Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls
from: althouse.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The People's Business

Why do so many Americans feel let down by those they have elected to serve in Washington D.C.? I submit that it's because too many of these representatives have forgotten their natural role. Not merely that they don't live up to the spirit of our Constitution, but that they don't even live up to the standards of representative government current in England over 125 years before our Declaration of Independence. Here, in 1647, Parliamentarian officers explain what they expect from elected members of Parliament:

those whom your selves shall choose, shall have power to restore you to, and secure you in, all your rights; & they shall be in a capacity to taste of subjection, as well as rule, & so shall be equally concerned with your selves, in all they do. For they must equally suffer with you under any common burdens, & partake with you in any freedoms; & by this they shall be disenabled to defraud or wrong you, when the laws shall bind all alike, without privilege or exemption; & by this your Consciences shall be free from tyranny & oppression, & those occasions of endless strife, & bloody wars, shall be perfectly removed: without controversy by your joining with us in this Agreement, all your particular & common grievances will be redressed forthwith without delay; the Parliament must then make your relief and common good their only study.

Does anyone truly believe that Washington politicians, living it up at fundraisers, suffer "under our common burdens?" Are they praying they don't get sick because they can't afford insurance? Is their careful attention, to doing the bidding of Big Oil companies, in any way related to working for our "relief and common good?" Privilege and exemption is precisely what the lobbyists are constantly buying from the politicians. The disappointment we feel in their performance is less a function of their ignoring public opinion on certain issues, and more a realization that they represent themselves before their constituents.

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