“We hold these truths to be self- evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Our Declaration of Independence goes on to say, “That in order to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the Consent of the Governed.”
A lot of Americans remember the all men are created equal part but forget that in order for all of us to secure these rights each and every citizen needs to take responsibility and be part of the process of giving our consent.
Frankly, many of us take our freedoms for granted or they have decided that they can not make a difference. The great danger is through our lack of interest, disgust or disappointment the inertia created can and does create the conditions from which our freedoms can be lost. Justice Brandeis once wrote that, ” Those who won our independence believed that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people, that public discussion is a political duty and that this should be a fundamental principle of American government.”
A part totally ignored by libertarians is the notion that for us to secure our rights government is needed. Today’s reactionary conservatives espouse a distaste for the very instrument necessary to maintain freedom and liberty. Worse than that are the members of Congress whose whole objective is to shut down government or to make it so obstructed as to make government useless.
The will of the majority on many, many issues goes ignored and the status quo reigns. Through the status quo our lives are affected by decay and rot from within our very government. In poll after poll, citizens express their belief that loop holes in gun shows need to be closed to eliminate criminals and mentally ill individuals from obtaining weapons.
Most Americans want to see immigration reform but the silence of the Peoples House of Representatives is deafening.
Americans are all about fairness and see the fact that wages have been stagnant for 40 years as being unfair. Income inequality has become the rule of the day.
Americans want our infrastructure to be repaired and improved in order to remain competitive.
Americans know in huge numbers that corporations are not people and that our elections are too expensive with the power being in too few hands.
The list goes on and on, the list of issues that Congress sits and does nothing. We have a tyranny of a minority who seek to deprive the people of the power to have our consent heard and our will translated into legislation to fix what is broken. Out of a total of House Members of 435, 135 seem to dictate policy to the Speaker. Our government has broken down. It is totally dysfunctional due to the few dictating to the many. Important legislation does not even see the light of day and have on record the stance of individual members. This is the weakest and deservedly called a do nothing Congress.
Our Constitution has established a manner in which we the people may alter or abolish tyranny and that is through a vote of the people. The ballot box is our answer to tyranny and incompetence. In the late 19th Century our fellow citizens were voting in great numbers. Now we see elections decided by the vote of the few. This is disgraceful and it will lead to the demise of our Republic through inertia, apathy and frustration. It may be understandable as to why people feel disconnected with their representatives. It is understandable that people believe that all politicians are liars and crooks.
Are our elected officials just a reflection of who we are? If that is true than we need to take a hands on approach and make sure that we elect people who are true public servants and deny victory to those who only want the power of office to serve themselves.
The fine institution of the US Senate is now called the Millionaires Club. For many in Congress they feed at the trough of insider trading, based upon information they receive that we the people are not allowed to act upon.
But ladies and gentlemen we hold the power. If we would only take responsibility and either find the right candidates or vote for those who only seek to help others, to help their communities and their nation other than their political party or to grease their own pockets.
How many times do I hear from prospective voters who are not either registered or refuse to vote the comment that they do not know about the candidates or the issues. Education is the key and today we have the internet and other forms of communications that we did not have years ago when more people voted. Inform yourselves about the issues and the candidates, be better informed.
The founders of our Republic knew the pitfalls of why Republics failed and we may very well be witnessing the demise of ours due to neglect and apathy. But it is not too late, we still have the power. Take responsibility for your country and show your love of country by becoming more involved.