BIDERMAN'S DAILY EDGE 7/5/12: GOVERNMENT NO LONGER FOR THE PEOPLE, BUT SPECIAL INTERESTS
With the end of another July 4 Independence Day holiday, I think it is an appropriate time to talk about what the Founding Father’s intended. I can think of no better way to express that intent than Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. He talked of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people…” Right now what we have is a government of the special interest groups, by the special interest groups and for the special interest groups.
How do you find out who are the biggest special interest groups? Look at government budgets and look for who is getting the most money. We spend most on government workers, health care, the military, retirement, the wars on poverty and war on drugs. Those are among the biggest special interest groups. Do you really think it matters who is in charge when dealing with any of the previously mentioned special interest groups?
Many of you do not know that the form of government created between July 4, 1776 and January 1790 was the first time ever a nation was ruled by law and not by military force or heredity. The first time ever in the history of man!
The Constitutional convention back in 1787 tried to create, and I quote, “a more perfect union” than a loose confederation of independent states. The European Union is somewhat analogous to what existed here before the US Constitutional when the states were loosely joined by the Articles of Confederation. The real issue the constitutional conventional grappled with was how to create a form of government by the people, for the people and of the people that worked.
The problem was that the original 13 states had a geography of over a thousand miles of territory north to south and several hundred miles east and west. It might be hard in today’s online world to realize that back in 1787 communication technology was about the same as since the dark ages The telegraph, railroads and steam engines were still in the future. It reportedly took George Washington several weeks to go by horseback from Mount Vernon, Virginia to Manhattan to be sworn in as the first US president.
The logical solution back then was a representative form of government. Local folk elected representatives who would go by horseback to state capital or even further to the US capital.
But now, I say that representative form of government has taken the power away from the electorate and given it to the special interest groups. Jack Abramoff, in Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist, said that it does not matter who is President because the special interests control Congress. How? Because campaign cash is congress’s most important daily concern, according to Abramoff. Congressmen first became addicted to special interest cash, and are now owned by them.
I do not think the special interest groups will allow any kind of meaningful reform. Therefore, the only solution I see is to change our representative form of government. To what? I do not know right now. What I do know is that current social media technology allows for much more direct participation in how we are governed then does representative government.
What I am really suggesting and hoping is that more people agree that representative government is bankrupt and has allowed special interests to take over control; and that we no longer have a government of the people, for the people and by the people. What should happen are discussions of what types of government structures would work best and how do we get there?