Monday, November 1, 2010
What most folks don’t understand is that these candidates don’t magically appear from the ether: The process in their selection starts IN THEIR OWN NEIGHBORHOODS and PRECINCTS. The traditional and, many believe, often rigged method for selecting all those folks with the silly hats and goofy signs we see at the Demopublican National Conventions on TV every four years begins in OUR NEIGHBORHOODS.
Nearly all these “delegates” have come up from their precinct, county and state conclaves where they are elected to go to the national convention. There they vote on platform planks, rules, and, of course, for their presidential and vice presidential candidates. If you get the feeling that most of those matters have been decided long before you got there, give yourself a big “Attaboy.” Sadly, unless one is a political junky, that requires more effort than most of us are willing to expend.
And if you’ve ever been to a precinct, county or state session, you know that they are often swarmed by party functionaries and regulars. These are folks who arrange to put and keep themselves in control of the proceedings lest things get “out of hand.” Nothing rankles them more that to have meeting “hijacked” by “outsiders” who don’t quite grasp the importance of maintaining the party line status quo. That can be more than a bit intimidating for the few “non-graspers” watching the majority of “regulars” dominate the proceedings.
While traditional candidates for Congress who make an impression at the county or state conventions can emerge with a “bump,” the process for actually selecting them is a less controlled one. It involves direct participation of the general electorate, first in a primary then in the general election.
The good news is that the top spots on the tickets were never intended to be as powerful as they are today.
The bad news is that they are because we’ve not paid sufficient attention.
For years, I’ve been amazed at our quadrennial fascination with the beauty contest known as the “PRESIDENTIAL RACE.” Our inattention and/or apparent desire for a king or a strong man dictator has allowed it. Couple that with the growing numbers of un or ill-informed citizens and we have a recipe for the disaster confronting us today. We have allowed our system to morph into the present quasi-monarchy from its original foundations as a representative REPUBLIC.
The most important thing to remember is that the Founders constructed the system to put – AND KEEP -- the KEYS TO THE FEDERAL CASH REGISTER IN CONGRESS. Attila the Hun could occupy the White House and without the dough to hire the bureaucrats, buy the desks and computers, etc., etc. ad nauseum, Mr. Hun would be hamstrung. It is PRECISELY why the Legislature was established in Section 1 of our Constitution, with the Executive and Judiciary at 2 and 3.
As mentioned at the top, THAT process starts in YOUR STATE and CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT by finding and supporting decent candidates -- at ALL levels -- who will go to YOUR state capitol and Malfunction Junction and do the necessary periodic house cleaning. Marching on Washington may be exciting but until MILLIONS of pitchfork wielding citizens crowd the Mall, those events only amuse the political aristocracy. The only folks who benefit from the finite patriot resources devoted to them are the airlines, hotels and restaurants in D.C. Marches, withholding contributions to the national parties, writing them poison pen letters may be personally satisfying but are not as effective as THROWING OUT THE CURRENT MISCREANTS. THAT is how to get their attention. Effectiveness also requires watching the NEW GUYS like a hawk to make certain THEY don’t go bad from imbibing too much of that power Kool-Aid so popular in Disneyland on The Potomac.
And there is more good news concerning this approach: The controlled so-called national mainstream media are so busy distracting us with that presidential beauty contest, they have less time to devote to these widely separated congressional races. That makes it easier to get some good folks elected.
And speaking of “good folks,” GOOOH – a REAL grassroots and nonpartisan organization -- has made it easier still. If you’re looking for an alternative to the controlled establishment party system and you haven’t yet checked out GOOOH’s website and signed on to participate in one of the candidate selection sessions, you really owe it to yourself to do so. The website is here: http://goooh.com/Home.aspx. There you will learn that there IS “Hope” for making the “Change” needed to move us back to the Constitutional moorings from which we have been cast adrift. There’s no requirement to do so, but you could even find YOUR name on a ballot at some point.
Joseph D’Maistre once correctly observed that “People get the government they deserve.”
I believe we deserve better.
If you share that belief, GOOOH is a good place to start.