The Law Is The Law And Money Talks

We elect individuals to represent us in our government. They can be any gender, race, religion, political party, or other demographic subdivision.  They can support or undermine what we as individual citizens believe are the necessary changes to improve and/or maintain the stability in our country and, by extension, our rights as American citizens. They can support some of our beliefs, but not others. Our democracy of a government “for and by the people” provides us the opportunity to pick these political leaders. But their simply obtaining office does not guarantee those changes. It is the passing of laws and the apportionment of money that has bearing on our way of life.

We must consider both legislation and apportionment as the active work of our government. We can pass a law to provide for the greatest benefit of all American citizens, but without the funding to support the implementation of that law/program, it is doomed to failure. We can apportion monies to a problem or issue, but without a guideline in law as to where and how those monies are used, it will see no greater success then the unfunded law. These two needs are intrinsically bound. We can see this effect in some of today’s most publicized issues. Laws governing Medicare/Medicaid have existed for years but, if the program’s funding is reduced in an effort to reduce our deficit, logic dictates that the services which that law provides will also be reduced even though the letter and intent of law has not changed. We can pass a law for universal healthcare but, without the proper funding, it would be ineffective at best. Both law and funding must meet in a concerted effort to overcome any issue.

It is not the selection of a political candidate which leads change. It is their ability to influence law and apportionment. I use the word “influence” because each individual we elect becomes part of a group of individuals which represent the legislative branch of our government. This group as whole must agree, in a majority, to support any legislation. We expect legislators from different political parties, states, backgrounds, and constituencies to all work together for the common good. Sadly, this is not what is happening. Prior to every election I hear voters and supporters touting the benefits of this candidate or party over another. And we believe that if “our” candidate wins we are taking a step in the right direction. However, your candidate will not be working alone. His/her peers must agree and act in support of any of their heart-warming campaign promises that tickled our ears and swayed our vote.

Generations have passed and this bipartisan group of out-of-touch individuals continues to be grossly ineffective in promoting real and substantial change. For example, maybe your legislator did great because they got a huge part of the monies for infrastructure rebuilding to fall into your state. It created jobs and helped the state’s economy. But the homeless and hungry in your state and all the other states were not benefitted. We as a country were in no way improved. Is this really the change you were hoping for? Maybe, in our increasingly self-centered society, it was. If so, congratulations and welcome to being part of the problem and not part of the solution. What can we do to be part of the solution? Do not forego supporting good legislation until it has some direct effect on you as an individual or community. Look beyond yourself to the greater good. Force your legislators to be accountable to lead “real” and sweeping change. Do not allow them to use party lines and rhetoric as an excuse for inaction.

In short, we as individuals must think and act like a country. As small as we think we are as individuals, we must see ourselves also as a group working together. We must see our one vote as being connected to millions of other votes. We must pick and declare a political party affiliation to register to vote. It is an unnecessary evil of the system we support. But we do not have to vote party lines. When we choose to vote party lines, we are choosing the group who supports our interests as individuals most closely, not the best candidate to lead real change. This line of thinking is only agreeable to you if you believe you are in the majority of Americans. And if you are comfortable with that, then so be it. I just hope that never changes for you. If everyone thinks the way you do, and you suddenly find out you are now the minority, you are doomed and should have no voice to complain about it. The majority will be choosing what is best for them as individuals and that will probably not help you at all. But you can find comfort in the fact that this is just the way you like things to be, or at least it was.

© 2012  Commonsensibly Speaking ~ Brad Osborne

Comments
2 Responses to “The Law Is The Law And Money Talks”
  1. Your final paragraph summed things up nicely – having individuals think of themselves…”as a country” and not letting “the majority make decisions for you”. We are the masters of our fate and by taking a backseat to the proceedings, we count ourselves out. Good post!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thanks for reading and your kind words Natasha! Folks, if you have enjoyed this article, please check out Natasha’s blog for similar common sense views about the world we live in. But it will be her poetry that haunts you.

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