The Consent of the Governed


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Yesterday I was reading an article that stated that a recent Rasmussen poll says “that only 23 percent of the people in this country believe today’s federal government has the consent of the governed.”

What exactly does that mean?  Didn’t we give them consent when we elected them to office?  Or does it mean that they are governing and implementing policies that a majority of Americans are against?  I believe it’s the latter.  Lately I have been hearing a large number of people saying this is not the hope and change they were looking for.  I usually follow up that statement with a question; if this was not the hope and change you expected, than what exactly were you looking for?  Nine times out of ten I get the same response; no more double standards for those in power and a strong desire to get the government out of their lives.  This falls right in line with what Mr. Rasmussen discovered is his polling data.

Political parties are viewed more and more as being part of the problem than the solution. Mr. Rasmussen found “that the major division in this country is no longer between parties but between political elites and the people.” Once again this falls in line with what the people I have talked to had to say about this.  There is a strong feeling that different rules apply for the political elite than regular everyday folks; a double standard if you will.  When people witness firsthand a Secretary of the Treasury that evaded his income taxes and all he receives is what amounts to a slap on the wrist, it’s only natural for them to ask, what if it was me.  This flies in the face of the rule of law and its equal and fair application across the spectrum of America.  This makes a mockery of our laws and creates clear lines of division between the political elites and the governed.

The second major thing that the poll found was that the majority of the people believe that their government is acting outside the parameters of the consent of the governed in terms of policy and legislation.  Basically they’re not listening to us and the will of the people along with our Constitution are being steamrolled over by these same political elites who believe they know what is best for us.  From out of control spending to healthcare, these elites have been tone deaf and have ignored the voice of the people.  We watched this play out last year with the Tea Party movement.  They not only mocked it, but painted them as a bunch of uneducated illiterate racists.  This is the typical reaction for a government filled with progressives from both parties.  Progressives have always viewed themselves as the keeper of some privileged knowledge that no one else has or is allowed access to.  They know what is best for us better than we do.  How’s that for elitism.

Additionally a large number of people I talk to feel that both parties are to blame for our current woes and I find it extremely difficult to refute this claim.  The one thing I know is that people are getting fed up and they are looking to the past for answers.  They are tired of the same results under a different party name in power.  An undeniable fact is that the size and role of government has expanded under both parties in power and our liberties have suffered greatly because of it.  The people that bought into Barack Obama’s hope and change message truly believed he would get Washington’s house in order.  However with the exception of the fringe far left most people are coming to terms with the harsh reality that Obama has doubled down and created more division and partisanship while further expanding the size of government.  Their bubble has been burst and they are now running from him as fast as they voted for him.  Many feel betrayed while others feel the system is broken beyond repair.  And both parties have had a hand in creating the choppy waters we currently find ourselves trying to navigate.

So this November we have a few options.  The first is slowing our slide to bankruptcy by removing those in power who have supported this stormy climate of out of control spending and government expansion.  This will not be a quick fix, but it does buy us time.  The people are correct when they say the problems in Washington are rooted deep.  I believe it will take four to six elections cycles to get a majority of constitutionally minded people in office both on the national and state levels.  This is not a sprint but a marathon.  The second thing we need to do is critically examine the people we are giving our consent to govern.  And the best way is their voting records on both a local and if required national level.  We can no longer take for granted that the people we are electing have the best interest of the people and our country in mind.  Emotional appeal cannot sway our logic.  We must separate facts from emotion and vote based on the facts.  And lastly we must stay engaged.  Staying engaged exercises the mind, body, and spirit and keeps us sharp.  Because there will always be some force hiding in the shadows waiting for us to nod off again so they can steal away our liberties and steer us down a path towards tyranny.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

Original Post: The Current

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  • John, thank you for a wonderful post. With the elites, in both parties, looking at we the people with disdain, we have to recognize that the change goes well beyond November.

  • Thank you for posting it Matt. It is indeed a marathon and we must look beyond this November because it will take many Novembers to clean up the Republican party as well as Washington.

    • Thanks for the kind words Jason. We must take off our Republican and Democrat goggles and see clearly without party bias. We must decide which candidates’ stand with a constitutional republic and which do not and vote for the one that stand for the constitutional republic not matter what party they are affiliated with. We verify their position by how they voted on key issues.

  • Great article on the mentality of the nation at this point. Your point about this being a marathon and not a sprint is right on. We (the majority) have to keep pounding and pounding the ears of Washington and the voter poll booths until they no longer have our country by the throat.

    And yes, it is both parties very much so. Our nation must get out of the habit of just voting back in the incumbent just because we know them and are familiar with their so-called thinking. Great post John.

  • Very well written. And some pretty deep truth. The only way we can win this without simply pressing the reset button and having to rebuild from the ashes is that marathon, piece at a time approach.

    Sometimes I wonder which would be better, but cleaning up huge messes in one go is much more difficult than slow and steady.

    • Thanks for the comments cmblake6. It will indeed take some time, but as long as we keep our focus we will get it done.