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Your Leaders Dislike You

pudge (3605) writes | more than 4 years ago

United States 15

One thing I dislike about many politicians is that they genuinely dislike many of their constituents.

Take Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, for example. When presented with a petition of 14,000 signatures -- mostly from corporate special interests who get government subsidies -- calling for tax increases, she met with them, happy to be asked to raise taxes.

One thing I dislike about many politicians is that they genuinely dislike many of their constituents.

Take Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, for example. When presented with a petition of 14,000 signatures -- mostly from corporate special interests who get government subsidies -- calling for tax increases, she met with them, happy to be asked to raise taxes.

But when 20,000 signatures -- mostly from the people who pay for those subsidies -- were provided in a petition against tax increases, none of our leaders -- not Gregoire, not Speaker Chopp, not Majority Leader Brown -- would meet with them.

Even if they disagree, shouldn't they at least meet with the representatives of 20,000 citizens? Let's face it: they just don't like you. Sorry.

Gregoire was the one who said in her first term, multiple times, that we should not spend a lot during good times, so we would not have to make drastic cuts and tax increases in the bad times. But the 33 percent spending increase in her first term, signing bills passed by Chopp and Brown, is precisely why we are faced with drastic cuts and tax increases today: we could have had the modest increases she dishonestly preached about, and we wouldn't be facing large deficits (if any at all).

So now she and Chopp and Brown want to raise taxes to fix the problem they created, supposedly on your behalf.

Last year, a massive rally on their doorstep successfully diuscouraged them from raising taxes. This year, we can do it again. On President's Day, February 15, there will be another rally on the steps of the Capitol, at 10 a.m.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

15 comments

Of course (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31023904)

When presented with a petition of 14,000 signatures -- mostly from corporate special interests

These people are responsible for getting them into office. Of COURSE she's going to listen politely. However, taxpayers? Why should she care about taxpayers? Each taxpayer only has one vote out of millions.

When former Illinois Governor Ryan ran for office, he outspent his opponent ten to one and barely squeaked by in a close race. Had there somehow been a way to ensure that no candidiate spent more than the other, Ryan would have surely lost in a landslide.

We'll not fix government until we fix the way campaigns are financed.

Re:Of course (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024266)

We'll not fix government until we fix the way campaigns are financed.

The tighter you squeeze, the more money will slip through your fingers. The money not spent by the campaign will simply be spent by PACs and such.

Re:Of course (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024338)

When presented with a petition of 14,000 signatures -- mostly from corporate special interests

These people are responsible for getting them into office. Of COURSE she's going to listen politely. However, taxpayers? Why should she care about taxpayers? Each taxpayer only has one vote out of millions.

Note that these "corporate special interests" I mentioned are mostly charities, activist groups, unions, and so on. It doesn't change the truth of what you said about them: these are people who TAKE from government.

Re:Of course (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31024920)

Indeed; it doesn't matter whether it's IBM or the CWA, either way their money trumps my vote.

Re:Of course (1)

bmetzler (12546) | more than 4 years ago | (#31036912)

Indeed; it doesn't matter whether it's IBM or the CWA, either way their money trumps my vote.

How's that? At the end of the day it is the votes that are counted.

Sure, you may decide you agree with the message of IBM or CWA and vote accordingly, but at the end of the day it is your vote that makes the difference.

*sigh* round and round we go... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31030676)

Nobody is responsible for getting them into office except the voter. By itself money can't do a damn thing. We will not fix our government until we fix our selves. The money issue is ours. As long as we are so influenced by it and continue to vote for bling, don't expect anything to change. We are the ones who respond to money. We are the suckers who fall for every shell game there is. Only self discipline has any chance of changing anything. Legislation ain't gonna do it*, and it will inevitably be contrary to the freedoms we're supposed to believe in. It doesn't work against hookers, drugs, and gambling, and it sure as hell won't make a difference here. Except to make somebody rich.

*unless there's some form of corporate charter reform. The privileges they enjoy are supposed to be issued by a government license, like driving a car. They are not rights by any means. It is up to us to seek out those who understand this. Mass media would never spoon feed those types to us.

Re:*sigh* round and round we go... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31038054)

Nobody is responsible for getting them into office except the voter.

Like my one vote is going to outgun Bill Gates' hundred million dollar campaign contribution to both major party candidates for Illinois Senator, who he isn't eligible to vote for himself.

In that scenario, it doesn't matter which candidate loses, Bill Gates wins.

Re:*sigh* round and round we go... (1)

bmetzler (12546) | more than 4 years ago | (#31041826)

Somehow Bill Gates dollars are going to the polling places and casting votes all by themselves. interesting......

