on political motivation.
“Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests.” Thomas Jefferson
I think we have very few politicians who could be considered to be in the 2nd category. When our leaders call the people liars, thugs, nazis, etc. they demonstrate that they fall into the 1st category. Clearly they are interested in hearing no opinions, suggestions or dissent from the people which would indicate, to me anyway, that they fear and distrust the people. President Obama is on the road this week trying to quell the uprising against his health care proposal. Rather than make specific statements and commitments which could be judged by the people, he is focused on spreading half-truths, exagerations and out-and-out lies. “out-and-out lies” is a very strong accusation to make of the President of the United States, but what else can you call it when at one time, or to one constituency he says one thing and at another time or to another constituency he says something which contradicts another and then says he didn’t say the first thing? Is it a memory lapse? If it is, say that. Has he gotten new information and changed his mind? Say that. But if it is only a matter of insuring his popularity among differing constituencies its a lie and confirmation that he fears what the people will think if he tells the truth.
When it comes to “the people” there also seems two be two classes. Those who are motivated towards the public interest and those who are self-interested.
In my opinion all legislation should first protect, defend and promote the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the citizenry of the United States before any other considerations take place. In other words, the question of how proposed legislation protects, defends or promotes life, liberty and the pusuit of happiness for the people should be answered in the legislation before the legislation is outlined. This is not a new or unusual concept. It is used in successful businesses, families and organizations every day when proposed decisions to change something or start a new practice come before them. So, for example, if a congressperson from state A proposes something which benefits only his constituency and cannot be shown to benefit the nation as a whole it should not be passed. Instead, what often occurs is that congressman 1 votes for a bill by congressman 2 in return for a his vote legislation proposed by congressman 2. It is called the politics of pork. It should be called corruption. Or a lobbyist for a particular constituency proposes to a congressman legislation which clearly, and solely benefits the client who is paying the lobbyist – often at the expense of the client’s competitors or the people. Corruption again.
So what, in my opinion, should be done to get back on track?
One simple piece of legislation with two simple components:
Without exception, every single piece of proposed legislation must begin with a statement in which the sponsoring legislator clearly deliniates how the law would contribute to, or promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the people of the United States.
An example of this concept could be embodied in the legislation written to provide for the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. To me it is crystal clear that the legislation contributes and promotes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the people of the United States. The reasons could have been clearly stated in the legislation.
Another example would be Private Legislation* which is currently saturated (in my opinion) with bills which are intended to skirt the legal immigration process. I think a legislator would be hard-pressed to demonstrate how this type of bill contributes and promotes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the people of the United States. It looks to me like the only thing it contributes to or promotes is some self-serving interest of the sponsor.
Secondly, a publically available addendum should be included with each bill which unequivically identifies each and every person and/or entity which contributed to the actual writing of the bill.
Oftentimes, legislation is ghost-written for the sponsoring legislator by a lobbyist, a group of lobbyists or a person or organization on behalf of a special-interest group. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but we the people should be cognizant of it. In this way we can know if legislation purporting to serve the needs of the people was actually proposed and written by lawyers paid by special-interests in order to specifically benefit the special-interest group who paid to have their desired outcome written into law. Additionally we would be able to know if the sponsoring legislator had, in any way, been induced to sponsor it by virtue of “campaign contributions”, “fact-finding” trips paid for by the lobbyists or special-interest groups, consulting contracts to relatives, etc. Criminal penaties should be applied for non-compliance.
* In 2009, the Congressional Research Service, an arm of Congress that classifies bills, changed the way they categorize bills. Some subject terms used before 2009, including Private Legislation, are no longer used and will no longer apply.
I take full responsibility for my own opinions, comments and slurs against asshats. I'm just another guy with just another opinion. Although, I may be turning into my father who my mother always said was 'the world's foremost authority."