Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Increasing Irrelevance Of The American Voter

     I do not believe that there is anyone in the United States that is na├»ve enough to think that the best candidate always wins elections in this country. And after last November's presidential election, where the winner was the candidate who promised more economic misery created by the very policies he was promising to continue, I do not believe anyone even thinks that the candidate with the best message wins elections. With the revelation that the Obama campaign used the power and authority of government agencies under their control, namely the Internal Revenue Service, to suppress the votes of his political opposition by neutering the organizations responsible for Republicant voter turnout, one can understand why James Madison limited the federal government through enumeration of powers in the Constitution.
     Madison knew that men were not angels, and as such, allowing any man access to the power of unlimited government would always lead to despotism and tyranny. Madison also knew that the more powerful the federal government became, the more irrelevant individual voters became. The irrelevance of the American voter has been increasing over the last fifty years for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to, Congress ceding its legislative authority to an ever more expanding and powerful fourth branch of government known as bureaucracy, as well as McCain/Fiengold, otherwise known as campaign finance reform, which makes participation in the political process by citizens almost impossible.
     Campaign finance reform makes it very unlikely that candidates of modest means can run for political office for two reasons. One, the cost of being compliant with the thousands of pages of regulatory gobbley gook of the law requires very deep pockets. And two, the law restricts individual donations to a campaign to $2000, but allows a person to contribute as much as they want to their own campaign. This gives the advantage to muti-millionaires over candidates of more modest means. This law also applies to groups of citizens organizing to support or fight against a local issue in their community. They too must hire expensive campaign finance lawyers to ensure their group is compliant with the law. McCain/Fiengold makes grassroots political efforts in this country very difficult and expensive, and it limits free speech by limiting the size of individual campaign donations.
     The other aspect of modern government in the United States that makes the American voter more irrelevant is the way in which laws are passed, especially under the Obama administration. Major legislation like ObamaCare and Dodd/Frank, the so-called financial reform law, are rammed through congress without the people's representatives even reading them. Modern legislation is just a place holder for the most onerous parts of the law to be written later by bureaucrats who answer, not to the voters, but to the executive branch. This system of law making by unelected bureaucrats is not only antithetical to the Constitution of this great nation, but it reduces the power and relevance of the voter. The American voter has lost the authority, given to them by the Constitution, to remove bad law makers since elected office holders are ultimately not the ones writing the laws in this country anymore. And this, my friends, is how liberty is lost, through the gradual mitigation of the relevance of the voter, to whom the founders entrusted the fate of the republic and from whom that power has been usurped by greedy politicians.    

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