Each year as we approach local, state, and national elections, the political parties prepare their position statements to lure the citizens to polls and ensure a candidate’s ability to live off the government for another term. Truly a very cynical view of our political process but one that over the years has proven to be unfortunately accurate.
What we fail to consider when we elect someone to office is that simple fact that we are placing him or her in a position where they are required to lead a group of bureaucrats that are experts in avoiding change. The true experts in this process are those involved in the national government. These are the very people the constitution was intended to protect us from, and the individuals who are most annoyed by the constitution. It interferes with their ability to save us from ourselves.
The existence of a government that consists of full time professional employees represents a huge group of individuals that are resistant to change unless it is change that makes the work they are personally dedicated to easier for them to accomplish. When we elect a person to the national legislature, the U.S. House or Senate, that new representative or senator’s first act is to select his or her staff. What would we all do? We would find people that have job knowledge and experience in completing legislative work. Where would we find them? Sitting in the office we have just been chosen to occupy.
These people are unemployed and have great references. It was not their fault that the incumbent chose not to run again; after all, old age does take a toll. They tried to tell him not to support that bill. Bad political move. Oh well, they have references from people who understand the process, people that will help them convince the newly elected to understand the consequences of putting untrained individuals to work their office.
These individuals that live and work for government will become a filter for the newly elected. They will make the new legislators’ day productive by shielding them from those annoying constituents by providing answers to their pesky questions. They will write letters for the legislator that seem to promise a lot while saying nothing except we appreciate your support. The also write the truly important letters, the one that start, “I want to thank you for your generous contribution… Those letters usually include some statement implying “You can depend on my support.” Very important words.
If that problem were not enough, new legislators are sent to school on the legislative process. They are taught how to survive inside the party system. This schooling explains why they must support the party’s position when required. Failing to support the party position will reduce the party’s support or even result in “The Party” funding a challenger. Ask Tea Party candidates about the Republican Party support they have not received.
When new legislators arrive in Washington, they are sheltered, nurtured by the system, with the hope that they will become a truly great legislator that understands how to work in the system. They must learn how to be a collegial individual that can be depended on for their understanding and support. Early on, these newbies must learn that blind support of those that claim to have voted for them will guarantee an early return to a normal life devoid of the benefits they receive as a representative of the people, earned by doing the peoples work.
The problem is not any individual legislator but the system that molds them into career politicians qualified for national office. Our forefathers envisioned a citizen legislator that earned their living working in their community, not working for a government. They envisioned someone visiting the capital, not living in the capital and nursing off the government for their very existence