Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Rarest Thing In Washington D.C.

While it is true that honesty, integrity, common sense, or ethical behavior seem rare these days in Washington, D.C., there is another glaring rarity that is so obvious that most cannot see it.  Those that are the closest, who work there, are the least likely of all to see.

In fact, it may require some distance to observe this basic truth. For the further away one is, the more likely one is to suffer ill effects due to the very rarity of this entity.

The rarest thing in Washington is a product this country needs the most.

What is it that is so rare?

The rarest thing created in Washington, D.C. is... good law.

On one hand we should recognize and respect these people for the sacrifice they make in serving us, but on the other we deserve much better. Lawmakers there have a nearly impossible task given the scope of the role most of them now believe they own. Logistically, they just do not have time to construct good law.  They no longer seem to understand their job descriptions as decreed by the people. Who can blame them though, with the federal courts continuously handing out findings that seem to indicate we have moved beyond our Constitution, in the name of progress, which leads them to believe in an ever expanding role for themselves, and the part they must play? Great cover, having unelected activist judges provide the "business of Washington" rules. They also believe that they are primarily there to make law, so they go about making multitudes of new laws for us all to follow.  And therein lays the problem. Hundreds of new laws, and tens of thousands of new rules to enforce them are created by them yearly. And their product is not very good. Have you looked at our federal tax laws?

Since we citizens are not all the same, and have such a wide variety of differing needs and interests for ourselves and communities, making laws to be applied equally to everybody across the land is no small design challenge. And the fact of the matter is, the design challenge is rarely ever met at all.

As an analogy imagine trying come up with a sound bridge design which must accommodate all the people, all the time, and handle any and all contingencies, and also be safe, and do this in a few days, weeks, or even months. In fact, such a bridge would be nearly impossible to even design or to make, ever.

Any such undertaking of this magnitude should also be rare.  But this is not what happens in Washington, D.C.. What happens there is that reams of new "problems" are brought to a lawmakers attention, and he or she is expected to come up with equitable solutions.  So they go about the process of making new laws via the bill procedures. After all they are called "lawmakers."

Originally, when the elected adhered to our Constitution and understood their job, lawmakers were supposed to congregate in our U.S. capital to decide on important solutions primarily concerned with protecting the citizenry from external threats to their lives, liberty, pursuit of happiness and property.  They then returned home to report to their constituents and state legislators. When Congress stuck to those actual responsibilities, they had far fewer laws to make than what they undertake now, and they actually had a chance to design and construct good laws. Somewhere along the line however, they decided that they were really there to decide for us citizens what to do about anything and everything. Having given themselves authority they do not have, they are now overwhelmed by it.

Today a "problem" is more likely to be a "special interest" or ideological wish list, rather than any actual national distress or threat needing a new law for a solution.  The lobbyist who represents money down the line for campaigns gets the lawmakers attention.  It is their ideas that are adopted as their own when it comes to making changes in the law, and not the people's. Whether or not the problem is real or not, the lawmakers will hand it off to the legions of clerks employed by them in order to continue doing what those clerks excel at... writing bad laws for the lawmakers to "sell" to the people. Not that these people are themselves bad at crafting the verbiage within the proposed laws.  Its also not the case that their intentions are not good in many cases, though many employed in this capacity are ideologues with agendas.

Imagine a chief architect builder not knowing very much about the design of his own grand structure, but selling it it based on what he wants it to do.  If  he gets enough of his fellow society of architects to agree that the idea of the structure is a good one, the incomplete plans are approved, often with legions of lesser architects scurrying about to present something that appears to be a plausible design. Next thing we know these poorly laid plans are being applied and implemented, despite all the integral flaws.  Incredibility, our laws are being made in this manner.

The lawmaker will then spend considerable time selling all the pros of the bill proposed to become a law. Often it will be sweetened up quite a bit with unrelated goodies attached for friends or negotiated with opposition. There might be some acknowledgment the bill is not "perfect", but the need for it is so urgent or so necessary. They might even promise to revisit it and "adjust it" in the future, after it becomes law.  We now know they really don't know, or care what the details in the bill say, so long as their aides assure them it follows their guidelines, and so they do not even read the bills they promote.

If the "sale" goes well, the prevailing party will congratulate themselves for making "good law."  They will then export it out to all of us, and instruct the executive branch to make sure they use the force they authorized, to ensure we obey their new law.

