To Serve Man
Ever since individuals came together to form societies, they have called upon some of their members to serve the public interest. Those who have heeded the call have provided everything from basic services like water and roads to safety and representation in larger groups. Public service was considered a calling and was never considered a lucrative life since they were paid by some kind of tax or assessment on the people they served. But what happens when those who serve do so for their own greed?
Every so often we’ll see a story about someone who has been living in the wilderness alone. These few hardy individuals are probably the only ones who are able to do everything for themselves. The rest of us rely on public servants for the essentials of modern living and beyond. For that mutual benefit, we pay a portion of our own earnings in the form of taxes. The more people, the more taxes, the more services needed and supported.
Our representative government used to be made up of citizen volunteers who served part time while continuing their regular jobs or businesses. When you look at our nation’s agricultural background, you can understand why legislative sessions traditionally run in the fall/winter months vs. the spring/summer growing seasons. Many state level governments continue to meet part-time and some not every year.
Somewhere along the line, the system was changed and those who serve are now taking the public for everything it can bear. Instead of representing the interests of the community they serve, they seem to primarily represent their own interests. How? They specifically exempt themselves from the laws they create for everyone else. They ignore rules, regulations and laws that do not meet their own immediate needs and create others that help them retain control and power.
If you need a current example, look no further than the California Legislature. The latest budget bill includes new requirements for qualifying a recall petition for ballot, specifically intended to help delay the recall vote of a member of the ruling party. This same budget bill even expands California’s list of persons prohibited from owning firearms. But then California is notorious for finding inventive new ways of sneaking law changes without public input or comment, a fact Second Amendment supports are well aware of. So-called ‘gut and amend’ laws completely change a bill at the end of the legislative cycle to bypass public hearing and comments. Rules for comments during hearings are suspended or ignored when dissenting opinions are brought up. Dramatic changes to statutes are submitted as administrative ‘file and print only’ regulations.
And what of our legislators themselves? Gone the way of the Dodo are the part-time, representative members of the community. Replaced now by full-time, professional politicians who have precious little in common with the people they are supposed to represent. This is especially true at the Federal level where our members of Congress enjoy salaries, benefits, retirement packages and perks of employment very few of their constituents can even dream of let alone acquire.
Our President campaigned on a platform to fix the federal government in a number of ways, including to “drain the swap”. A laudable goal, but I don’t believe he quite understood how strong the Swamp Side is. At the first sign of a sump pump, I fully expect the residents of the swap to simultaneously declare their swap a protected wetland as well as a National Historic Landmark. The residents, as the swamp’s indigenous inhabitants and preservationists of the swamp’s native culture, would be immune to any outside drainage.
This is of course our own fault. All of us, as the citizen, the taxpayer and the voter, have allowed the system to become so bastardized, so blatantly corrupt and so unaccountable to anyone. It didn’t happen overnight, but slowly, one little piece at a time so nobody would notice. Does all this sound familiar 2A supporters?
Can it be turned around? Can we return our government to the hands of the people? I’d like to believe so, but it’s going to take a lot more people caring about their country to make it happen. Even if we can’t drain the swamp, keeping it from getting any bigger would be a step in the right direction.
What happens if we don’t get involved? One of these days we’re going to wake up and realize they’ve really been writing a cookbook.
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