Friday, May 2, 2008

How We Elect Our Representatives

I collected the following quote in reference to the backlog of judicial appointments of President Bush. He is trying to appoint constructionist judges (ones who base their interpretation of law on the Constitution rather than other opinion pieces or foreign laws), but his appointments for district courts are being help up for a year or more. (President Clinton's appointees were approved in an average of 77 days.)

My original point was that if people who believe in the Constitution as our basis for law are disappointed with this record, they need to look at who the are electing or re-electing to the House and especially the Senate. Many people who hold fairly strong feelings about this issue do not even vote.

However, the advice of President Garfield (who was, interestingly, an ordained minister) is just as applicable for any frustrations we might feel with the Congress. Are you not happy with your taxes; or gas prices; or trade imbalance; or the morality of laws; or Federal aid to ____; or our use of the military; or disaster reactions; or...? Then look at who is being elected and what your own voting record is.

President James A. Garfield said this a century ago:

"Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If that body be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. If the next centennial does not find us a great nation, it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces."


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