Been awhile since I posted a purely political item. So...
Let's get this out of the way first: The USA is NOT a democracy. It is a representative republic. It's not ruled "by the people" in the sense that popular votes decide every little thing. We elect people to go and represent us in the state and federal legislatures. But, are we truly being represented?
I know, most folks are going to write that off as a really stupid question. Of course our interests are not being represented. They haven't been for a long time. Those elected make all sorts of promises, but in the end they simply go and vote what their party tells them to. Most of the time. Unless their own political life is on the line. And there is where things are really see for what they are.
Fox News recently ran a little piece about legislation here in Missouri that would make it a crime for federal agents to violate our Second Amendment rights based on any federal gun law. There is a lot of debate about whether the legislation would stand up to a court challenge (which brings up a whole other issue about why courts are the ones deciding our laws instead of duly elected legislators and votes of the people, but that's a whole other subject). But the point is that the legislation passed the state legislature, was vetoed by our governor, and will probably have that veto overridden when legislators reconvene in September.
Now, know that the Missouri legislature has a Republican majority, so it's no surprise that they would override a Democratic governor on something like this. But here's the interesting point. In the Fox News article, several Democrats were quoted as saying that they would vote with the Republic majority to override the veto, not because they agreed with it, but because they knew that if they didn't, they wouldn't survive the next election. Here are a couple key paragraphs in the article
“Being a rural-area Democrat, if you don’t vote for any gun bill, it will kill you,” (Democratic Rep. Ben) Harris said. “That’s what the Republicans want you to do is vote against it, because if you vote against it, they’ll send one mailer every week just blasting you about guns, and you’ll lose” re-election.
And this one:
“I personally believe that any higher court will probably rule this particular gun law unconstitutional on that, I probably agree that the governor’s right,” (Democratic Rep. Ed) Schieffer said. “But I may end up still voting for the gun bill, because I don’t want to be on record for not supporting guns.”
Did you catch that? But, you say, it sounds like they are truly representing their people, voting against their conscience because they know that's what their constituents want. Well, sort of. What they are saying is that they would vote the other way if they could, they would toe the part line if they could, but they won't; not because they respect their constituents wishes, but because they want to get re-elected and maintain power. The implication being, if they weren't running for re-election, listening to the desires of their constituents would go out the window in a heartbeat.
I know, this is old hat. We've known for years that politicians have only been out for self preservation. It's so rare that they actually admit it. They don't represent the people. They represent themselves and their own personal interests. And it will continue this way until Americans wake up and realize that our representative republic is not representative at all. Republicans and Democrats alike are more concerned withe their own political power, their own political machines, and their own personal agendas than they are about the needs, wants and benefit of the American people.
I know it's not an election year. But dare I mention even now that we need to seriously look at third party alternatives, such as, I don't know, the Constitution Party? Or should I bring up the growing support for A Convention of States called to regain control "by the people."? Well, whatever the answer is, the simple truth is that the system is severely broken. Our republic has lost it's "representative" nature. And until it returns, we will continue to face crisis after crisis brought on by those seeking their own good, not the nation's.
So there. My political rant for the month.