Declaration of Independence
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Amendment X, Constitution of the United States
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
President Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
We've forgotten where the real political power in America lies. Or perhaps, better said, we've become apathetic to where the real political power in America should be vested.
The power in American politics was always designed to lie in the People. To be vested in the citizens of this country.
And it was meant to be used to correct our representatives when they get out of line. We seem to have forgotten that the elected officials are our representatives. They work for us. They are elected to voice our interests. To reflect the interests of their constituents. To zealously advocate for those interests.
The position of our elected officials was never meant to be a permanent one. It was not meant to be a full-time job. It was designed for average citizens, connected to the people, to go to their representative bodies and then to go back home. To stay connected to their constituency. We've let that get out of hand, particularly in the Congress. We've placed term limits on the Presidency, but we've let the Congress go unchecked.
As a result, the trend of the average length of service of our Congressmen has continually increased. We are at a point where they spend an average of ten to twelve years in their position. Forty-four of our current Senators have been serving longer than eight years. One hundred and fifty of our Representatives have been serving longer than eight years as well. Fourteen of our Senators and Representatives rank among the longest serving Congressmen ever.
This continues because reelection rates for incumbents remain ridiculously high. Reelection rates for House incumbents have been over 80% since 1964. Reelection rates in the Senate have been generally lower, but have still been generally over 60% in the same time frame, with little exception.
This is in our power to correct. The majority of Americans are dissatisfied with American politics. Seventy-seven percent say they are currently dissatisfied. Public trust in the government is even at near historic lows. Only 17% of Americans today say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always” or “most of the time."
This creates the paradox. Why do we keep reelecting our representatives, if we're not happy with their results?
Why do we keep doing the same things and expect different results?
Isn't that the definition of insanity?
Is our allegiance to party and blind devotion there so strong that it's lead us to insane results?
We have to do something to break the cycle.
To that end, I've proposed a pledge. A Re-Movement. A movement about removal, regarding a movement.
It's a commitment to vote against every incumbent in the upcoming election. If we want to take back the power to the people, we have to do it through the ballot. If we want to show the representatives that we have the power and we will use it, we have to vote them out. And if we commit to vote out every incumbent over the next six years, the next three elections, we can replace them all. We can show them that their current tactics will no longer work.
And it takes a commitment to voting them ALL out. Top down. From President to local Representative. It's about showing the parties that we will be listened to and reckoned with. It's about getting the attention of the national parties.
If you can't vote against party, it's about voting in primary elections to keep incumbents from getting their party's nomination. It's about finding third party candidates to support instead of the major party that you cannot support.
It's easy, it just takes dedication to the cause.
To that end, if you're interested, if you're willing to commit to removing them, watch re-movement.org. The site is up and ready to go.
And further, pass it along and get others to share in the pledge.
This is the kind of movement that can really get traction. And it can restore political power back to where it was designed to belong.
If we want it.