This I Believe

Charles - Southlake, Texas
Entered on November 17, 2006

I believe our government is broken.

I believe the founding fathers performed expertly in the creation of our constitution and put the necessary safeguards needed at the time to insure government served the people. However since then, creative and resourceful people and institutions have progressively devised paths to turn the resources of our government to the focus of the needs of corporations and other special interests.

Our government no longer services the interests of the people. We all already know this.

Lobbyists, pork projects, free publicity and political contributions which guarantee access (or even jobs at influential posts) have raised the incumbent re-election rate as high as 98%.

Billions are spent each election year with incumbents outspending challengers by 5 to 1. Where does this money come from and why do organizations provide it? We all know the answer; much of it comes from corporations who seek to unlevel the playing field to their advantage and, increasingly, out-right handouts of taxpayer money. Why bother with selling products when you can just have the government give you money?

There are many problems we have today that need to be addressed: terrorism, schools, healthcare, Social Security, Immigration to name a few. We cannot trust our elected officials to solve these problems with a few of what is best for the people if they do not answer to the people.

There are many solutions to the problem: gerrymandering reform, slander restrictions on political ads, clearing houses for political donations for example.

The tough part is who do we get to enact these new laws? The congressmen who are safe and warm behind the protections they have labored to build?

The answer is “we have to fix it”. We must involve ourselves and we must demand change. We must write our congressmen and tell them we are watching, we must write editorials, we must vote for candidates which support change. And, the most ironic, we must seek out those few lobbies that are working in our best interest, are demanding a change to “business as usual” and support them.

In the words of Andrew Jackson “…you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.”