Are you in any way satisfied with the way our country is being run? I’m not referring to the president. I’m speaking of our representatives in the House and Senate. Those people whose sole large accomplishment for 2017 was to pass a bill that according to our president,”made the rich a lot richer.”
I don’t care if you are a Republican, Democrat or independent, it’s pretty clear that our elected officials are not doing our bidding. They all seem most interested in retaining their jobs. This seems their first priority. As a result, money in the form of political contributions is what they all spend much of their time pursuing. Our representatives literally spend at least half their time every day “dialing for dollars” at offices near the Capitol. Both Republicans and Democrats maintain offices just for this purpose.
Yes, a lot of us contribute to our personal favorites, but this is just pocket change for our representatives. The big money, for both parties, comes from big business, millionaires, billionaires and special interests like the NRA and others. Hold on — it’s just one example of a special interest. I will address that issue another time.
It seems that most people favor term limits, except for their own senator or representative. My guy is good — it’s the others that are bad.
The point is, when any particular issue comes up, there are always interested parties looking for a return on their investment (read campaign contributions). Big money is the reason that nothing is getting done in the congress. Senators and Congressmen cannot get reelected without a big pile of cash to make it possible. The price paid for that cash is selling their votes on any number of issues. No wonder we can’t get them to work for us! They’ve been bought and paid for by the wealthy and special interests.
So how do we get out of this situation that our founding fathers never contemplated? I believe that it’s really pretty simple; take the money out of politics. Do I really believe that our legislators would really vote for something like this? NO! Their desire seems to be to continue feeding from the public trough.
What we as citizens could do is to petition for a constitutional amendment that would impose strict term limits on all Federal government legislators. I believe that two terms is sufficient for any office. It is the same thing we did for the office of the president. As part of this amendment, we should provide federal funding for all federal elections and forbid private fundraising.
This, of course, is far easier said than done. But, if we actually did it, think what we could accomplish for our country. The money would be gone from the election process and our legislators would be forced to work for us again.
As Bobby Kennedy once said; “Some people look at things as they are and ask why. I try to look at things as they could be and ask why not?”
John Huismann is a Cannon Beach resident.