May 27, 2024

What Should An Elected Official Do?

Man Alone

In a Democratic Republic like we have, what are politicians supposed to do?  There are two schools of thought on this.  Some believe that they are elected to do what they think is best.  They believe that we elect statesmen, that are better than us and that have our best interest at heart.

The other side believes that we elect mouthpieces—people that are to go to represent us and our opinions and values.

So which is happening here?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has told her fellow Democrats that they should be willing to risk losing in the Fall so that they could get the Health Care Reforms through the House and Senate and passed into law by President Barack Obama.

She says this because she believes that the people put Democrats in power because of their policies and plans, and that they should act on that regardless of the outcome.

On the face of it, it seems very principled, but…

[T]he last few elections had less to do with Democrats getting elected on their platform than on Republicans losing because they ignored theirs.  What’s more, public opinion has hardly been fickle on the issue of health care.  For the last year public opinion has shown majority opposition for Democrat health care takeover efforts in poll after poll.  And when the stark reality for a significant number of Congresspeople is a choice between supporting this bill and getting re-elected, how can people like Pelosi possibly claim to be doing the people’s work?

After all, you can hardly be advancing the “will of the people” when your agenda gets you cast from office.  [SayAnything: Pelosi To Fellow Democrats: You Should Be Willing to Lose Re-Election For Health Care Bill]

I have to agree.  If you’re going to pass a bill that gets you thrown from office, then you didn’t deserve to be in office in the first place.  In a representative democracy, your job is to represent your people.

Either you didn’t sell you people well enough on your vote, you didn’t justify the principle that was necessary, or you’re simply voting a party line.  You deserve to lose your seat.

And don’t get me started on gerrymandered districts and overrepresentation by people that don’t have a stake in the game.

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