Never have so many done so little for so few.
|Fed up with the way things were being handled on the farm, a donkey by the name of George decided that he would run for office.
"You can't run for office George," his friend Albert brayed. "You're not rich, you're not handsome, you're not a member of the minority, you're not wealthy and you don't belong to either of the major Parties."
"What's any of that got to do with it?" George asked.
"Well, for starters the ducks run the Quacker Party and the cows run the Bull Party because they outnumber the rest of us," Albert responded. "And, unless you belong to one Party or the other you don’t stand a chance of getting a majority vote."
"What's wealth got to do with it?"
"It takes tons of grain to get anyone to listen to you," Albert replied. "The Parties control the real big grain bins. Those without grain to give are never heard from."
"If you look close you may notice that I do happen to be a minority," George blurted. "There's only four donkeys on the entire farm."
"Don't work that way George. You have to be a minority within one of the Party groups. For instance, you may notice that among the elected ducks most of them are green and black. However, two of them are solid green because they have the backing of the solid green ducks that make up a small minority among the duck population. They banded together to get at least a few of their solid green candidates into office. That way they stand a better chance of swaying their Party vote when it comes to parceling out the grain."
"Well, I am rather intelligent," George noted. "Doesn't that count for anything?"
"You don’t have to be smart to be a representative George, all you have to be is savvy."
"What do you mean savvy?"
"As they say, you have to know when to hold'em and know when to fold'em. If you belong to one Party or the other, you must vote with that Party even if you don't like what's in the bill. Otherwise, you become a one term wonder, a lame duck - pardon the expression."
"So, being a representative is not about doing what's best for the farm, it's doing what's best for the Party. Is that a correct assumption?" George brayed.
"You're catching on kid," Albert replied. "If you do get lucky and win a seat as a representative, in order to keep that seat and the benefits that go with it, you must go with the Party line."
"Well, if they're more concerned with the Party than with the farm, how can you say they're our representatives?" George asked. "Aren't they representing themselves and their friends and not all of the farm animals?"
"That's the way it's done kid. In order to get anything done you must go through your representative. In order for them to get anything done they have to go through their Party. The longer they stay in office, the more seniority they have and the better committee positions they get, such as grain appropriations. They get to decide who gets most of the grain."
"So, you're saying the only way that residents of a poor section of the farm can get their fair share of grain is to have a representative who has been in office for many years and worked their way up to a senior position?"
"You're a genius George."
"So that's why they want to stay in office forever?" George asked.
"That and the fact that they earn lots of grain, have tons of prestige, lord it over the rest of us, make the rules we live by, and decide who gets what," Albert replied. "Also, while they're in office they make scores of contacts with lobbyists and can write their on salary when they retire along with their big pension from the farm."
"Aren't the Parties good because they balance each other, sort of like checks and balances, so that each Party doesn't get too carried away with any particular program?" George asked.
"Problem is," replied Albert. "When one Party comes up with a really great idea to finally get something done, the other Party is dead set against it even if it is great because it will make the rival Party look good."
"Checks and balances are why we have the three branches of government and why we have the Senate and House of Representatives. If the House makes a bill the Senate doesn't like, or vice versa, they hash out their differences. There is no need for Party politics to get it all messed up. We must remember George that we are NOT a democracy."
"Democracy is based on majority rule and so long as government does what the majority dictates, democratic principles exist. If the majority of the ducks voted to run the donkeys off the farm, that's democracy, but it is not freedom. Our government was founded on the principal of freedom, not majority rule. Therefore, our government is restricted to protecting OUR individual rights, not the vote of the majority. Too many politicians forget this founding principal and try to take our freedoms away to appease the popular thinking of the majority at the time."
"There's got to be a better way," George pondered.
"There is George," replied Albert. "It's called term limits and getting rid of the Parties. Political parties are NOT part of our Constitution. If we elected representatives to office for say, a six year term, gave them enough income to defray and support them while in office, eliminated the Parties so that they represented their districts and not their Party, that would make a very big difference."
"No more Party politics and no more professional representatives," George stated. "Hey! I like that idea. That way, the only ones who would run for office are those who honestly and truly want to serve and make things better and not those who see office as a wealthy career path. If someone knows they're in for six years to do a job, then they have to turn it over to the next representative, that might work for the best. Even make the President's office a one term affair, that way they won't be running for reelection all the time."
"Never happen George!"
"Why not, it sounds like the best way to get honest representation?"
"Too many of the farm animals could care less," Albert replied. "They gripe and groan but more than half of them never vote in the first place. They want things to run well but don't want to get involved in the process. It's called apathy. And, those that do vote, most will stick with their Parties. You still going to run for office George?"
"Better believe it!" George replied. "I'm tired of government making an ASS out of me and spreading the manure around. I'm running on a "term limits and get rid of the Parties" platform!"