Punchinello’s Chronicles

January 20, 2010

Massachusetts Referendum Against Agendas

Politicians don’t have a right to have agendas. Politicians do not get to create agendas! The watershed election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts wasn’t a referendum against health-care reform as dictated by the Democrats. Nor was it a referendum against President Obama. Brown’s win wasn’t about red versus blue, GOP versus Dems. And contrary to what the media pundits are blabbering, the election wasn’t the citizenry of Massachusetts wanting some checks and balances against single-party control.

The deep-seated rationale behind almost any form of dirty politics is about power, control and agendas. Talk to any politician who’s scrambling to keep his or her seat, and you’ll hear something like this: “Whatever it takes to win, that’s what I have to do. I can’t put forth my plan (or agenda) unless I’m in office.”

Scratch the surface of anyone telling us that we should vote the party line and you’ll find the same thing. That unless you win and unless your party is in office, then you can’t control the agenda. Regardless of what good ideas may be on the table, only the winners can put those ideas in place.

Above all this rhetoric is the never-stated proposition that our politicians somehow are in charge of a plan, an agenda. The politicians are somehow supposed to come up with a plan, regulations, laws, ideas, and so forth and so on. No, they’re not!

In America, our politicians are representatives! Each elected representative is in office to speak with the voice of their constituents. That means the voters in a district, set forth and defined by rules of census. Those constituents are people like you and me. WE the people send someone to government to act as our representative!

We, the voters, do NOT sent politicians to Washington to take control of the nation’s laws! We don’t send politicians to our state capitols to take control and tell us what to do! We send our national and state representatives to their offices to speak on our behalf.

For too long, both the Republican and Democrat parties have told us that they have an agenda. They have a plan. They want to make rules. They want to pass laws. They want to make us take care of everyone else. They want to pass laws to protect this or that special group. All we hear about is how it will cost us more and more and more money.

Tonight, in Massachusetts, the electorate voted for Scott Brown. It doesn’t matter that he ran as a Republican. What matters is that he spoke to the people. He asked those people what they wanted to see take place in the national government. He presumably has the ideals he speaks about, and presumably he will maintain his integrity and pursue those ideals.

But Senator-elect Brown isn’t going to Washington to create a damn thing! NO politician has the right to create a body of law based on his or her personal belief system. Their job is to synthesize the will of the voters, formulate a series of steps to bring about that desire, then present it for a vote.

Scott Brown is going to the US Senate as a negotiator! His job is to negotiate on behalf of the people who live in the state of Massachusetts regarding the governance of the United States. He does NOT have the right to negotiate on his own behalf! He does NOT have the right to come up with a deal that HE thinks is a sweet deal. (Isn’t it odd how many politicians begin their career without money, then leave office millionaires many times over?)

Would you hire a negotiator who didn’t understand your position? A negotiator who worked out a deal that would wreck your life? A negotiator who had zero interest in what was good or bad for you, but was only interested in their own agenda?

The US Constitution clearly defines the number of senators and representatives. The difference between the Senate and the House of Representatives absolutely defines the way power and control is supposed to be balanced. Very large states with big populations might have lots of votes in the House. But they still only have 2 votes in the Senate.

Theoretically, the mix of senators and representatives was supposed to ensure that no majority would “rule” the nation. It was also designed to prevent minorities from ruling the nation. That’s all but disappeared in recent decades. Why?

Remember the old story about the two foxes and the one chicken? They get together to form a democracy and hold a vote on what’s for dinner. The two foxes vote on a chicken dinner. The chicken votes for something different. “Hey, it’s two to one in favor, the majority wins,” say the foxes.

We live in a representative democracy, not a “majority rules” democracy. It’s a representative democracy precisely to protect the minority from being enslaved by the majority. This past year, the entire concept of representative ANYthing has been thrown out the window! You want to talk about a voter mandate? That’s what we see with Scott Brown’s election!

Instead of speaking with their groups of home-town voters, politicians have decided they know better than the “commoners.” They’re powerful, important people, naturally smarter than all the rest of us. They’re above the rest of us, with a “right” to formulate agendas that literally will dictate rules of living to those who disagree.

Conservatives disagree.

No, this election wasn’t about a particular argument. It wasn’t about being contrarian. It wasn’t about those awful right-wingers being obstructionists. No, this election wasn’t about the GOP rising again, or the chance of the Republican party regaining “power.” In fact, it wasn’t about the Republican party at all. If the GOP somehow fantasizes that it was, then they’ll lose again and again, over and over, just as they did in 2008.

This election was about the American people starting to reach the tipping point. We, the people are fed up with elitist politicians who believe they have the right to create agendas out of their own heads. We, the voters do not want politicians making up rules and regulations that we have to deal with but they never experience.

It’s true that a political representative ought to have some sort of ideals and a philosophy of life. It’s supposed to be that we get to know that person, agree or disagree with that fundamental outlook, then decide if they will accurately represent our similar views. That’s what’s supposed to happen! Does it happen? Has it been happening?

Too often, a politician claims to hold certain ideals and principles, then ignores those principles when they enter office. Too often we’re lied to by politicians with no integrity, no honor, no principles, no nothing. We elect people of zero character because we’re ignorant, apathetic, or we’ve been fooled. Tonight, the people of Massachusetts called a time-out.

We, represented by the voters in Massachusetts said no to slick, packaged two-faced slimeballs who have no principles or integrity.

We won’t know for awhile whether or not Scott Brown is a man of integrity and character. Many people believe he is, and that he’ll act accordingly as a representative of the majority of people in his state. He has NO right to ignore the minority views of those who didn’t vote for him. Nor does he have a right to ONLY press the views of the majority who did vote for him.

Scott Brown has won a seat in the US Senate. That seat means that he will represent the overall “sense” of the people of Massachusetts as to how the nation should be managed. We’ve watched for decades now, and in particular over the past year what happens when politicians don’t represent squat. They tell us their “agenda” is far too important to account for disagreement. Tonight, that attitude was spotlighted, voted upon, and thrown in the garbage where it belongs.

Here’s hoping that American voters continue to wake up, continue to remember what’s been going on, and continue to speak out with an increasingly loud voice.

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