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Are you being represented?

September 19, 2007

First things first… I owe an apology for my lengthy hiatus. I will endeavor to post more frequently in the future.

Those of us living in the U.S. are participants in a form of government known as a representative republic. That is, we elect officials to represent our interests at the federal level. Each of those elected officials takes an oath of office. That oath is centered on upholding our Constitution. That very Constitution was written in a manner that very specifically limits the Federal Government’s role in our lives.

It is apparent that very few of our elected officials have ever read the Constitution they have all sworn to uphold. Or if they have read it, they choose to ignore it, or worse…

It is not my intent to lament about the continual abrogation of responsibility exhibited by most members of the U.S. House and Senate toward upholding the Constitution. I encourage anyone reading this missive to read the  U.S. Constitution and its amendments. Then decide for yourself the merit of my words.

My intent today is to ask a few simple questions, the most important of which is…

“Are you being represented?”

I don’t think many people can answer in the affirmative. So let’s get down to a few more simple questions that may raise a few eyebrows along the way.

Questions such as:

  • Have you ever spoken with any of your elected representatives?
  • Have you ever written a letter to an elected official?
  • Have you ever signed a petition that was submitted to elected officials?
  • Have you ever voted in an election?
  • Did you vote for a candidate you thought would adequately represent you, or did you vote along a party-line? 

The first three questions convey methods of communicating your interests and concerns to your elected representatives. If they don’t know you and what’s important to you, how can they effectively represent you?

The bottom two questions center on choices. Voting is more than just a privilege, it is a responsibility. If you do not vote, you have no right to complain about your representation (or lack of). If you voted for a party, rather and a candidate, you have chosen to eliminate debate in the political process. Will Rogers once commented that “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.” When both houses of Congress are controlled by a single party, that quote is especially insightful.

If you are eligible to vote, by all means do so. All I ask is that you think before you vote. Get to know each candidate’s position on issues affecting each of us. Do those positions uphold or weaken our Constitution? Communicate with candidates and elected officials. Let them know what is important to you. If later, you find you are not being represented, vote the bums out in the next election. Don’t allow ineffective jerks to make a career in political office.

Next time, we’ll take a look at some of the ways your elected officials use class envy and other unethical tools to redistribute wealth for the purpose of securing political capital and increasing the role of government in our lives.

Until then…
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