Saturday, January 23, 2010

Representative Government

Representative Government is what we need today. We, the people, are to be valued. We are not a theocracy or a democracy, in the proper sense.

When we represent someone, whether a lawyer in the courts, or a Congressman in the House or Senate, these are to be servant leaders, not arrogant or self-serving in their interests in public office. The people vote because of their confidence in a particular candidate. They believe in the campaign promises, and value the platform the candidate represents.

But, all too often, our representatives are bought off by Big Interests, Special Interests and slough it off as a necessary "gain" for the public interest. The public thinks it has been hoodwinked and it is a recipe for damaging the public's interest in their government and civic duty, at large. There is no end to the news about public officials and their indiscretions when it comes to their public trust.

I wonder, since history has borne out that our Founders, or any of those who we "idealize" have feet of clay, just as our present day politicians do? What we want to remember are the "ideals" that we value. But, because of the public's intense interest in private life, biographies have been written that expose such indiscretions of past representatives. And these books sell. Does America want to be ambivalant toward their government and their Representatives in public office?

Representation is known first in one's family of origin. Psychologists have known that children get their view of "God" through their family, the father, being an important imprinter of the child's value.

In ancient societies where the peasant class had no say about their life, other than to serve their patrons, or slave-masters, "God" was know to be represented by leadership. This was how the peasant class came to formulate their understanding of "God". If an unjust ruler ruled, they deemed that God was "above" or "over" that unjust ruler. Theirs was a passive state of submission to the dominating culture.

Enlightened societies have understood that all people should have a voice and have a sense of empowerment when it comes to their government. This was our Founder's "formula" in the Declaration of Independence. Government was no longer to represent "God", or the "King", but the people.

In the light of limited power and limited government, I wonder if limiting terms in Congress would be a good idea? Would limiting terms to 6 or 8 years, and rotating state elections, where there would always be someone in power that has "been there", and had the experience to "inform" the "freshmen", who are new in the "halls of Congressional power". Would it not only limit Congressmen from building 'empires", legislating laws that promote their own personal interests, and get more people involved in serving their country?

Maybe I need to read up on the reasons why Congress was set to serve with unlimited terms of power. Is it a possibility that what has transpired today was never imagined in the past?

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