The purpose of an election is for us, the citizens, to select someone to represent our interests within the parameters established by the charter, state constitution and Constitution of the United States. We often state that we hire those officials to be our surrogates in the halls of power, but I submit that we “lease” them. To hire someone is to assume that we have absolute control over their activities while they are employed by us. Leasing, on the other hand, acknowledges that although we may enjoy an element of control, the actual ownership interest is held by another party. Under present conditions those other parties include but are not limited to special interests, major corporations and party leaders.
The old cliché about the two- party system limiting our choices to the “lesser of two evils,” has never seemed so true. Whoever proves to be victorious in a contest for votes ends up becoming the leading leased lesser for the citizens. As long as we citizens remember that our elected officials are merely leased, then we can treat them like rented mules. J In other words, treat them like the short-term employees they are supposed to be. Even when electing a new fresh face who claims to be fiscally responsible and constitutionally savvy, the electorate should go forward under the assumption that the elected official will be a short termer. No longer should we elect “good” people then focus our attention elsewhere. We must always be vigilant, ever watchful and perpetually wary. If an officeholder begins to show any sign of drifting from the constitutional path, voters should challenge him/her immediately and forcefully.
Just as in any lease, the item under contract is returned following a predetermined period. In the political realm, they’re called term limits, but they truly are unnecessary if the voters or a designated watchdog group monitors every action and vote of the politician. When the officeholder begins to slide, waffle, weasel or dissemble, the alarm is sounded, and the activist groups IMMEDIATELY go into action. No slack should be allowed. If the errant political type is permitted to wiggle off the hook, then the problem will be exacerbated as time goes on. In addition, the longer that the public official remains in office, the more difficult it becomes to dislodge the incumbent. No politician should be allowed to violate her/his constitutional obligations just because of pork barrel spending, or because he or she is a “good person.” There are a lot of good people among us, but they do not have the political power to undermine our constitutional government.
No person is flawless, and even the most constitutionally pure among us will sometimes be tempted to do something for the greater good. If we understand that aspect of human nature, then we can be vigilant when we follow the careers of politicians whom we have elected. If they err, if they stumble, if they ignore the constitution and the voters who elected them, then their lease must be cancelled at the first opportunity. It will be time for a new lesser of two evils, and perhaps, future holders of the office will have learned a lesson….a lesser leasing lesson.