Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution lays out the basic groundwork for our proportional representation in the House of Representatives; simply stating, “The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative.”
At the time the Constitution was implemented the ratio of representation was approximately 1 representative for every 15,000 people; half of what they say is the maximum allowable. Do you happen to know what that ratio is today; I do.
If you take the total population of this country, which sits around 320 million, and divide it by the number of members in the House of Representatives, you get the ratio of representation in America. Wanna know what it is? As we speak the ratio of representation is 1 representative for every 735,632 people. Yep that’s right, one representative is supposed to be familiar with the needs and interests of almost a quarter million people.
A great many wise and virtuous men saw this weakness within the Constitution and argued against adopting it for that very reason; for fear the those elected to represent the people wouldn’t be numerous enough to know the minds of those they represented, and if they were, government would become too big and cumbersome to be a free government.
In his first essay, Brutus writes, “Now, in a large extended country, it is impossible to have a representation, possessing the sentiments, and of integrity, to declare the minds of the people, without having it so numerous and unwieldly, as to be subject in great measure to the inconveniency of a democratic government.” Isn’t that pretty much what we have now, a democracy where the laws passed by Congress are based upon what a majority of the people want? Yet why would our Founders fear and despise democracies if they were so gosh darned good?
Let me ask you something; have you ever tried sending a letter to your representatives; regardless of whether it is at the State or federal level? I do, or at least I used to; until I gave up on getting a response that actually addressed my concerns. Typically I’d get a letter thanking me for contacting them and they would take my comments into consideration. Yeah rigth! The only person who routinely came close to addressing my concerns was, surprisingly, Dianne Feinstein. Although I cannot stand the bitch, she, or her staff, at least had the courtesy to send me some kind of a response to my letters.
The last time I got any kind of response from a sitting president was when Bill Clinton was in office; and it was a cursory thank you for contacting the White House…blah, blah, blah. I never got responses from Reagan, Bush the elder, Dubya, Obama, and I haven’t gotten one from Trump yet either although I’ve written him 3 times now.
I’ve never gotten a response from John Garamendi, although I’ve written him numerous times. I never got a response from Boxer when she was serving in the Senate. I haven’t gotten a letter from a State Governor since Gray Davis; before he was ousted by the Governator in a special recall election. Schwarzenegger never wrote me, nor did Gerry Brown, nor has Gavin Newsom; although I don’t blame Newsom, for I laid into him and all but called him a worthless sack of shit.
I have written letters to James Gallagher at the State level and all I get is silence in response. I wrote Kamala Harris when she served as the State Attorney General and she had the gall to send me a response saying she was not obligated to respond to public inquiries.
I have written letters to each and every member of the Supreme Court, and the only one to respond was Stephen Bryer; and all he said was that he found my argument in favor of private gun ownership compelling and interesting.
Yet we are to believe that these people represent us; that they have our best interests in mind when they vote upon a piece of legislation. If you believe that, I have some property on the Moon I’m interested in selling.
These people don’t care about us as individuals, and they damn sure don’t care about our rights and our liberty. What they care about is getting their slice of the pie so that it can be spread around their district to show that they are working on behalf of the people they represent. It’s all about money, and who gets their fair share of it.
Another thing they care about, and this begins the moment they are sworn in, they care about appeasing those who contribute huge sums of money to their re-election funds. Sure the money we send them, (that is if you contribute to their campaigns), helps; but it is nickel and dimes compared to the people who attend $1,000 a plate campaign fund raisers and write checks for thousands of dollars for their election funds. As long as elected representatives can keep their base, their contributing base, happy, that’s all that matters to them.
If people were capable of critical thought they would begin to wonder why Congress even holds sessions. After all, the Constitution only grants government a few specifically delegated powers, and after 230 years of operation you would think that Congress would have written just about every law the Constitution authorizes them to. So why are they still churning out new laws year after year, month after month?
Have you ever tried to read a piece of legislation our Congress produces? I have and after half an hour I had a monster headache; Title such and such of US Code, Section such and such is amended to read, ________.
To make sense of these monstrosities one has to go to the specific section of the U.S. Code and read it, then see how the changes made to it affect the overall meaning. It is time consuming and, quite frankly, would take a team of lawyers to make heads or tails out of. As an example, the Patriot Act was 342 pages and changed 15 existing laws. Hell, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, now sits at over 20,000 pages of legislation, and rules and regulations enacted under its authority.
How many of you remember Nancy Pelosi’s comment that we have to pass the bill before we can see what’s in it? So, does this mean that they are voting yes or no on bills they haven’t even read? It wouldn’t surprise me, but if it is true, then maybe they ought to stop making these laws so complex it does take teams of lawyers to understand them.
In Federalist 62 James Madison wrote, “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what is will be tomorrow.” I think that pretty well sums up exactly what our Congress does; writes so many laws, and makes them so complex, that nobody can understand them or know what the law actually is.
