Bending over backwards to please special interests

Dave business photo edited

David R. Shearman

Bending over backwards to please special interests

October 15, 2015

I have to ask a question. Do our representatives in government, whatever level, actually represent the opinions, social desires or the will of their constituencies? I have to add one caveat to that – by constituencies, I mean the majority opinion, not the minority or special interest groups.

I’m waiting. Cringing, I anticipate the answer – already knowing what it is.

I never get any phone calls from my leaders asking me what my opinion is on a particular matter. I don’t get invited to the office of my representatives to chit chat about issues and concerns, societal ills or pending decisions that may impact my life in some way.

Yes, I understand that we are a nation of some 300 million folks and things just aren’t the same as when this whole experiment in democracy was established, when citizens gathered in the local square to express their concerns. I get it, but I just feel that my destiny and my life is being determined by a representative who is either bringing forth legislation that he or she solely believes is best for me or he or she is bending to some small minority group.

I’ll give you a few examples that I have looked into recently with a disclaimer. I realize these incidents didn’t happen in Kansas, or even Leavenworth, but I do believe that in politics there is such a thing as creeping legislation. I also believe that there is something contagious going around and it has manifested in the form of guilt – American guilt.

First issue comes out of California where the state legislature recently banned – outlawed – the use of the term “Redskins” as the mascot for any sports team in that state. The term, as we know, is obviously directly associated with Native Americans. I am not getting into whether or not the term is racist or somehow causes harm to some individual somewhere. My point is that a representative by the name of Luis Alejo (Democrat) who represents the 30th District wrote the bill that is now law. I am just curious. When less than 1 percent of the population of his district is Native American, why did he bring forth this bill? It doesn’t appear that this represents the majority interest in his district.

Actually, a 2004 survey by the National Annenberg Election Survey revealed that 90 percent of the polled Native Americans didn’t have a problem with the use of the term “Redskins” for a school mascot. In fact, many of the schools located on reservations have mascots named after their heritage which offers a tribute to their history. What was particularly interesting to me was the fact that the majority of Native Americans were more concerned about other issues such as the environment, decent education, economic opportunities and health care rather than the name of a school mascot.

Another issue of non-representation, also out of California, this time Rep. Steve Glazer (Democrat) from the 7th District who feels so strongly about the history of this country and, specifically the Civil War, that he brought forward a state bill (SB-539) that would ban the use of the names of Confederate soldiers of leaders from all public roadways, buildings, etc. Once again, I am not debating the many issues relating to the Civil War, the issue of slavery being obviously one of them. I am concerned about the minority imposing their will upon the people. I am even more concerned about the state government, in this case, coming down on the thousands of local governments in that state and telling them what is best for their communities and citizens.

This example of government overreach jumped out at me when I watched the video of Glazer’s presentation of his bill before the Judiciary Committee in July. A Republican member of the committee voiced his concern to Glazer about government overreach and the proverbial “slippery slope” when he voiced his opinion that this issue should be left to the local governments and, more importantly, the will of the people at the local level. Glazer’s response was, “We’ve given them 50, 60, 70 years to work on that and still we see these things in our state. I think that we have given them that opportunity to do the right thing locally … and we need to give them a little nudge to get it right.”

So the heavy hand of the state government believes that they know what is best for the locals and, by golly, we are going to show them the errors of their ways. Or is it just one person, Democratic Rep. Glazer, for whatever personal reason – or special interest group – who wants to impose their over-regulatory views upon the masses rather that obliging themselves to the will of the majority?

Yes, these two incidents happened way over in California but don’t think for a minute that legislative creep combined with that contagious flu called American guilt can’t make its way here and start having dire affect. An informed people are a powerful people and the majority should be the majority rather than the minority being the majority.

Viper One Six – Out.

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