Representatives, not leaders, will save this country
By: John Conlin
This country was founded on a revolutionary idea that a free people could govern themselves. No need for kings or rulers of any kind.
In support of this radical idea, the people’s desires would be implemented by elected officials — their representatives — and limited by a written document, the Constitution. These people were to be drawn from everyday citizens; people intimately familiar with their fellow citizens. Thus, representative government.
But somewhere along the way this fundamental relationship changed. Now, elected officials — and even unelected bureaucrats – often see themselves as leaders of the people, not representatives of free citizens.
Most of today’s political strife finds its roots in this leadership model — a profound violation of the very design that helped make this the most successful, free, tolerant society the world has ever seen. And unless it is reversed, it will be its demise.
There is a beauty and symmetry with a representative government. First, it greatly limits what governments can attempt. If elected officials are loyal to this design they will only act on issues where there is very broad support.
Since there are few such issues, governments will be limited to only these. 50-50 or 60-40 or even 70-30 issues will be left to free individuals, not governmental “leaders” who believe they know better than the citizen.
Rather than being a representative of the people, the leader who acts in favor of the 60% becomes a tyrant to 40%. Worse yet, many of our “leaders” support issues favored by only a small fraction. Thus, they are tyrants to the vast majority of citizens.
Rather than politics being a place for compromise and action on things which have tremendous support, this gives incredible power to politicians and political parties and turns politics into the never-ending death struggle it is today. It becomes about sheer power, not representation.
Here in Colorado we live this every day as we have a true tyrant, Governor Jared Polis, in office surrounded by Democrat majorities. In a statewide referendum the people overwhelmingly made their will known regarding oil and gas. A month or two later Polis and company pass a law doing exactly opposite of what the people desire.
In another statewide referendum, the people again overwhelmingly made their will known regarding something called TABOR and property tax relief. A few months later Polis called a special session of the legislature and passed exactly what the people just rejected.
Similar actions occur across the country, from local school boards to city councils to governors and Presidents. They may actually believe they are doing good, but in reality, they are tearing at the very fabric that holds this country together.
Although this is a problem more generally of the Left, the Right is far from immune.
Look at the abortion issue from this perspective. If right-leaning politicians followed representative government, they would have to admit there is broad support for legal abortions during the first few months of pregnancy. The evidence for this is overwhelming. They might not like this reality. In which case in their role as private citizen — not a representative — they should try to change people’s minds.
Instead, they follow the “leader” model and try to use the law as a cudgel on those who disagree, thus being seen as tyrants by huge majorities. Until Republicans can show they truly accept this wonderous design of representation, they will continue to be devastated on the abortion issue.
Our Founders built a political system that birthed the longest lasting, more prosperous society the world has ever known.
Enough with “leaders.” Look at history, “leaders” often lead to the deaths of millions. They will only lead to our collective suicide.
It is a mistake to look for salvation in leaders. Surprisingly, salvation and wisdom lie with common schmoes like you and me. Something our Founding Fathers knew well.
The above article (Representatives, not leaders, will save this country) originated on American Thinker and is republished here under “Fair Use” (see project disclaimer below) with attribution to the original articles author John Conlin as well as the website americanthinker.com.
TLB recommends you visit the website American Thinker for more great articles and information.
About the Author: John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change. He also holds a BS in Earth Sciences and an MBA and is the founder and President of E.I.C. Enterprises, a 501(c)3 non-profit. He has been published in American Greatness, The Federalist, The Daily Caller, American Thinker, the Houston Chronicle, the Denver Post, and Public Square Magazine among others.
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