Thomas Jefferson made the astute observation:
“When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
Today, the problem with our government at all levels is that it has no fear of the people. In fact, it’s worse than that. Our elected officials, as a group, have no regard for us either. Countless calls and emails do not stop these politicians from passing legislation that is contrary to the will and consent of the governed. If we, the people, are to secure our liberty, we must bring our elected officials back under our control. If Jefferson was right, to do that, we’re going to have to scare the pants off of them, then make sure they stay afraid — very afraid.
How do we do this, you ask? By the time he or she gets to Washington, it’s very difficult to unseat any incumbent. I do not need to provide a more vivid example of this phenomenon than Representative Pete Stark from California, a disrespectful, sarcastic, nasty, self-satisfied, sorry excuse for a man, who is a prime example of why “Congressional politician” is the least trusted profession in America. In spite of himself, Representative Stark has managed to hold onto his seat in Congress for 37 years. Clearly, it’s too late to begin to put the fear into them once they’ve crossed the Potomac. We need to begin much earlier, when they are still close to home, and living among us.
Let’s face it, before the crash in 2008 and before the first bailout occurred, most of us were relatively oblivious to what the federal government was doing. If possible, we were, as a group, even more uninformed about state and local government activity.
Are you aware that four of the five men who currently represent Nebraska in Congress began their political careers in city government? All of them moved from there to the State Legislature or Governor’s Office, or both, and from there to Congress.
I ask you, how much easier would it have been to unseat one of these men, or see that he never got elected in the first place, if we had begun when he ran for the city council in his home town? What if, when he ran for that first office, he had a number of truly principled, solidly limited-government people whispering in his ear instead of political party hacks? What if those same kinds of people turned out en mass as volunteers to walk precincts for him in that first election? What if, because of that effort, he knew his election depended upon that activism? Finally, what if, during his term on the city council, those same people attended council meetings and communicated with him about council business, not just to complain, but to commend him when his votes were consistent with limited-government principles?
It is simply logical – extrapolate that idea from a fellow’s start on the City Council and continue it through a run for Congress. Should the elected official / candidate be seduced or corrupted by the process or become too much a creature of their political party, there would be enough people watching to know it and take appropriate action.
In order for these ideas to work, candidates need to be questioned about their basic principles, not just listened to on the stump. Worthy candidates need to be actively supported and then just as actively monitored if elected.
But we haven’t done this, have we? We’ve been uninvolved, unaware, and largely unresponsive, regardless of what our elected officials have done or have failed to do. No wonder they don’t have much regard for our opinions now. We haven’t taught them to fear us. And, as demonstrated in the previous paragraphs, they must be taught this lesson early, and they must be reminded of it often.
Where shall we begin? More to come…