The founders of this country were possessed of the revolutionary notion that the supreme power of our government resides in the people. The Declaration of Independence stated “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”. Our Constitution, the very document that outlines the principles by which this nation is to be governed begins:”We the People”, indicating that the Constitution itself is a statement made by the”consent of the governed”.
The recent race for New York’s 23rd district as well as the recent Rasmussen poll showing that TEA Party candidates would be more likely to win than republican candidates, are demonstrations that the people are beginning to reclaim that power from the political party establishments, by whom it has been usurped. That’s right, usurped, by the established political parties. Here’s a short explanation of how we have come to the current state of the GOP and the Democratic party:
A group of Americans have similar values. They decide to pool their resources to find and financially support the candidacy of legislators who share those values and, as time goes by, the group expands and gets more and more resources donated to them by other like minded Americans for the purpose of supporting candidates who share their core values. This support does not come with strings attached (other than maybe attendance and speeches at a few group functions for the sake of courtesy and information sharing). It doesn’t need to attach strings, because the basic premise is that the candidate will be a person of strong moral fiber who shares the core values of the group and will vote according to those values, regardless of how the group thinks the legislator should vote.
Eventually, someone who doesn’t care a bit about the core values decides that the power of that organization is attractive and the group now has a problem.
At some point these “privateers” get control (because such people like power, they will take positions of responsibility within the group to obtain that power). And then they begin to suggest that it is inefficient to support candidates who “cannot” win and that the resources of the group are best spent on candidates who can win. They then also argue that the financial and personal resources of the group can, or should, be used as a goad to coerce the candidate to vote as the group desires once he/she has been elected.
Here’s the tricky bit.
At some point, “candidates who can win” turns into “candidates who can win, regardless of whether their core values align with those of the group.” There is a concurrent rise in the belief that the candidate’s values do not have to match those of the group, because the group wields the re-election resources as a whip to ensure that the candidate votes the way they are told.
This is the point at which the organization has usurped the power of “We the People”. For whatever reason, the political parties and their supporters have not viewed this as an ethical breach, although, it is nothing more or less than the purchase of legislative votes-votes that belong to We the People, not to either party. Candidates who accept such aid are, by definition, people lacking in strength of character, because they have agreed, outright or by implication, to sell their votes in exchange for the support of a political party. This is where we find ourselves now.
The GOP and the Democratic Party have turned that corner and are no longer representing the Americans who started them or their core values. Core values are completely irrelevant to these groups and that’s why they no longer have or deserve the support of the folks who want candidates with those core values. If these parties do not change, so that they once again represent the core values of their base, so that they are not in the position of purchasing the legislative votes of those candidates who have been elected with their “support”, they will cease to exist as Americans step up to their individual responsibility to elect people of character who share their core values. If candidates do not show the strength of character demanded by the duties of governing a free people, they will find themselves unemployed.
May the American people make our founders proud by reclaiming our supreme authority over our government.
Belanne Pibal is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.