For almost all of us, the new law will be more of a hindrance than any help to us. It will cost us for its implementation, administration, and in its implications never even thought of before it was passed.  It will cost some of us more property or loss of freedom when we are fined or jailed for violating its provisions. It won't help much as intended, because it is not a "good law" at all. It never had a chance to be. The law will place new restrictions on our lives and communities, and will burden us with trying to adapt to these new requirements. Some of its provisions will be seen as ludicrous, intrusive, and wasteful, and they will be. Its mandates will rub most traditional Americans the wrong way, because they will see it as yet another encroachment in their lives.

Had our own local community decided to tackle the identical issue (assuming it was an actual issue), and design a tailored answer for our situation, the resultant solution would be far, far superior than the D.C. solution forced upon us. We know ourselves, our sizes, and preferences far better. Our specific solutions, for specific problems, have a much greater chance to be the most beneficial, and the least harmful, for the greatest percentage of citizens affected by them.  The farther the seat of power is from the people themselves, the less we trust that seat of power. This widely shared opinion is based on our experience.

This is not to say that all laws created in Washington are without any lasting benefits.  We do need some laws, but only good ones, and only in the areas enumerated to the federal government. Sometimes even bad laws indirectly have actually led to people making voluntary changes out of fear of the next bad law to come. Some laws actually do have the intended effect, and have benefited more than hindered the most people.  But we can easily make the case this is the exception rather than the rule. Truly beneficial laws follow our natural law, and protect our unalienable rights.

Even locally, a good law is uncommon. It just has far greater odds of being a better product for the people. There is a lot to consider when making any law.  Doing it well has become a very rare thing at all levels.

In America, there exists a very well written legal document for ensuring that lawmakers write good law that needs to be utilized by them in order to include the essentials for constructing laws right. In recent times the lawmakers have ignored this mandate for good governance at the federal level, and we see the results. It is a mystery as to how they can do this, since they all swear an oath to uphold its provisions to the people.

Our lawmakers are supposed to serve the people. They serve lobbyists and special interests, and use our system to force ideological change, instead.  We must insist that they follow the provisions of our Constitution, as it was written, and not with invented misrepresentations as to its terms.  Instead of good law being rare, we need to make obstinate lawmakers who ignore the Constitution rare, to restore our country to its very sound and intended design of government by the people.

Writing and passing bad laws, while ignoring our supreme law, is not what our founders had in mind for our statesmen, nor our union, composed of our many states. The checks and balances, and the deliberative processes they designed, and the people approved of, were meant to assure that power was never concentrated in a central authority, and that new laws proposed were given the utmost consideration before imposing them on the people, and only than with our consent. These checks were placed as obstacles against irresponsible actions, recklessness, or attempts by some of gaining power to alter our deny our rights. They also were not mere suggestions, but were, and still are mandates to strictly follow. Political change was meant to originate from the people, not lobbyists, and not to be dictated to us.

The awakening and uprising by millions of people beginning in early 2009, which has become known as the Tea Party movement, brought dramatic repercussions against the Democrat Party in the 2010 elections. The left is now widely seen as the political side harming the American way of life by its destructive ideological agenda, and its arrogant disdain for what the people say. The way Washington works already is a harbinger of the "top down" directed nightmare of sluggish bureaucracy and inefficiency that they want more of.  But the people also realize that both parties have been using the same rules in making bad law as a standard way of doing business in Washington, D.C. for some time now.  They see the results in the effects those policies and laws have had on their own lives at the gas stations, grocery stores and unemployment lines.  They see it at our airports, and our borders, and in the latest intrusion into our private lives.  They see it in their ever-rising tax bills, failing schools, diminished choices, and failing businesses.

The people are being very clear that they are not interested in seeing compromises that result in yet another bad policy or result for them to adjust to. We have told lawmakers repeatedly we only want good laws.  Laws constructed by reason, brought by the people, and using the normal deliberative procedures in the open. We want responsible government, true accountability, and restoration of our system of a representative republic.

However, there is yet another scarcity in Washington that occurs once elections have been decided. Maybe as rare as a good law coming from Congress, is a Congress that actually listens to the people.
The Tea Party movement and other traditional Americans will no longer tolerate this. We are silent no more. Together we have reminded the lawmakers of their real job descriptions, but it remains to be seen who was actually listening, and what they can or will produce.

1 comment:

  1. It seems that writing more and more laws is how our politicians justify their existance. I'm convinced that if they spent more time trying to streamline government, keeping an eye on the executive branch with all its agencies and commissions, and o keeping an eye on the Supreme Court and use thier right to impeach when the court tries to strech the constitution to fit their political views.

    BTW Dave, Im sending this message to every blogger I know.
    Please read this article at Atlas Shrugs where Obama admits to the Foreign Minister of Egypt that he is a Muslim. See it heree


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