How It’s Supposed To Work But Doesn’t
When American voters didn’t do what he wanted, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (a republican from Kentucky) decided that “the Constitution must be amended to keep the government in check. … We’ve tried elections. Nothing has worked [not even his super mind powers].”
Mrs. Higgins would not be happy with Mr. McConnell. She would make him sit in a corner. But then, she would make a lot of people sit in a corner because of the way they’ve been acting lately. Maybe it’s because they slept through civics and now get all their current events from Fox and Friends. Mrs. Higgins would make them sit in the corner as well. Then she would make them all read the Constitution and a decent high-school American History text book. One from the 1970’s before they got dumbed-down.
And then she’d ask these questions.
Question 1. Who controls the country?
A. The God of white, native-born conservative Christians who have been born again (but only if on American soil).
B. David and Charles Koch
C. John Boehner
D. Lady Gaga
E. None of the above.
The correct answer is “E.”
“A” doesn’t apply if you aren’t a member of that group or believe in the concept of free will.
“B” is getting close to being the answer, although they are working on it.
“C” only thinks he does.
And “D” controls pop culture at the moment but these things can change rapidly. This time next year she might be dancing in a chicken suit outside a local restaurant, regretting that she was born that way.
Question 2. Who is supposed to control the country?
D. All of the above.
E. None of the above.
The correct answer is A through D. That’s right. Us. Meaning anyone who is age 18 or older and eligible to vote. At least this week. That’s one of the things the Kochs are working on.
The state and federal constitutions that none of the people sitting in the corner have read created the state and federal governments and contain the basic set of rules we all have to follow. Or are supposed to. The Koch brothers are working on that too.
The constitutions begat the three branches which begat many things we’d rather not think about but the basic idea was that the system would be the ying and yang and jung of politics, with no one branch becoming too powerful and taking over, like the big kid on the playground teeter-totter who takes over by pushing off the kid that was sitting there and plopping his fat ass down, causing unlucky you (who happens to be sitting on the other end) to rocket into the air where you hold on for dear life but then you’re stuck up there, helpless, until he leaps off causing you to come crashing down at a high rate of speed until the board hits the ground followed by your butt and damn that hurts. But the three branch design is supposed to keep that from happening, keeping the teeter-totter of government fairly in balance (yes I know it only has two sides – try to get past that).
In theory, the legislature passes the laws, the executive branch administers the law, and the courts interpret the law. (Yes, I know this is boring stuff but Mrs. Higgins is watching so sit up and pay attention. Personally, I wish all three groups would take some time off because almost nothing good ever comes from any of them but we live in an imperfect world.)
Way too many of our current elected officials apparently are unaware that constitutions exist and unfamiliar with how the system is supposed to function: an informed electorate voting for honest, intelligent candidates following a vigorous campaign focused on issues and, upon taking office, the winners serving the public good in an open, transparent government before returning to private life after the expiration of their term.
(No, I’m not taking any prescription medication.)
Instead, they believe that it’s supposed to work like this: keep the electorate in the dark and uninformed, have wealthy secretive groups run negative ads misleading the voters while making bland empty promises they have no intention of ever keeping because the whole point is to get elected for life, collude with others to reward the wealthy people and corporations who got them elected with the negative ads, and retire wealthy themselves with a really great pension and insurance package at taxpayer expense.
But sometimes, despite a rigged system, sometimes voters still manage to elect someone who doesn’t understand the way the system is really supposed to work. And that upsets the Mitch McConnells across the nation. They would prefer to do away with voting entirely (and yes, they are trying, but that’s another post). And modify the government so that only one person is in charge and can be that playground teeter-totter bully. They just won’t tell us when it happens.
(Yes, they think we are so stupid we won’t notice. And maybe we are. It’s already happened in Wisconsin and, based on the recall election results, a whole lot of people still haven’t caught on.)