No. That’s Not How It Is Supposed To Work.

“…But in my conscience, because that’s how I have to vote — end of the day, is with my conscience…” – Alleged GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski

And that pretty much defines the problem with Congress today. Folks were intended to be chosen based on their relationship to, and ability to represent, their constituency. Never were they intended to be the arbiters of conscience for the country.

You see, Ms. Murkowski: you weren’t elected to vote your conscience; you were elected to vote in the best interests of those you represent in your state of Alaska: men as well as women. All races. All creeds. Your conscience is to be subjugated to the will of your constituency; not the converse.

Part of the (albeit: altruistic) genius of what the founding fathers put in place was the appointment of senators by state legislatures. The state legislators, being elected of the people by the people and, therefor, expected to be reflective of the will of the people of the people, would appoint those to serve in the US Senate. There was no money-ridden popularity contest – that was reserved for the House; the House being intended to represent the will of more finite divisions within the state. Unfortunately, human nature (greed) intervened, and positions on the senate were often sold or otherwise obtained via means unbecoming of the process intent.

In 1912, the same year that gave us the Father of the Bureaucratic State and Grand Champion of Progressivism, Woodrow Wilson, the House, with an eye on those abuses in selecting senators (which abuses sound an awful lot like modern lobbying…) decided that having senators appointed by the state legislature was a bad idea, and the 17th Amendment to the Constitution was born, requiring senators to be elected by populist vote rather than by the state legislatures..

But nowhere in that amendment did it change a senator’s role from being representative of the people who elected them to being representative of their personal conscience and personal view of life and law.

Too many in Congress – in both the House and the Senate – believe their role is to “vote their conscience”.  And, unfortunately, for most: their conscience if formed by the ideology and objectives of their party; not by the best interests of their state or the country as a whole. Far, far too many vote their reelection chances rather than conscience, too – however, this is actually closer to voting the will of the people than is kowtowing to media opinion, and party ideology or other factions.

And it’s a damned shame. Though I never lived within them, I long for the days when those we elected did not become our “rulers”, but remained one of us, looking out for the good of the country as opposed to their personal gain and the good of their party. Much of the crap we see every day emanating from out capitol would not have occurred if those sitting in the seats were actually motivated by patriotism rather than by greed.

– Pateratic

 

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