Re:*sigh* round and round we go... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31046588)

Pointless. I'm getting nowhere with this. Nobody wants to accept responsibility for their own lack of self control. Because that's all it takes to resist temptation. But... it's always somebody else's fault... or god's will... anything... but the reflection in the mirror. Without self discipline, all is hopeless. There is no other reason for this. Notice also, how the politician picks up on this and acts precisely the same way. It's the "other" party.. or the previous administration. But never ever ever the self. We are the ones who make them rich by rewarding this behavior. This soap opera has been running, what, 10,000 years now? Expect another 100,000 at least before anything noticeable happens. If human intellect has hit the brick wall, biology will just continue to run things as it always has. I also happen to think that the idea of zero sum has to be thrown out the window. It is very detrimental. We have yet to put the tiniest dent in the abundance that surrounds us, other than trying to destroy it so nobody else can have it. In fact, that's where 95% of our energies seem to be spent, raising artificial barriers. You know... something like banning the use of ice in order to sell refrigerators to the Eskimos.

Re:*sigh* round and round we go... (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31046832)

I'm getting nowhere with this. Nobody wants to accept responsibility for their own lack of self control.

If we trusted the people to take full responsibility and have self-discipline, we would not have designed our Constitution specifically to take responsibility out of their hands.

On the other hand, of course, if we did not trust the people at all, we'd not have even had representative democracy.

It's about balance. The question is not whether or not the people are trusted to take responsibility and exercise discipline, it's about how much, and to what ends.

It's why many republicans favor term limits: yes, it's not ideal, but so are many things about our government -- including bicameralism itself -- not ideal. Because life is messy.

Re:*sigh* round and round we go... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048646)

Well, for me personally, I see the constitution as a delegation of authority, not an abrogation of responsibility. If we don't hold people responsible for they ones they elect, there is no incentive for them to vote for good, honest people. They will, as they have since the beginning only vote with their self interest in mind. Under this scenario, democracy, or any form of majority rule will always be doomed to failure.

And... if you want to view the failure of term limits, just look how well it works in Mexico. As in the States, it does nothing about routing out a corrupt ruling party. It is the party that the individual serves, and the party serves its financiers, not the voter, or the country. It is the party's snake oil that the candidate has to sell. Otherwise he will no longer be a party member. And we happily go along for the ride as long as we see personal benefit.

Yeah, life is messy, and it's up to us to seek out competent garbage men to clean up. You don't keep a maid that steals. Why should a politician be any different?

Re:*sigh* round and round we go... (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048776)

Well, for me personally, I see the constitution as a delegation of authority, not an abrogation of responsibility.

Again, it is not about abrogating responsibility, it's about HOW MUCH responsibility. Senators were elected by state legislatures. Presidents are elected by electors. Decisions are made by representatives.

And... if you want to view the failure of term limits, just look how well it works in Mexico. As in the States, it does nothing about routing out a corrupt ruling party.

Term limits are not a failure at all. They work. They are not meant to decrease corruption, but to increase the amount of time representatives spend doing their job, instead of trying to get elected, and to get fresh blood in there.

It is the party's snake oil that the candidate has to sell. Otherwise he will no longer be a party member.

Tell that to Ron Paul.

Re:*sigh* round and round we go... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049346)

That's just it. It has to end with us. No matter how far removed from the electoral process, ultimately it is our responsibility to correct it. When we see a one time incident of political corruption, yes, of course we can blame that individual. If it's corrected, no problem. Let's move on. If it isn't, and the corruption becomes chronic, then it just shows that the public is just as corrupt as the politician they keep in office for the sake of a phony tax cut, or bigger government contract/welfare check. It's the curse of collective living.

...increase the amount of time representatives spend doing their job, instead of trying to get elected...

But haven't you noticed that, more often than not, the rep is out campaigning for his successor? This usually because that's what the party demands. Their loyalty is grossly misplaced. And we reward it with our vote. The buck does not stop in the White House. It stops in OUR house.

Re:*sigh* round and round we go... (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049600)

That's just it. It has to end with us. No matter how far removed from the electoral process, ultimately it is our responsibility to correct it.

Right ... which includes implementing term limits.

But haven't you noticed that, more often than not, the rep is out campaigning for his successor?

I have noticed that they spend maybe one percent of the time campaigning for their successor as they would campaigning for themself, yes. And they also -- obviously -- care much less about how the voter views them when they are not running for re-election, which can be good and bad, but is usually good.

Re:*sigh* round and round we go... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31050118)

Term limits: How would you feel if, by law, you had to fire all your employees every couple of years? The "fresh blood" thing doesn't work so well when it all comes from one supplier, and they're selling contaminated blood. And yet the problem really is that we refuse to shop elsewhere.

And they also -- obviously -- care much less about how the voter views...

I honestly don't know how they could care less. They don't care from the start. I'll grant that the mask they wear becomes a bit more transparent...

Look, all I'm saying is that no matter how much they dislike us, or how obvious it may be, they still win votes. And I don't blame them one bit for it. They hit the right button, and we give them their little pellet. I call that "conditioning".. though I admit, I don't know which direction that goes. Kind of a chicken and egg thing. Very circular.

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