Now Make Me Do It: The Mythical Apathy of the Electorate - by Mark E. Smith


http://my.firedoglake.com/mymarkx/2012/10/19/now-make-me-do-it-the-mythical-apathy-of-the-electorate/#

Many liberals and progressives, not to mention conservatives and wingnuts, bemoan the apathy of the electorate. It isn’t enough to just vote, they insist, once you elect somebody you have to actively force them to represent you, and they cite Franklin D. Roosevelt who said, “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.” The problem, they claim, isn’t with the system or with our representatives,  but with us for not being organized and active enough to make our
representatives represent us. Many elected representatives claim that they would like to represent their constituents, but, like FDR, they can’t unless they are made to.

If true, this would reflect poorly on us as a people. We have a basically good system, and some good representatives, but we are just too lazy and apathetic to make our representatives represent us.

This is all a lie. Let me give you an example. Back during the Bush administration a lot of people wanted to see Bush and Cheney impeached. In one district the desire for impeachment was so high that activists were able to collect signatures from more than 80% of the residents asking their representative, John Olver, to support impeachment. But when he was formally presented with the petition, his response was, “Spare me! I’m well aware that the overwhelming majority
of my constituents want me to support impeachment. I will not.” His response would have been the same if the petition had signatures from 100% of his constituents. It wasn’t that people were too apathetic to care, or too lazy to try to make him represent them, it was that our Constitution never gave people the power to exercise their will through their elected representatives. As both the Bush and Obama administrations made clear, our government does not allow public
opinion to influence policy decisions. We are not a democracy or a republic. In the United States power is vested in the hands of the government, not in the hands of the people.

In both a democracy and a republic, by definition, supreme power over government is vested in the hands of the people. In a democracy, the people exercise their power directly by voting on budgets, policy issues, and other matters of import, but in a republic the people exercise their power indirectly through their elected officials. In the United States we have no such power. We can ask our representatives to represent us, we can protest if they don’t, but we have no way to make them do our will because we have no power over them. Once they are elected, they are free to represent us, if they wish, or they can, if they choose, represent their big campaign donors, their personal ideologies, the interests of a foreign country, or anything else they want. We can petition until we turn blue and protest until we get ourselves shot, but we have no way to sway them. Sure we can wait until their terms of office, the only time they’re supposed to represent us, are over, and then try to elect somebody else who can’t be held accountable, but while our representatives are in office, while they are supposed to be representing us, we cannot make them do so.

Of course we can ask Congress to impeach them, but Congress doesn’t like to impeach its own Members. If one Member was impeached, other Members might be subject to impeachment in revenge, so that’s a can of worms they prefer not to open. Sometimes they threaten impeachment, or even begin impeachment proceedings, but they don’t impeach. There have been impeachments of some district judges, but no sitting President, Supreme Court Justice, or Member of Congress has ever been impeached
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_in_the_United_States

If your representatives appears to be representing you, it is because they chose to or their big donors told them to, not because you made them do it. You have no power to make them do anything. When you vote, you are not voting for representatives, you are voting for petty tyrants who may or may not represent you and over whom you have no power whatsoever. Once their term of office is over and they are no longer representing you, you cannot bring back to life the dead from the wars they funded with your taxpayer dollars or renounce the debts they incurred that your granchildren will still be paying. The damage they do while in office can be irreparable and you have no control over them while they’re in office. You can try to elect somebody else, somebody who tells smoother lies, but you will have no real power over them either.

Of course with corporate money even in local politics, gerrymandered districts, easily hacked and totally unverifiable central tabulators, you can never know for sure that your vote for a new representative was counted at all, no less counted for the candidate you tried to vote for.

Yet approximately 50% of the electorate vote anyway, hoping against hope that their vote might be counted and that they might be represented. The other half of us know better.

In a democratic form of government, a vote is the most precious right of all because it is the way that people exercise their power over government, either directly or through their representatives.

We do not have a democratic form of government in the United States. The Constitution gave us a plutocracy where we have no power over government to exercise.

So don’t berate yourself and your neighbors for not making your representatives do their jobs. You can’t. The 39 plutocrats who wrote the Constitution, the wealthy elite 1% of their time, made sure that you wouldn’t have that power, as they didn’t trust the “mob and rabble” of democracy and wanted those who owned the country, people like themselves, to always rule the country.

You’re not apathetic. You’ve been had.

 

You Know, I recently had to complete papers for Social Security

And there was one question that this form kept asking me.

 

 Do You have a problem with Authority figures?

I was more than annoyed with it but I complied and answered the question that was posed over and over throughout the form.  Authority - Official.. we have all been duped into this fear of those we supposedly have elected to serve us. To hold an office is to hold a responsibility of servitude. Creator God is the only Authority on my health and well being... as well as my Life, Liberty and pursuit of happiness.

