Defense of the One Person One Vote Concept

voteEver since the American concept of ‘the people’ electing those who would represent them, in a government made up of individuals from the collective referred to as ‘the people,’ with each of ‘the people’ having one vote, there have been those who would game the system to obtain influence over making, enforcing and interpreting the laws by which ‘the people’ live.

I learned a bit about office holders from my Dad, he was one. It was in a very small town, which had a Township Committee, and no Mayor. One of the office holders was in charge of road repair and building. He got votes by re-directing truckloads of dirt from road building & dump coverage to lawns. If a person has been ticketed for drunk driving and knows someone who can make that ticket away go away, they will make that call. Most everyone is susceptible to payoff and graft – it just varies in size and type and size of the government

Just about everyone understands that a person doesn’t have to hold office in government to affect the making, enforcing and interpretation of laws of the land and that as the number of people an office holder represents grows in number, getting the ear of an office holder gets more difficult.

For one of the people, getting the ear of an office holder is a manifold obstacle course. Some of which is unavoidable, some of which is contrived.

Learning how to deal with the obstacles in the way of putting a person’s issue in front of an office holder and getting it to be a priority on that office holders list of issues is the person’s challenge.

Physical distance is an unavoidable obstacle since the office holders gather in Capitals: Town, County, State, or Federal to discuss issues and develop answers for pressing issues in the form of laws. As the number of individuals who wish the ear of an office holder grows, time becomes another unavoidable obstacle for a person. Even when the office holder is in their local area at a public gathering of their own contrivance, the opportunity for a person to get the office holder’s ear is limited. There will be someone there who works for the office, which the office holder holds, and that person will be taking notes to which the office holder will be able to refer while in their place of work. Being one of a crowd creates another obstacle to getting your issue explained well enough so the notes accurately lay out the intricacies of a person’s issue. Even a conscientious, competent, office holder finds it difficult to understand nuances of an issue and will need to hear a person’s foundation for the person’s stance on an issue several times before they will ‘get it.’

It is difficult for a person to ascertain whether an office holder is conscientious and competent since an office holder is skilled at political speak where talking around an issue without committing to anything is most likely their most practiced skill.

Getting other people to lend their voice to the same issue a person finds important, and wishes to bring to the top of an office holders’ priorities, is yet another obstacle since most every person will have their own issue as their highest priority.

There occasionally is an issue which a majority of people share interest and the opportunity to change or correct something comes up. When this happens there are always groups of people who oppose the change. These groups are already formed and some are more influential than others. The most influential of these are business oriented and the influence they exert is based upon the money they have to use in support of or in opposition to issues.

Business groups have interests which are different than non-business groups and that difference is mostly the desire to control costs at the lowest level possible. Most of the time, the cost they can most easily control is the cost of labor.

‘The people’ is mostly made up of those who are not business leaders. This used to be described as Blue Collar people. The advantage of pro-workers being much more plentiful at the voting booth was a problem for business people for a long time, what with pro-worker office holders passing laws which protected non-business types from being taken advantage of by the business people. These laws being the ones governing time, pay and safety.

In the last few decades the effort to set the Blue Collar people against themselves and in that way reduce their affect in elections, has been effective by using divisive issues such as gun control, voting restriction, off-shoring jobs, race, religion, regional conflict such as North and South from the Civil War and Unions. These have been very effective to the point where people who work with their hands are voting against their own best interest out of dislike for the ‘those other people.’ In the Union case ‘those other people’ have become nurses, teachers, musicians, bus drivers, assembly line workers and the like.

The division has shifted so far that the Supreme Court has ruled spending money to support or oppose a candidate for office holder is the same as speaking in support of or in opposition to, a candidate. Now the few supremely rich can out speak all of ‘the people’ and it hasn’t seemed as though there is anything ‘the people’ can do about it.

But this isn’t so. The office holders most accessible to ‘the people’ are the ones who represent the fewest people and are the ones who live and hold office among ‘the people.’ These are the State office holders. The ones ‘the people’ know personally. The ones whose phone numbers ‘the people’ have.

Here’s what I think about political campaign contributions:

It’s time to bring some fiscal sense to running for office.

Have State Senators and Representatives set a limit on the amount of money candidates for Federal Senator and Representative can spend on campaigns for office to represent their State.

It will not cost money – the State Senators and Representatives are already in office and the limitations only apply to Federal office seekers.

When they get serious about controlling the amounts to be spent, I can get serious about helping reach that amount.

Wouldn’t you like to know what your State Representatives and Senators think about this idea?

George Silberzahn

Author of “DARTS: Beginning to End” best-selling dart book on Amazon

Author of “Selecting a Blue Collar Vocation” also on Amazon.

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