America

Kyle Ramos: Does America Still Have a “Government of the People, by the People and for the People?”

The country was not set up for there to be two blanket partisan agendas.

America was founded as a country meant to be run by the People, not a King, Queen, or Oligarchs.  To quote President Lincoln it is a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”. The founders set up an ingenious system of representative government.  A system that would give both the people and the states, as semi-sovereign entities, equal representation.  A system with many checks and balances, in an attempt, to prevent a tyrannical government similar to the one they just fought a revolution against.  This system has been compromised by money, power, and ignorance. 

At the founding of this great nation Senators were not necessarily elected by a popular vote.  The appointment of Senators was at the discretion of the states, while some states held a statewide vote, many were designated by the state legislature. By altering Senate appointments with the 17th amendment and making it a popular vote, the dynamic was changed. Conversely to the role of the Congressmen, which is to represent the people, the Senators' role was to represent the state's best interest. Now the Senators are not, as a matter of fact, operating in a way to preserve the state's rights and interests.

Congressmen were intended to go to Washington D.C. and vote on behalf of their constituents.  They are supposed to vote in the best interest of their constituents, and their allegiance should lie with those in which they are elected to represent. Congressional representatives and Senators now represent a Ruling class, filled with politicians, ultra-wealthy individuals, businesses, and larger lobbying blocks, essentially Oligarchs. 

You have Billionaires spending obscene amounts of money in states they do not inhabit to get congressmen and senators elected.  This should make people ponder who are these politicians genuinely beholden too? The people they represent or those who buy their victory? In 2018, an insane amount of money was spent on Robert “Beto” O’Rourke’s campaign in an attempt to oust sitting Senator Ted Cruz, much of which came from donors outside of the state of Texas. 

A politician's main goal is to get elected and stay elected, and the political parties control who gets elected. Just ask Senator Bernie Sanders.  I ask myself how is it possible to have all of these party-line votes on bills on the house floor.  How is it possible that a bill can be good for every single district of one party and bad for every district in another party.  It is virtually statistically impossible.  

The country was not set up for there to be two blanket agendas that every senator and representative must fall under and in turn every district or state. The Republican National Committee and the Democrat National Committee hold way too much dominance over the system.  It is nearly impossible for any outside party candidate to win because they simply can not get the air time via debates or the same financing, although that is changing with social media and crowdfunding.  

Like I mentioned earlier, mega-donors and massive lobbying blocks sway voters across the country by pumping millions and millions of dollars into local and state campaigns that they have no real stake in besides wanting another loyal vote for their cause.  This is a mutiny because every politician knows this, and the politicians who refuse to “play by the rules” know they will be outspent 10 to 1 in the next election by the establishment or will be gerrymandered out of a district.  So what are we left with as citizens?  Well, too often we are left with politicians who are more interested in getting re-elected than actually representing the people. 

Interesting case studies are when you have two senators from the same state but with differing party affiliations. For years Florida was represented by Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Senator Bill Nelson, who almost never voted together. They are presumably elected to represent to the interest of their state, this should mean 9 times out of 10 they should vote together on an issue.  This almost never happens, they usually vote down party lines, so are they representing their state or their party?

A man I respect greatly, Lt Col Allen West, fought hard to flip a congressional seat in South Florida from Democrat to Republican. After just 1 short term his district was conveniently redistricted by his own party making it nearly impossible for him to win. This happened to him because he refused to toe the party line and spoke his mind and did what he felt was in the best interest of his constituents.

The 2 party system is ripping the power from the people and moving it to the ruling classes. Yes, candidates can get out and speak to people but the reality is that you need funding, and a lot of it, to run a campaign and get “name recognition." Too often this is being bought with expensive TV and radio ad campaigns by the establishment and lobbyists.  

Who controls the parties? Ultra wealthy individuals, behemoth businesses, and large lobbying blocks. How else do you think that congressmen, congresswomen, senators, and bureaucrats become multi-millionaires while being “public servants."  Conveniently their spouses, children, and extended family members get high paying jobs in the private sector for positions they have zero experience in.  They also seem to miraculously become investing guru’s and make all of the best investment decisions. The days of the establishment power must end so the people can properly choose who represents them.

This is not the fault of the ruling class, it is the fault of the people.  We the people have allowed this to happen.  Although not every citizen falls into this category far too many do.  Too many citizens do not properly vet candidates.  Votes matter and if you are not educated on who or what you are voting for, shame on you. It is the job of the citizenry to stay informed and hold our elected officials accountable. The Ruling class is merely taking advantage of an ignorant population to enrich themselves.

To bring the power back to the people and the states we need to remove the stranglehold of the 2 major parties and repeal the 17th Amendment. We also need term limits by natural selection.  By this I mean the citizens determine the length of tenure a politician has based on their performance. Politicians need to operate in a fashion that is consistent with what the constituents want, not what their party wants.  The system is not working for the people as it was intended, it has been bastardized. It is up to the people to return to a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

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