Please, pardon me for just a few moments…
By Stephan Drew
“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.” — Thomas Jefferson
“People should not be afraid of their government.
Governments should be afraid of their people.” — Alan Moore
Almost everywhere we go, there are people complaining about what our “government” is doing or not doing, and rightly so. Much of the criticism is justified but, some is not. I say “our” government because WE, the people are “the government”. Our elected officials get their power from our consent. We give that consent when we vote for them. It’s a temporary agreement, though. It only lasts two to six years and, in special circumstances, our permission can be removed, suddenly and without warning. Unfortunately, some of our leaders seem to think that our vote means the job was created just for them, is permanently their property, and that we agree with ALL that they are doing or plan to do. Nothing could be further from the truth. We may respect you, your work or the vast complexity of your mind. We may admire the many successes you’ve had in your business life. We may even love you and your family with all of our heart. But when have you ever found two people (no matter how close) who agree on everything 100 percent of the time? Never, because it doesn’t happen. So, our politicians should never assume that we will acquiesce to all their ideas for progress simply because we voted for them. But they often do, don’t they? Lately, I’ve noticed that our elected leaders have plans for us that they don’t seem open to discuss. When asked for details, they look as though we had slapped them. As if they were thinking, “How dare you question me?!” There seems to be a growing sense of arrogance among our lawmakers and we, the people are extremely angry and may not countenance it much longer. I’m talking mostly about our dear politicians in federal government but, there are those in state and local government who abuse their smaller positions of power just as often as the Washington bureaucrats. They should all be frequently challenged to account for their actions, just as any employee would be required to. There are several methods of recourse and, none of them are pretty. I suppose the quickest, best and most effective way would be to speak directly to them. I’ve never really been one to write letters to my elected officials but, if I were to do so, I imagine it would sound something like this: To the President, Vice President, the Cabinet, Speaker of the House, Majority and Minority Leaders in Congress, all congressional representatives and senators, governors, lieutenant governors, state representatives and senators, mayors, council members and all other elected officials, regardless of political party or affiliation: Please forgive me for disturbing your important work but, as one your employers, I felt it necessary to express my opinion to all of you, regarding our present situation and how I suggest you apply your efforts in the future to help correct the current conditions we are facing. At the present time, we are tremendously in debt, millions more of us are now in the unemployment line, hundreds of thousands are sick in hospitals, our infrastructure is crumbling and new restrictions are being forced upon us daily, without our consent. Although I gave you my support to achieve your current post, I am far from impressed at how you have occupied your position and managed my affairs. For decades now, you have voted yourselves increasing salaries even though our national debt is alarming and the amount you so easily grant yourself is far more than I make as your employer. You do not even seem to harbor any remorse over this fact. You act as if it is your “due,” simply because you occupy the post . It isn’t. If you wish to test what I’m saying, just go to any CEO of any corporation in this country. Ask them if their employees can vote themselves pay raises, use company money for their vacations, receive free insurance and medical care, gym memberships, free meals, around-the-clock security, housing/hotel allowances and numerous other perks and benefits — all at YOUR expense and WITHOUT even seeking your consent. You’ll find that it simply doesn’t happen that way in a business. No American employer would allow any of those things to occur without a lengthy, detailed (and emotional) discussion between boss and employee. You have also made deals with large corporations and other countries and you only give us vague information regarding the specifics of these agreements. We hear things like, “Oh, it will be better for everyone in the long run,” without any explanation of exactly what that means. We usually find out years later that the deal wasn’t nearly as fantastic as you pretended it was. Of course, by that time, you’ve already received your “cut” of the profits as deal broker and the rest of us (your bosses) are left holding the bag. But if your deceitful act got you re-elected, it was worth it to fool us and steal our money, right? We are fed up with you “rattling the sabers” of war and screaming “Patriotism, freedom and justice!” to get us impassioned enough to send thousands of our children into battle. We are exhausted by your attempts to paint anyone who disagrees with war as a “coward” simply because they won’t go into combat and allow some international company (in which you own stock) to obtain leasing rights to some foreign country’s natural resources. We are tired of living with broken homes because our sons and daughters died just so you could make an extra $10 million next year on your oil, tin, copper, or uranium deposits. We hear your constant pleas for us to send troops overseas to “ease the suffering” of the people in other countries. Yet, you lie to, cheat and steal from the people suffering here at home. We are also disgusted with your many photo-ops, public appearances and daily attempts to “glorify” yourselves at our expense. Your relationship with many in the media and big industry is well-known and has been going on for a long time. But, in this country, we have access to all the information gathered since the beginning of time. Although many may not utilize the knowledge available to them, please do not ever assume that NONE of us are informed. We are, and our numbers are growing exponentially. When we ask a question, we are tired of hearing phrases like, “Well, there are things you don’t know and might not understand.” We are your employers. If our employees are keeping vital information from us, that in itself is a major violation and should be grounds for immediate termination. How can we, as your boss, make an “informed” choice when we lack the pertinent data required for such a decision? We are not fooled by your attempts to “pay us off”, either. We have seen the continuous paychecks being sent out to placate those of us who wish to be at home rather than work. We have heard you say you were “giving us assistance”. GIVING us? Do you not realize that we know it is OUR money you are “giving” us? We know that we will have to pay it back (through taxes or other fees), with considerable interest. We are tired of you thinking we are just ignorant sheep who can’t see the truth or understand what is really going on. We see you giving out federal money to your cronies and lackeys so they will go along with what you plan to do. We’re not blind. All across our country, we have major structural problems to deal with. Until we correct what is already damaged, we shouldn’t even consider any new construction, no matter how “nice” we think it will be. We are tired of you ignoring our requests for change. Our infrastructure is collapsing and, for a long time, we have been desperately calling for necessary repairs. We know you are quite aware of what needs to be done, so please do not exhaust us with (or charge us for) another “study” into what our problems are. We have spent millions on evaluations and studies over the past few decades. We already know what needs to be repaired … just stop STUDYING the problems and start FIXING them! There are many more issues I would like to discuss with you but, I realize you have work to do. Work that you haven’t been doing very well lately so, any delay by me will put you farther behind on your numerous “unaccomplished” tasks. I expect to see your efforts improve tremendously if our company is going to grow and be beneficial to all involved. Yes, America is a vast corporation, and we, the people are the CEOs. YOU are the employees, and you need to engrave that deep into your minds. The sooner you realize this, the better off we all will be. You are our “servants,” not our bosses. As one of your supervisors, I want you to know that we realize all that you’re doing, the good and the bad. We are quite aware that alot of work has been neglected for decades and the backlog you’re dealing with is immense. We also know quite well how the “game” is played and, we may or may not let you know how we feel about things from day to day. But, we will, eventually. For so long, we have remained silent and meandered our way through the hurdles you’ve consistently placed in our way. We are good, honest people and we don’t like confrontation. However, we cannot stand for much more. We have given you generous salaries, fantastic benefits and a retirement plan that is the envy of the world. We don’t mind rewarding you for good work. But that isn’t what we’ve seen lately. In fact, we have been accustomed to seeing things NOT “go well” for quite some time. We don’t want to withdraw your pay, we just want you to start EARNING it! This is a publicly-owned company and the workplace is no area for childish arguments, tantrums, “personalities” or “attitudes”. Now, get over your petty differences, realize that you’re all employees and work together to fix these problems! Sincerly yours, A Shareholder Yes, if I were to ever write a letter to my elected officials, it would sound something like that. I wonder if anyone would pay attention to it?