 

I have no problem with Authority at all...

The old joke...

I saw somebody using it as a signature line many years ago, and for quite some time I used it myself:

"I have no problem with authority--as long as I'm not disobeyed."

More about the Constitution

There's a discussion thread on FDL and I've been responding to comments there about this essay. Here's a comment I just posted, which I think I'll also post in the thread here after my essay on The Counterrevolutionary Constitution:

 

If voting could stop a Member of Congress with corporate funding, who owns the voting machine corporation that will count the votes in their district, from getting reelected, your argument might make sense. If there were only a minority of Congresscritters who were willing to spend trillions of taxpayer dollars on war, replacing a few of them, if that was possible, to avoid them getting a pension, might make sense.

The Constitution staggered the terms of Congress to make sure that we could never throw all the bums out at once by voting.

The Framers of the Constitution were experts in rigging elections, in fact the Constitution itself was the result of the first rigged elections in the United States. The following is from a 1974 Journal by Robert LeFevre, reprinted in a book I just started reading, called, Dissenting Electorate: Those Who Refuse to Vote and the Legitimacy of Their Opposition, edited by Carl Watner with Wendy McElroy and published in 2001:

"Beginning approximately in 1785, a couple of years after the signing of the Treaty of Paris which brought about our legal severance from England, a political party calling itself the "Federalists" was organized. This small but determined group put together the so-called Constitutional Convention of 1787 and managed to obtain a majority approval of the instrument they had designed as a new form of government. The delegates were bound to return their findings to the state legislatures which had authorized their sojourn in Philadelphia for the convention. But this was never done. The Federalists well knew that the instrument they had framed would be disapproved by every state legislature then in existence. Hence they wrote into the Constitution, Article VII, the process of ratification, specifying that the Constitution would obtain ratification from the conventions of nine states. This made it possible for the Federalists to avoid virtually certain rejection by the state legislatures and also placed control of the conventions in their hands. As the only organized political party, they carefully packed the separate conventions, making certain not to convene any of them until they were reasonably certain of a successful vote. This procedure, by itself, wipes out any possible assumption of legality or moral obligation."

In other words, the Framers got the Constitution ratified by refusing to allow the States any say in it, and convening their own conventions to which they invited their own people. Had the states been allowed to vote on it, no state would have given up its power to a federal government. So the states weren't allowed to vote. The Federalists were so successful that one of the only powers they left to the states, was the right to allow or not to allow citizens to vote in federal elections, and to determine how the meaningless votes of their residents would be counted--if the Supreme Court allowed citizens' votes to be counted at all. Even that was changed with recent laws that encouraged states to use unverifiable voting machines and somehow established centralized control over the counting of votes. This year, most US votes will be "counted" by a privately owned computer company in Spain to ensure that the public will never know if their votes were counted accurately or were flipped to different candidates by the computers in Spain.

The Constitution of the United States was not only a counterrevolutionary document, as I've written, but it was adopted by means of rigged "elections" and it created an electoral system that could always be controlled by those in power.

LeFevre also wrote, "To assume that the people of the United States entered voluntarily into a contractual relationship of such unbalanced character that specific performance on the part of one of the contracting parties is enforced under the threat of death while specific performance on the part of the other contracting party is totally unenforceable, is a patent absurdity. No sane or reasonable human being would voluntarily bind himself by any such contract."

But We the People had no voice, no seat at the table, and no vote in the matter. Nor do we today. Some people think we do, and the wealthy elites spend billions of dollars to foster that illusion, but at least half of the electorate isn't fooled.

Boycott 2012!
 

Just imagine!

Just imagine if the money and energy spent on elections, was instead spent creating housing for the homeless, creating jobs, improving schools, lowering tuition, feeding the hungry, providing health care, repairing infrastructure, lowering taxes, and improving our lives!

We're not the problem, government is the problem. We're the solution. We know what to do and how to do it and the only thing standing in our way is our elected government. Voting for elected officials is like letting the air out of our tires, disconnecting the battery, and draining the radiator before starting the car--it isn't going to get us anywhere and it is extremely self-destructive.

 

 

Noted

Ask yourself this one question... When did I start seeing elected servants as Officials?   No one is suppose to be an Official in our government... not in name and not in description. All are public servants and are suppose to be Officially ruled by the public.  

Words mean something... this one word, "Official" is used to trick the public into fearing and with that, becoming the slaves we are. Only my opinion.

A very insightful opinion, as usual, Coacoa.

Only political party operatives and those duped by them refer to officials as public servants any more. Once the Bush and Obama administrations had stated clearly that they did not allow public opinion to influence their policy decisions, no thinking person could ever imagine that they considered themselves public servants.

 

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