Today I opened an email from a friend who shares jokes and political tidbits. This one was a copy of the letter sent to radio talk show host Glen Beck from an individual expressing what might be considered the quintessential lament underscoring the American political psyche.
There were good points in the letter that I agree with. Regardless of political persuasion, we can all concur on one level that bad politics, greed and waste are sapping economic resources and stunting national growth.
What bothers me about the general spirit of the letter however is how the 53 year old grandmother believes she should be able to work, raise kids and play all weekend without being personally involved in Republic politics.
In other words, America was originally a Republic establishment to be governed by the people. It means that government starts with neighborhood meetings, with neighbors as representatives of the community lobbying to our city council members and to state and regional officials who would vote our will in Washington.
This is the basic rule of governance by the people in this particular form of Democracy and the only way we can keep officials under our gaze and in touch with our needs and best interests. By doing so, we also have the opportunity to maintain a dialogue that enables us to see them, hold them accountable from the beginning and push them toward Washington or vote them out before they can reach higher offices.
As a kid in the 70s I attended town hall meetings with a politically active neighbor who would propose, support or object to local laws affecting anything from traffic laws to tax and infrastructure. New England was the first and last place in America to hold such events for the benefit and participation of the people on a regular basis. Politicians running for high office now use them as show case events for promoting their campaigns.
The person who sent this letter to Glen Beck is a typical, family oriented American burdened with too many work hours in maintaining a comfortable lifestyle, while expecting elected officials to honestly represent her without the force of collective interactions promoting the common interests.
It takes real knowledge of how a democracy works and what a representative Republic really is to keep it working. It is based on constant ‘public’ involvement and vigilance from the ground up, as the forefathers who crafted the Constitution clearly understood.
Average Americans have forgotten their place in the democratic process. In this state of reticence the lack of local control has created a power vacuum readily filled by the rich and powerful, the political and economic interests of corporations and elites, who collectively bargain against the prosperity of the working class majority.
This has always been the struggle and the recent economic collapse is a wakeup call for all Americans, not just the middle class. Unfortunately, people only raise their concerns when they feel the pinch.
We cannot continue to blame Washington politics for the corruption and waste that has incrementally encroached on individual rights in favor of the power broker’s agendas – when we the people have essentially allowed it by generations of silence.
The only way that Americans can take back their country and stand as a sovereign nation, is to begin acting at their own level. Without implementing the basic checks and balances of a democratic society it is unrealistic to expect some Princeton elite to vote for his best interests.
Those who believe that the electoral system is the best form of expressing their national will are the same people vacillating between voting for and against their own parties with incisive vengeance.
If no party truly represents the national will, then to what end does the vote lead us?
As a lifelong Republican, I voted for Pres. Obama after eight years of Republican deceit for the rule of law and war profiteering on the backs of tax payers. As the Glen Beck letter clearly shows, there are defectors from all sides who feel that their interests are ignored.
Sadly, what is happening in Washington is another sign that the citizen has lost his political activist roots and has thus acquiesced to power starved jackals that lie in wait.
It is a fact which bears witness to the historic pinnacle upon which our national sovereignty now rests in open view.