When I posted last week’s column one of my readers offered a comment that they had never known a politician that could be trusted. This reader opined that they were all dishonest crooks.
To some of you that might seem harsh. Yet to others it might seem rather tame. The problem comes when people are put into position where they can harm others by their dishonesty. It also seems that regardless of the ethics of an individual when they are elected, they appear overcome with their new sense of power and all the money that flows around them. In just a matter of days, they become Washington elites with little or no regard for the voters of their district who put them into the office in the first place.
I myself am a bit of a skeptic. Now I know most of you will find that difficult to believe, but it is true. This is what I think must happen when a newly elected legislator gets to Washington. He or she is brought before their party leadership and told the following. “Welcome to the best job you will ever have. You have just hit the lottery. You basically now have the ability to print money. You have all of this not because you have been chosen by the voters to serve your constituency, but because we are going to allow you to continue in that position. All you have to do is follow instructions and don’t rock the boat. You have been elected to serve a two year term but if you have any intention of being re-elected, you will have to do as you are told. We have the ability and the means to see that you are re-elected and we also have the means to get rid of you. Oh, and by the way, all that nonsense you told the voters to get them to vote for you in the first place, forget about it. We will decide how and what you will vote on from this point on. You are now a member of the most exclusive club on earth, don’t mess it up.”
Rarely does anyone dare to mess it up.
The only way this is going to change is for the voters to take their country back. The first and most obvious way is term limits. Believe me, Congress will never pass any term limits because it would kill the goose that lays their golden egg. We the people must exercise term limits by refusing to re-elect anybody regardless of who they are. The idea of career politicians is repulsive. The idea of Congressional leaders being selected because of their seniority is ridiculous. I don’t believe our Founding Fathers ever conceived of career politicians. Ours was always supposed to be a citizen legislature.
Today the majority of this country has little trust in their elected representation. Let’s face it, politicians have done little to earn that trust.
Look at the scandals infecting the Obama Administration. The primary role of Congress is oversight and funding. Where have they been? Did you know that Obamacare cannot go forward unless the House of Representatives funds it? Did you know that the House also funds the IRS? In fact it is the job of the House, currently controlled by Republicans, to fund all of government. Today we know that the IRS blew eighty million dollars on “conferences and team building.” Are they crazy? Where is the oversight? It does little good to lock the barn after the horse has already escaped.
I truly wish we could once again trust our government. I wish the liars in Washington were prosecuted and run out of town. Our republic is fragile and it won’t continue to hold up under the strain of dishonesty. Wouldn’t it be great to feel good about government? Wouldn’t it be great to trust once again?
Ron Scarbro June 5, 2013