The other day, I saw a political video. It had 27 short clips of top Democratic politicians, President Obama, nominee Hillary Clinton, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, repeatedly telling audiences that the system is rigged. That was followed by a clip of nominee Donald Trump saying the same thing.
No matter the ad’s original purpose, the message was clear, everyone agrees the system is rigged — and it certainly is — but who rigged it and to what end? There is only one group capable of rigging the system and/or allowing it to stay rigged by their inaction; it’s the federal government.
This concept is not new; more than 30 years ago, Orlando Sentinel journalist Charley Reese wrote a column identifying those responsible for our problems and that column is making the rounds again this season. In it, Reese blames the 545 people empowered by the Constitution to run the nation; 100 senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices.
As a group, they make all the budgets, all the appointments and appropriations, all the laws, all the interpretations and all the rules. Charley wrote, “Anything involving government that is wrong is 100 percent their fault,” and he was right.
After so many decades of problems and rigging, do you really think the Democrats could rig the system without the help of the Republicans or the Republicans without the help of the Democrats?
Sure, they get lobbied – and in many cases other government agencies are the biggest lobbyists – but what can the lobbyists do to coerce the 536 elected politicians (who pick the other nine)? They can only do one thing — threaten their re-election, that’s it, but that’s the one thing the officials can’t tolerate, being out of power.
Oh, the politicians have great excuses such as, “If I’m not in office I can’t do good things for you.” Which translates to, “We have to keep the system rigged so I can be here” or “I’m rigging the system, but only in your favor.”
They are like criminals who insist you take some of the loot even though you did not participate in the original crime – they try to coerce or bribe you into being an accessory so you will keep your mouth shut and lend your support. If we don’t want our politicians to be coerced then we have to refuse to allow them to coerce us first.