I’m not a huge fan of Mark Towner but he caught my attention with THE 545 PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR AMERICA’S WOES. My first reaction was “you know what, he’s right.” Further reflection helped me realize that it can never be as simple as voting out those 545 people. For one thing, 75 of those people are not up for reelection in any given cycle (at least 66 Senators and 9 Supreme Court Justices). Second, the justices on the Supreme Court serve for life – as they ought to – so throwing them out is not an option. Third, there is an entire federal court system below the Supreme Court that has a more continuous and immediate effect on the nation than the Supreme Court. I think you would have to count all those other federal judges as well. And fourth, what happens if we simply vote out all those who are up for reelection? We would get lots of new names in the federal government, but no real guarantee of significant change.
That fourth issue is the real sticking point against Mark’s declaration. The solution is hinted at by the work of Newt Gingrich (I’m not a real fan of Newt either) when he talks about the 513,000 elected officials throughout the country. In order to fix the problems we face, what we really need is for the millions of voters to educate themselves on the issues and elect people at all levels of government who will put government back in it’s proper place. The leaders of cities and states should demand that they be free from a federal government which would dictate the minutia of their responsibilities.
Each city and state would be free to find the solutions that best meet the needs of their citizens – which was how our country was designed to function – rather than ceding that responsibility to, or having that responsibility forcibly taken by, an overreaching federal government. We should not expect that every city and every state will look the same or act the same.We cannot expect that every person should be equally at home at any place in this vast country. Instead we should allow our more local governments the freedom to express the culture of their own citizens without fear of offending people who have no interest or connection to their locale.
Maybe we could even learn to practice a little more tolerance by doing this.