“Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.” D.H. Lawrence
240 years ago today the Declaration of Independence was adopted legally severing all ties between the U.S. Colonies and the British government. The main reason why the colonists bolted from their own government was that their own government refused them representation in Parliament, the equivalent of our Congress. The British countered the colonists by asserting that the colonists had “virtual” representation through the men already elected to Parliament.
The colonists and their supporters in England responded by declaring that there is no representation if a man is not allowed to vote.
Fast forward to the present and we in America have a government in which most Americans do not have a vote over their affairs; their laws; their policies.
When America was created; when America was young, the people residing in the states and specific political/geographical locations, the Congressional Districts, shared common interests and values so that when they elected a person to the Senate and the House of Representatives the interests of most every individual of each Congressional District was represented in Congress.
When the Senator or Representative in Congress voted on a Bill he was voting exactly how the vast majority of his constituents would vote if they themselves were the person in Congress voting.
Today, due to the immense population growth, the interests of the people in every state as well as the majority of congressional districts are so diverse and in great degree opposite one another that it is impossible for two Senators and one Representative to represent the interests of a large percentage of their constituents and sometimes they don’t even represent the interests of the majority of the people of their particular states or districts.
In 1792 there was one Representative for every 33,000 persons.
In 1811 there was one Representative for every 42,613 persons.
In 1911 there was one Representative for every 238,230 persons.
In 2014 there was one Representative for every 733,333 persons.
One person cannot represent the widely varied interests of 733,333 persons.
For all intensive purposes, every given day close to 50% of the people of America are not represented in Congress.
There will be no Republican candidate running for Barbara Boxers’ California Senate seat this year. There has not been one Republican Senator representing California’s Republicans in over 24 years, not since John F. Seymour. Including Boxer’s Senate seat this year that tally increases to 30 years. In 2013 there were 5.2 million registered Republicans in California, that’s approximately 5 million people who have not had representation in the Senate for 24 years.
If the person[s] elected to office from your Congressional District consistently and persistently vote against your interests year in and year out then you are not represented in Congress. And that is the case for many Congressional Districts across the nation.
In the 2008 Minnesota Senate Race:
Democrat Al Franken received 1,212,629 votes 41.99%
Republican Norm Coleman received 1,212,317 votes 41.98%
Independent Dean Barkley received 437,505 votes, 15.15%
Franken beat Coleman by .01%, 312 votes out of 2,862,451 votes cast.
To put that in perspective:
1,649,822 Minnesotans voted against Franken and
1,212,629 Minnesotans voted for Franken.
For six years 57.13%, the majority of voting Minnesotans’ interests were not represented in the Senate
Most election results are not as extreme however this example illustrates the blatant problem with the current election process inherent in every state and district.
In the 2008 election for Senator of South Carolina :
Republican Graham received 1,076,534 votes and 58% of the votes cast.
Democrat Conly received 790,621 votes and 42% of the the votes cast.
For six years 790,000 South Carolina Democrats will not be represented by a Senator in the government. That’s not Democracy nor a Republic.
Notable columnist Charley Reese penned a poetic farewell article titled, “545 people are responsible for the mess, but they unite in a common con,” “545 PEOPLE Vs 300 million” in which he points out the failures of Congress and that the solution is for the people to vote them out of office.
There is one major flaw with that logic, we could vote every Senator and Representative out of office but each and every one would be replaced by someone no better and possibly worse for what Mr. Reese fails to see is that it is impossible to eliminate the stranglehold that the special interest groups have over the 435 seats in Congress, the 100 seats in the Senate, the 9 seats on the Supreme Court bench and the 1 seat in the White House.
How did these special interest groups commandeer Congress in order to monopolize public policy; they did it by changing the Constitution without ever legally amending the Constitution.
In 1911 Congress enacted Public Law 62-5 which limited the number of Representatives to 435 and thereby destroyed the Republican and Democratic form of government the Founding Fathers envisioned and framed into the Constitution. This law was cemented into existence with the Reapportionment Act of 1929.
