Published Brownsville Herald September 7, 2008
We are now deep in the middle of the election season which will change the priorities and goals of centers of governmental power as well as the names of those who would rule or less likely lead us for the next cycle.
The most important of the elections are for members of the House of Representatives. These are the folks that initiate all bills for raising revenue which holds the purse strings for all the promises the other bureaucrats make.
After becoming familiar with the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers (essays written at the time debating the text of the Constitution)I have come to believe that our founders made the term two years in length with the intention that Representatives would be citizen-statesmen returning home after a one or two terms. The ideal would be that fresh ideas of public need would continually become part of Congressional considerations and our representatives would not become the out of touch professional rulers that many have. It frequently seems the longer a Representative stays in office the more reports of perceived corruption and influence peddling arise.
The second most important in the Federal elections are for the Senate which were intended to provide legislative stability similar to the House of Lords in England and represent the interests of the state he/she represents.
It is a shame that the legislators and the bureaucracy seek to discourage the individual from even understanding the laws, the proposed laws and the propositions in the coming elections.
At the bottom in constitutional power, may be the President / Vice President whose powers include not much more than saying “No” or vetoing a bill, the “bully pulpit” – public commentary- on this or that issue. Military action requires “sort of” the declaration by Congress. Major nominations to most high office also require Congressional action.
In the reading of many of the propositions in the coming election, and the explanations of those issues, few of us “We the people” are able to grasp exactly what exactly is being said and all of the ramifications of those actions being taken. Some commentators have been able to cast some light but only because they have considerable experience with the particular issue, the “politic speak” or the bureaucracy involved.
If this is a country “of the people by the people and for the people” why can’t the people (even well educated ones) understand the language of the law (especially tax law) of the land?
Could it be that there really is an “elite” ruling class, who feels they are the only ones who know what is good for us, and then makes us pay for it? It would seem to me that this was the reason that the United States came into being. Taxation with little or no say in how the money is spent is speedily becoming the norm.
It appears that no matter whom we vote for “We the people” cannot really change anything.
This perception seems to become more common all the time and many polls indicate that people believe there will be no change, whatever the outcome of an election. I have long held the opinion that there are really no differences in the two major political parties today. Each has its pockets of special interest but there are no clear differences as there were in the past when one was clearly for “more federally concentrated power” and the other for “the rights of local states and communities” to control their lives.
Now both parties strive to get into the center ground so that they can hold and increase their power not to advance a firmly held belief.
I submit that the only difference between the two parties is the amount of “socialism” that they want to effect on us, because “only the government knows what is good for us”.
One must remember the lessons of the past whenever the legislators give something that they tell us is for our own good; it costs something in addition to increased taxes; the ability for the multi-headed bureaucracy to also control that part of our lives.
The bureaucracy also makes law, without a vote, in the form of regulation, requirements, and practices that tell you what the means and how you must live.
Some of these things are really good and enforce actions that we should indeed be doing “for our own good” but there are many in the different parts of the bureaucracy that want to increase their personal power over others and the well intended benefit becomes a personal tool of the bureaucracy. Could this be happening in the Dept. of Homeland Security?
Another illustration of this is in education where the state and federal government provides funds, we have grown to depend on and when they don’t continue to increase as expected there is a “cut” which threatens local bureaucracies and the system. They almost always never spend less.
The mountains of paper required for access to these funds has sponsored an industry of administrators whose only job is to dream up programs to get more funding and then comply with the enormous administrative requirements. The result is our teachers are so bogged down with proving that they are teaching there is no time to teach.
I believe it is definitely time that we rethink what is important to us and take a much more active part in the political process, it would appear that both the traditional parties, are controlled by professional bureaucrats, intent on grasping more power, not citizen statesmen, as was envisioned by our forefathers.
They are letting us down and need to change or be replaced.
How does this end? We must support new candidates that have new ideas that agree with our views, vote for them in the primaries and then vote in the elections or your choice not to vote will be a vote for the same things to continue.