“we the people of the United States . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
“We the people” cannot be confused with “they…the Congress.” However, If we really want to split hairs, we elected them and they are therefore the legitimate representatives of “the people.” This is what lawyers do, they split hairs and get paid handsomely. But since I am not certified to work as a lawyer, let me use instead another concept that cannot be split; it either exists or it doesn’t: Common Sense.
We all know by now that most people, i.e. voters, do NOT trust Congress, whether the Senate or the House. The latest quarrel involves extending tax cuts, which Obama wants and which the House doesn’t (of course, how can they agree with the existing President?). Both Cantor and the Speaker are responding to the small group of fanatics known as Tea Party. They are making an enormous mistake, not only towards the country, but also for their own future as politicians with power.
Simple Common Sense
Allow me to digress for a minute: Section 9 of Article I prohibits nobility titles for American citizens, “So, an American citizen cannot be named a Prince, Duke, or any other noble title by our own government.” Aah, but we do allow ex-Presidents to be called Mr. President, or ex-Senators to be called Senator, or even ex-Speakers to be called Mr. Speaker. That nefarious habit applies equally to ex-Governors and ex-Mayors, for example Mr. Giuliani. I can understand a general being called General the rest of his life because he will remain in the service forever, whether active or passive. But a politician, who represents US, returns to the status of a private citizen once he or she resigns or is defeated. To call Newton Gingrich “Mr. Speaker” is utter nonsense, since we already have one and, no, we can’t have two. That is simple CS.
A Broken Election System
Common Sense CS) tells us that the elected officials should be in power for short periods of time: That does NOT happen. The longer they stay in power, the more arrogant they become and the more corrupt. They amass so much power that it becomes almost impossible to unseat them. We should really be allowed to RECALL the incompetent politicians, from dog catcher all the way to the presidency. Term limits have been proposed and squashed just as fast. Yet we have a limit for the office of commander-in-chief, eight years if elected directly. Why would senators and reps be exempted? Well, now who would change the law, you, me, nope, them. Would you resign voluntarily your well-paid position in a successful corporation? No. So why should they? Term limits should be imposed by an external august body similar to the Supreme Court, but set up as an oversight of Congress. Possible? No. But it feels good to dream.
Even the election of the President is completely twisted by the silly electoral college, placed there by our Founders as a last ditch resort to prevent a madman from accessing the highest office. We should have gotten rid of it a long time ago, says CS. But Congress, again, the only organ capable of making that decision, has procrastinated on the matter.
Money really elects politicians, not the will of the people. Barring some sexual scandal, Mr. Cain included, almost anybody can win an election with sufficient funds (Hello, President Trump!). Since the Supreme Court has removed the only remaining obstacle, millionaires, billionaires, and powerful corporations decide who gets what position in Congress. Mr. Obama’s success was probably the last time an unknown figure was able to snatch the prize from Washington’s power lobby. We have truly become democracy’s worst nightmare: A state run by the private sector, without the checks and balances our Founding Fathers envisioned.
And so the Constitution, as dreamed up by extraordinary gentlemen and philosophers, will remain a Utopia established by the People and misused by our modern politicians. And then they wonder why the Occupy Wall Street movement has lasted so long..