The Issue and Short History of Representation
By Sharon Durst, member of Americans Restoring Representation
Will government be perfect after we RESTORE LOCAL REPRESENTATION? Absolutely not What we will have is government BY THE PEOPLE and the people are not perfect. The People will always get what they vote for so they have the responsibility to vote for their stand-ins as persons of integrity. Then WHY should representation change? The Founders gave US a Republic with a Representative House so WE could be in control of OUR destiny. There are always those who want control, either through force or cunning. To keep their freedom and liberty, The People must be the ones in Control and Vigilant else it will be taken without them even knowing until too late.
The Founders knew that the people could be swayed by promises of money or any passing fancy from a slick talker if they had the direct vote of a democracy which would then turn into tyranny as it always does. The Constitution is all about government BY, FOR and OF THE PEOPLE. It guards us against a big government and gives the control to the People who made it through the laws passed by their Representatives. Law making is the most important thing a government can do because it directly affects every American and their way of life; that is why it is supposed to be in the hands of The Guards and is the first Article of the Constitution.
Thus, your government is only as good as the mark YOU place on YOUR ballot. YOU are supposed to elect people with integrity and wisdom so that they can let you go about your daily life with the knowledge that the laws being passed are for YOUR benefit because YOU control the ballot which elects or ejects them based on their performance. YOU HAVE THE POWER BUT IT HAS BEEN GREATLY DILUTED. TAKE IT BACK.
Our government was called an IDEA, reverently by some, laughingly by others because those is control could not conceive of Commoners ruling themselves. Remember, when our country was settled by Europeans and then founded by Revolution to break from King George, ALL governments were run by monarchies. Kings and Queens ruled, the common people had no choice but to follow. The IDEA that Commoners could rule themselves was ridiculous to many such as the Royal Kings, the Industrial/Military complex Kings and the Banking Kings who set about to take the control back. It took them about 140 years to make deep inroads into the government by changing our monetary system to the Federal Reserve operated by the bankers with the word “Federal” to confuse people. Once you have control of the money, you then can control the laws. This couldn’t be done obviously so they worked cunningly to regain their power over the people. So cunningly that the people didn’t even notice as it all seemed to make sense and for the common good. The trap was set.
In 1929 the House passed the Reapportionment Act to permanently set the House of Representatives at 435, using the excuse of needing a larger House if it continued to grow and the changing landscape of population movement from rural to urban living upsetting the norms. (Familiar?) Prior, the House had grown with the population. It did not grow at the rate of 1 representative for 30,000 constituents per the Constitution, but it did grow, and Districts were made to make voting more local and less confusing. But the Districts became controlled by the political parties and lines went all over the place instead of being nice straight lines. This became known as Gerrymandering for Mr. Gerry who started it. As the Districts grew larger, the problem of apportionment also grew as exhibited by the many Supreme Court cases about the subject.
The subject of Lack of Representation is an issue not only in Washington D.C. but also in many of the 50 states. It has become an American problem that America needs to acknowledge before it’s too late. 1/2
The People have known for many years that “something” is wrong with the government but haven’t been able to put their fingers on “what”. They’re tried many “solutions” all which have failed…….why? We gave up. For too long we have been silent and allowed our bands of strength that we once formed to defend FREEDOM and LIBERTY to deteriorate. We became divided, we became weak, many of those who represented us gave us false promises because they represented themselves and not us.
The “Problem” will not be solved with Term Limits, Reapportionment to “correct” Gerrymandering, state Initiatives, Part-time Legislation, Proportional Districting, or any other “schemes” to fix what is wrong. There is only ONE FIX. We must UNDO that which was done in 1929. We MUST UNFIX that which is the ROOT problem making our government out of balance. The Branch that Constitutionally was to be the biggest and strongest is the smallest and weakest, small wonder that it’s the People’s House out of balance.
Today’s population is approaching 350,000,000 and we still have 435 Representatives. This equates to 1 representative for 750,000 per District. These Districts are so large even the office holder with the best of intentions has to deal with situations out of their control such as large sums of money needed just to run for office and do so every 2 years, staff an office to take care of so many constituents, travel large distances, and the list goes on. Do you still wonder why more attention is given to Special Interests than you?
Term Limits does not solve the problem. Term Limits controls YOUR vote, not the representative. YOU have the power to hire and fire, Term Limits means you have no choice if you’re representative is doing what he/she was sent to do. He/she must leave when time is up. YOU are the one who should decide that, not some arbitrary time limit. Term Limits, limits the voter and again YOU are NOT IN CONTROL. If they’re good and experienced, you don’t want to lose them, if they’re bad, throw the bums out. But don’t be fooled.
Part-Time is ridiculous in the House and in any state because once again, YOU are the one giving up Your control to the bureaucrats who run the place when your elected representative is back at his other job. Sounds good, sounds like original thinking of the representative going to the legislature and then going home when that session is over but what does it do TO YOU? It means the costs of government grow because bureaucrats need to be hired in their place and then who becomes the one in control, the bureaucrats or the representatives? Which do YOU have the ability to hire and fire? Not the bureaucrats. Would you rather spend your taxes on someone YOU control or the union controls?
Gerrymandering is caused by too large a territory that can be manipulated. The best solution is to elect representatives by fixed percentage ratio to population. Small Districts are much harder to Gerrymander because you run out of ground. Using percentages instead of fixed numbers allows for growth and staying LOCAL. YOU MUST KNOW YOUR REPRESENTATIVE as someone you occasionally see in the grocery store, church, the bank, etc. or is known in your neighborhood. How else can you evaluate his/her true character?
There is much more to discuss but for the sake of space, I will leave you to think about what is said here and whether YOU think this dissertation has merit and should be addressed. We must guard that neither the majority nor the minority have undue power. By giving all residents more Local Representation that is Accessible and Accountable returns our country to a Republic and more in line with the vision of the Founders to give The People the Power to Control their Destiny and Freedoms.