Article IV Section 4 of the Constitution states:
“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…”
A Republican government is one in which a group of People with shared interests and needs appoint one person from among the group to represent and advocate for all of the others members of the group in the government’s system.
Article I Section 2 of the Constitution states: “Representatives…shall be apportioned among the states…according to their respective numbers….” “The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand.”
In 1792 President George Washington signed into law the “Apportionment Act of 1792” which set the number of Representatives at the ratio of 1 for every 33,000 persons in the respective states.”
In The Federalist, No. 57, James Madison wrote,
“The house of representatives … can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as the great mass of society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interest, and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.”
Elsewhere in the Federalist letter:
“The members of the legislative department … are numerous. They are distributed and dwell among the people at large. Their connections of blood, of friendship, and of acquaintance embrace a great proportion of the most influential part of the society…. They are more immediately the confidential guardians of their rights and liberties.”
The intent of the authors of the Constitution is clear in that they determined for there to be a high percentage of representatives per citizen.
“A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person.” John Adams
Public Law 62-5 violates Article IV Section 4 and Article I Section 2 of the Constitution eviscerating the representative form of government that was created.
Question: would the majority of the founding fathers look upon the present American government and its excessive power, taxation, corruption and lack of representation and approve of it or disapprove of it?
The answer is self-evident in the response given by Americans today.
90% of Americans give Congress a negative rating.
60% of Americans give the President a negative rating.
67% of Americans say the country is on the wrong track.
This is nothing new; the majority of Americans’ approval rating of Congress has been negative for decades.
The only way to restore representation in Congress and eliminate the power that lobbyists and special interest groups hold over American politicians is to repeal Public Law 62-5 and the Reapportionment Act of 1929 and reenact proportional, Republican representation pursuant to Article IV Section 4 and Article I Section 2 of the Constitution.
The problem is the only people who can repeal these laws are the ones currently residing on Capitol Hill and they have absolutely no incentive to reduce the power they possess by sharing it with more American citizens which in and of itself reveals that they are not true Americans of and by and for the People for true Americans would do anything to increase democracy, to increase representation in government; not decrease democracy, not eliminate representation in government as our Congress has done by enacting and perpetuating Public Law 62-5.
Just as the British Parliament once brushed off the Colonists’ grievance with “virtual representation” so too do today’s U.S. Congress toward the American people. The lack of representation in government that existed in 1776 exists today.
Ponder this while you partake of this Independence Day’s festivities:
A child born, today, on the 4th of July 2016 owes the U.S. government $59,977.74.
That is not liberty; that is perpetual servitude.
This is what happens when there is taxation without representation. Do you think that if there were 1 Representative per every 30,000 citizens we would have a $19 trillion debt? Do you believe that lobbyists and deep pocket special interest groups could dictate public policy if Congress was saturated with thousands of Representatives?
Contrary to Charley Reese’s assertion, we cannot vote out 435 seats of Congress but we can create 10,000 more seats if we so choose. We’ve been riding this vehicle for 240 years perhaps it’s time to put in a new and more powerful engine.
Donald Trump wants to “Make America Great Again.” Well here is a way to do it, if he is up to sharing the power of the government with more citizens.
A few more stats:
In the 2012 Congressional Election:
Democrat Julia Brownley received 52% of the vote
Republican Tony Strickland received 48% of the vote.
So 48% of the voters in the 26th District of California were NOT represented in Congress for at least 2 years.
That is not a Republican form of government.
Democrat Daniel Val Demings received 48.2% of the vote
Republican Daniel Webster received 51.8% of the vote.
So 48.2% of the voters in the 10th District of Florida were NOT represented in Congress for at least 2 years.
That is not a Republican form of government.
Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney received 51.7% of the vote
Republican Nan Hayworth received 48.3% of the vote.
So 48.2% of the voters in the 18th District of New York were NOT represented in Congress for at least 2 years.
That is not a Republican form of government.