Did you know that Thomas Jefferson disliked the idea of quickly passing laws because of political expediency or sudden need? In a letter to James Madison he wrote, “The instability of our laws is really an immense evil. I think it would be well to provide in our constitutions that there shall always be a twelvemonth between the ingrossing a bill and passing it: that it should then be offered to it’s passage without changing a word: and that if circumstances should be thought to require a speedier passage, it should take two thirds of both houses instead of a bare majority.”
Turning our attention upon another who opposed the Constitution, the Federal Farmer writes, “It is natural for men, who wish to hasten the adoption of a measure, to tell us, now is the crisis — now is the critical moment which must be seized, or all will be lost: and to shut the door against free enquiry, whenever conscious the thing presented has defects in it, which time and investigation will probably discover.” I’ll be damned if that doesn’t sound strikingly similar to what Rahm Emmanuel was talking about when he said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
It truly cracks me up when I hear people say that they are informed when all they’ve done is watch a few public speeches or TV talk shows like Meet the Press. If you were informed you would see that your government is doing things it is not authorized to do; and this is true regardless of which party holds a majority. If you were informed you would know that our government no longer rests on the consent of the people, rather it rests on coercion of the people into obedience and submission; and it’s been that way since the end of the Civil War.
If you were informed you would know that voting cannot fix what’s wrong with our government. Our government is one big charade, a play to give the people the illusion that they have some say in what laws they enact. The two parties have but one concern; gaining control of the system so that they can further their particular agendas and gaining control of the power of taxing and spending. The only difference between the two parties is how they spend the money they confiscate from you in the form of income taxes.
Awhile back my friend Mike Gaddy wrote something on Facebook I’d like to share with you. There are 3 parties in America; the Republican Party; the Democrat Party; and the Permanent Party. The Permanent Party consists of unelected officials, such as those serving in the various agencies and the Justice Department who shape policy. They are the scriptwriters and the people we elect are the actors who dance to their tune. That’s why you can change out people over and over, but government never actually reduces itself in size or in the fact that it has become despotic.
But the whole charade rests upon the fragile concept of our consent to be governed. I simply have chosen not to consent to its authority. Sure, I obey the laws when it suits me, but I do not consent to the authority those laws were written under. I also do not participate in choosing which political hack is going to represent me, for I feel it makes very little difference in the long run whether I am represented by a Republican or a Democrat.
In the most recent remake of the classic story Robin Hood, there is a scene when Little John, played by Jamie Foxx tells Robin of Loxley that to take down the Sheriff he needs to go after his lifeblood; the money.
As our government does not produce anything that it can sell to fund its operations, it must confiscate the wealth of the governed to keep its doors open for business. What do you think would happen if 2/3 of the people in this country suddenly decided that they were no longer going to pay their taxes? What if employers suddenly stopped withholding federal taxes from the pay of their employees? Our government would come to a screeching halt; and in my opinion that wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.
If you had been taught the real history of the Civil War you would have known that is the very reason Lincoln could not let the Southern States form their own Confederacy apart from the federal Union; for his Union depended upon the lifeblood of taxes that were being paid primarily by the Southerners. If Lincoln had just let the South go in peace his government would have been bankrupt within months; so he chose to use force against a segment of the country who sought to exercise the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
We stopped having a truly representative government a very long time ago. What we have now is a system where Oligarchs and Aristocrats play musical chairs between the various positions within it, and with the companies and businesses that profit from it. How else can you explain that the heads of some agencies are former CEO’s or lobbyists for the very agency they now head? How else can you explain why former high ranking military officers often end up getting cushy jobs in the military industrial complex? How else can you explain the fact that, no matter which election we are seeing, we always see and hear the same old names over and over again?
I really wish there was an ironclad law that said that if you run for office once and do not win, you are ineligible to ever run for office again. That would certainly weed out some of the corruption in government; for it would force fresh faces into the process of governing. But that is a pipe dream; it will never happen.
I also wish they would pass a constitutional amendment that says that no elected representative shall be eligible for re-election if the federal government is operating in a deficit and accumulating more and more debt. If that happened none of them son of a bitches would be eligible for re-election.
If you ask me, it was all but inevitable that we come to the point we are today. The Constitution was written in such a manner as to leave the door wide open for the abuse of power by the elected representatives chosen by the people. Like Lord Acton said, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The power government provides is a magnet for evil and corrupt men, and women, who seek not the public good and the preservation of liberty; they seek to rule, to govern over us peasants.
As Daniel Webster once said, “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” Sorry, but if they are masters then that implies that we are their slaves; and I’m nobody’s slave! And, as Lysander Spooner so accurately stated, “A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.”
We cannot, and will not fix the system by electing people to work within it to correct its faults; that too is a pipe dream. The system is too broken, too corrupt to be fixed internally. No, if we truly want to fix the system we need to first tear it all the way down to its foundation and rebuild it with stronger safeguards against the abuse of power and for the preservation of the public liberty.
But that will never happen, the only thing that’s going to happen is that government is going to keep getting bigger and more powerful, until eventually the whole system collapses and we end up with absolute tyranny and despotism. The sad thing is; there are many people who will still support the government when it happens.
As the old saying goes, “You can’t fix stupid, not even with duct tape.”