into big business? No more than government itself was meant to be big business, but that’s just what it is. And lobbyists and their big business backers, along with elected officials only too happy to oblige, have created a crony capitalism society where big business interests take precedence over the citizens.
We were given a Republic, if we could keep it. Apparently we cannot. We cannot fix the current form of government because it has become convoluted and corrupt. The royal families called the Republicans and Democrats are not about to give up power and wealth. They need us to keep them powerful and wealthy so they must keep us ignorant. America created the middle class but now, we are to return to serfdom, in spite of the best efforts of our founding fathers.
The love of money is the root of all evil. While a surprising number of people in this nation actually clamor for socialist policies that are supposed to make us all equal (in complete ignorance of both history and economics), they seem to have no knowledge of what made us great. The question is, will the great experiment fade into history to become myth, or will we be able to bring her back to life?
This Presidents Day, which originally celebrated the birthday of George Washington, the greatest president we were ever blessed with, let me leave you with some of his words of wisdom.
“The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.”
“The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.”