Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Uncased Reward

The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another, and he that has not a vote in the election of representatives is in this case. Thomas Paine, 1795

What has changed, since 1795, for our elected representatives?

Today's politicians accord themselves much better pay and benefits. Helped by all the free media publicity they can generate, free postage for mailings to constituents, contributions from lobbying groups, and the power to redistict, congressional incumbents wield formidable advantages over their potential challengers. This has helped them to make careers of pretending to represent you.

Lobbyists wine and dine our representatives throughout every year and in locations around the globe. As individuals, our influence is infinitessimal and seldom felt. Once every 2 or 6 years, however, our combined influence as voters can be decisive, and our representatives know it.

Only when and if we dependably exercise our right to vote do our representatives get reminded of those of us who ultimately make them accountable.

Wonder what kinds of things politicians might do if they even suspected we were too lazy or aloof to even vote? They would gradually revise our Constitution, stripping our other guaranteed rights to make their rule easier for themselves. Thomas Paine knew it, and so should you and I. Human nature never really changes, it merely gets confined.

Preserve your rights as those before you have done for you.



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