where the writers are
Of the people, by the people and for the people

<complaining begin>

I asked a very wise friend of mine about the presidential race. He mentioned that he was disappointed that he couldn't vote for someone who represented him. He had to vote for someone who thought like him or had similar ideals.

It took a while for me to realize what he was talking about.

Politicians used to be described as public servants. The founding fathers were skeptical that common folk were smart enough to make decisions for themselves so they created the federal government to act as a buffer between the people and the laws that govern them. They also understood that men put in positions of power were apt to abuse it so they created checks and balances to try and keep any one person or any one party from manipulating the government for selfish interests. They succeeded in the former creating the foundation for a hugely successful nanny state, but failed in the latter because it is not possible to build an organization and prevent people from abusing it. Thats what we do, were human, we're selfish. We can't help it. Long term genetics always makes us take advantage of situations. We really can't help ourselves. This is likely why Benjamin Franklin felt there should be a revolution every twenty-five years.

The role of the US federal government, according to the founding fathers, is to serve the people and the public interest. The phrasing is something like, "of the people, by the people, and for the people." My wise friend pointed out that today we vote based on the ideas and attitudes of the politicians. We're trying to find people who match us so we can vote for them. It shouldn't be that hard.

In actuality, almost any one could do the job if they merely represented the people of their constituency. In other words, it wouldn't matter that a senator was social conservative. If a majority of the people of his region decided women had to wear hot pink tight blouses on "show them off day," he'd have to push for the law and then a majority of the US Congress and the president would have to agree.

So here's the question: "Why do we care what Obama or McCain stand for?" They are supposed to do what we want them to. We should judge politicians based on how well they represent us. The metric should be something like: a poll showed that people think the hot pink sweater "show them off day" is a great idea, did our senators congressmen and president vote that way? If yes, then they are good representatives. If not, they are bad representatives and should be voted out as soon as possible.

I don't care what religion my leaders are or even if they have a religion. I don't care if they cheat on their wives, are attracted to someone of the same sex, are black, red, yellow, white, brown, gray or green in coloration. I only care that they do what a majority of us want them to. Amazingly, a politician who does what the bulk of us want should never fear for the next election because a majority of people should vote for him automatically if he's doing what the majority want.

Are you seeing the problem yet? If almost anyone can do the job, then whats the draw to the position? Why would anyone want to do it and how would one politician separate himself from another to get votes? Clearly they have to start comparing things outside the scope of their actual jobs in order to show differences. ESPECIALLY if they don't vote according to their constituency but instead to a hidden agenda that gets them high paying jobs in industry after they serve their terms.

Why do people run for office? For power and money. The positions aren't supposed to represent power and money, yet they do. What does that imply? Corruption.

I'm sure there are those who are drawn to representation and to leadership for healthy reasons. I also know that those people are few and far between and because of the nature of the political landscape they are unlikely to win.

Thus we have the worst possible people NOT representing us. The best we can do is get a good businessman like Barack Obama. At least he knows how to run a business. But honestly, I want him to be my representative, not my boss.

<complaining end>