To restore trust in government, don’t vote for an incumbent

Source Flickr Author JL Johnson |

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2014 — A number of recent scandals seem to have something in common: A difference exists between what we believe should happen and what is actually happening. And it is occurring in areas of great concern.

It started with the deaths of four Americans in Libya. We believe that American diplomats and other non-military employees of the U.S. government should be protected and reasonably safe in any area of the world where they are assigned. The State Department is responsible for their safety and has congressional oversight.

We believe that journalists have a right and a duty to provide accurate information to the public. Their privacy and their ability to perform their functions should be protected by law, which is enforced by the Justice Department with congressional oversight.

We believe that the IRS collects just the data required to accurately determine tax liability, and that this information is private and secure. We further believe that the IRS is an unbiased, non-political agency. The Treasury Department is supposed to monitor IRS activity, with congressional oversight.

We believe that the National Security Agency collects signals intelligence on foreign governments and sifts data to uncover terrorists.  We understand that information about private citizens may at times be swept up, infringing on our rights to privacy as intelligence agencies strike a balance between being thorough and being focused. But we believe that the NSA will respect our rights and not collect any more personal information than is absolutely necessary to insure safety.  We also believe that this information will be kept confidential and safe. The executive branch monitors this for us, with congressional oversight.

We believed that the Affordable Care Act would result in virtually all Americans being covered by health insurance and that the insurance would be affordable. The new law would allow us to keep the policy we had, if we liked it, and keep the doctors we are used to seeing. It would also result in lower costs. The president assured us of this and Congress passed the law.

The problem is that there seems to be a big difference between reality and what we believe to be reality and that there seems to be no one looking out for our interests. So what do we do?

As a result of these incidents, we have lost trust in government. Even the ever popular and eloquently spoken President Obama has lost credibility as his approval rating plummets. During his first term in office, his speeches were inspiring. Even if you disagreed with what he was saying, he said it in such a manner that you knew he truly believed his words and he was being completely forthright. Now things are different. The administration is either not properly monitoring the agencies to insure our trust, or they simply are not being truthful with us. Either way, we have lost trust.

How about Congress?

Congress is supposed to oversee the administration’s actions to ensure that the laws are followed and that the American people are aware. They have failed us miserably.  Some members of Congress assure us of competent oversight while others claim there is no oversight at all. The result is that we have lost trust in Congress as well. So how do we fix this?

The answer is relatively simple: Remove all incumbents.  For the next four years, we must first make sure that each of us vote in every election. Then, in order to clean house, we simply take the position that we will not vote for any incumbent in either a primary or general election. That is, we will not vote for anyone currently holding an elected position with the federal government.

Every politician in virtually every election tells us that when they get to Washington things will change. Yet once they are there, things change do not change, mostly because they are influenced by the incumbent members of Congress. The only way to insure that this does not happen is to remove all incumbents. That way, every member of Congress is new and cannot be influenced by the old establishment.

So let’s completely clean house. After all, a whole new Congress could hardly do a worse job, and maybe they can restore the trust.

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  • sickofthelies

    Lobbyists are also a big problem. They easily influence congressmen with expensive gifts and cash donations or rely on personal friendships through past political positions to sway a vote in their corporations favor. They get paid well to do that. Big banks are the worst offenders. Health Insurance companies have taken advantage of our forced by the governments need to have insurance by not making health care affordable. I wonder how far their lobbyists have influenced this market?