Reflections on Recent Elections

Our American Government is the product of a Revolution wherein the New World Colonists grew tired of being treated like second class citizens by a British Aristocracy that saw the American Colonies as little more than a cash cow to be constantly milked by an ever-increasingly thirsty Mother Country. In the two and a third centuries since we cut our ties to the British Crown, we have avoided further Revolutions largely due to the fact that the government established by our forefathers provided a means for addressing the dissatisfaction of the masses, that being our election process. However, well aware of the fact that American passions could be easily flamed by any passing issue of the day, our government was established as a “representative democracy”, not a true democracy where a majority vote alone rules the day. The intended purpose of a “representative democracy” is to avoid what French Political Philosopher Alexis DeTocqueville described as a “tyranny of the masses” wherein the rights of the few are surrendered to the whim of the majority. Our balanced form of government, utilizing three distinct branches, provides the necessary checks and balances aimed toward adequately satisfying the needs of the majority while protecting the underlying rights of the minority.

Now, moving forward to this year’s midterm election results, what is the message that was conveyed by this year’s returns? The Democrats want to chalk up their historic losses in the House to the impatience of an American people that want an instant solution to a dragging economy that is not picking up steam fast enough to cope with staggering unemployment and a foreclosure crisis. The Republicans, basking in the light of their stunning resurgence, see their victories as a mandate by the American people that demands a repeal of the recently enacted Healthcare Plan and an overall more conservative legislative agenda, the focus of which seems to be “Obama must go”, even if it takes putting our country into a Depression to do it! In my opinion, our political leadership (both major parties included) has become the “detached retina” of the public’s vision for America. To put it in simpler terms, our politicians just don’t get it!

Everyone I know was sickened my the negative campaign ads that led up to this year’s elections and is likewise tired of the pettiness of the nonstop political bickering. If a politically divided Congress does nothing more than create further polarization of the parties and continues to stalemate any meaningful agenda that gets our economy roaring again, you will see more and more “tea party” like groups springing up both within and outside of the two predominant parties. Americans are fed up with both parties and the citizens of this great “representative democracy” do not believe they are being represented at all!! The message to many of those that were victorious on Election Day was not “We support your Agenda”, but rather “We threw the other bum out and if you don’t fix this economy SOON we will throw you out too!!!”

So the message for our newly elected and re-elected public officials is reach a workable resolution of your differences with the other party and pass some legislation that helps the people, not the special interests. No longer will entrenched politicos be treated like an entitled Aristocracy by a suffering electorate that now demands immediate efforts to cure our economic ills. If you fail to take appropriate action, a pox on both of your houses! In the meantime, we, the disgruntled majority, need to speak loudly and clearly, whether it be through our “blogs”, letters to the editor, or by joining grass roots political organizations that hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. These trying times demand that each and every member of this democracy be heard, LOUDLY!


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