The Un-Representative Republic
Updated: Mar 13
Any American who learned basic civics could tell you that the US is a representative republic and that its government is comprised of three branches, as outlined by the US Constitution. The Executive branch is comprised of the president, vice president, the cabinet, and a few executive agencies. The Judicial branch is comprised of the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts. The Legislative branch includes the House and the Senate. As you might remember learning in high school, the legislative branch writes laws, the executive branch executes laws, and the judiciary branch clarifies laws/makes rulings on specific cases when necessary.
We all learn that each of the 50 states is represented in the US Senate by 2 Senators and in the House by a varying number of Representatives based on the population of the state. We are taught that legislation is written by and voted on by the House and the Senate and then signed into law (or vetoed) by the president. Thus, we all have representation in the legislative process in Washington DC.
So, why do some Americans believe that they are not represented in the government?
1) The Other Voters
In 2014, Jeanne Shaheen received 251,184 votes from New Hampshire voters, which amounted to 51.5% of the votes cast. This earned her a seat in the US Senate. One could argue that she now represents the people who voted for her, but what about the 48.5% of NH voters who voted against her? What about the 900,000 people in NH who did not vote at all? It is difficult to make the argument that their wishes are represented by her in Washington DC. Those who support gun rights, low taxes, states’ rights, and the right to life strongly oppose how she votes in the Senate. Some (arguably suffering from Stockholm Syndrome) might argue that Shaheen did receive over 50% of the votes cast, and therefore, she has the authority to represent every NH citizen, even when she supports authoritarian legislation that takes money and freedom from us all. I find this argument to be ridiculous, as even 99.9% of the vote should not give a person authority to steal what rightfully belongs to another person. Property rights are non-negotiable by anyone other than the property owner themselves.
However, many government officials are elected with much less than 50% of the vote. Carol Shea-Porter was elected to the US House to represent NH’s 1st congressional district in 2016 with only 162,080 out of the 365,572 votes cast (44.3%). Thus, the pro-government advocate in this debate must concede that politicians who win elections could enjoy the moral authority to rule over others despite receiving less than half of the vote. We don’t even need to mention how party elites (Schumer, Pelosi, Clinton, McConnell, Ryan, Romney, etc.) choose their party’s nominees long before the actual primary occurs. Yes, primaries are generally rigged by party leaders. Both Republican and Democratic voters often have a horrible candidate shoved in their faces and are convinced to vote for their party’s nominee because “...Well, he couldn’t possibly be as bad as [insert opposing party’s nominee]!”
If you think that 44.3% of the vote might be too low to elect someone to power, guess how many New Jersey voters affirmatively supported Chris Christie in his 2013 gubernatorial primary. Given a few choices, less than 4% of registered voters in NJ affirmatively voted that Christie should be their governor. Those few votes did amount to the highest vote total among the Republican primary candidates, and he went on to win the general election, largely because the Democratic nominee was even more hated by New Jersey's voters. Yet, every single human in NJ had to obey his laws or face the full force of the law for four years. Over 96% of those registered to vote in NJ essentially voted against Christie. In a Constitutional Republic where natural rights were immune to legislation, such an election would not be a major blow to liberty. However, this nation is shifting closer to a democratic oligarchy each year. Those who technically win elections get to remove any rights and freedoms they wish. After all, they were duly elected by the people!
2) Who Writes Legislation?
Okay, imagine that we lived in a utopia where Senators and Representatives only won elections if they received 100% of the vote. In such a world, however, legislative procedure would remain the way it is today on Earth. Would I be satisfied?
Unfortunately, I would not be, because we still would not be represented in the legislative process. It turns out that not every Senator and Representative has the opportunity to author and propose bills. Well, I suppose that anyone could theoretically draft a bill, but leadership (the fine folks like Schumer, McConnell, Pelosi, Ryan, Obama, Clinton, Trump, Bush, etc.) retain roughly 100% control over which bills make it out of the committee and to the Floor for a vote. If I were elected to the US House with 100% of the vote from voters in my district, I still would have no real power. I could write and propose the most libertarian, constitutional bills, but it would be futile. Whichever committees my bills were assigned to would ensure (due to the commands from the leadership) that they were killed swiftly.
Additionally, the Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress write illegal omnibus bills which contain thousands of pages and trillions of dollars in spending and then give it to the rest of the powerless Representatives and Senators mere hours before the vote takes place. Legislators, therefore, don’t have to read the bill. They already know that they will be supporting the bill - because that’s what leadership demands.
3) The 4th Branch
As we discussed earlier, the US Constitution created three branches of government. Nowhere in the Constitution are ‘agencies’ granted the power to make laws. Over a century ago, however, Congress and the President began to create agencies in order to improve the 'efficiency' of legislation. Unfortunately, Americans did not hang those congressmen, and the cancer called ‘The 4th Branch’ was born. Since its creation, the regulatory Goliath has grown to over 400 agencies, most of which have regulatory powers - that is, power to create laws, and some of which have their own SWAT teams. Today, agencies comprised of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats create more laws than Congress does! Congressmen get to pass the buck and tell constituents that they can’t be blamed for the new laws, the government gets to maintain and grow their control over our lives, and Americans like you and me get screwed.
Did you really think that your Representatives and Senators would actually pass the laws that you elected them to pass? Ha!
4) Judicial Tyranny
Throughout the US, on the federal, state, and local level, courts usurp power from the citizenry further diminishing their representation in government. Considering that freedom and representative government are considered by so many Americans to be our nation's greatest characteristics, this is quite concerning.
The federal courts often block presidential and congressional policies, essentially with no oversight or accountability. The Supreme Court regularly violates the (practically nonexistent) 9th and 10th amendments by ruling on cases that they have no business hearing - and then declaring their rulings to be ‘precedent’ for all 320 million Americans indefinitely. The Supreme Court apparently has the power to reinterpret federal bills in order to allow the federal government to punish Americans who do not purchase a certain product. Until a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court has forced every state (besides for Nevada, which was grandfathered) to prohibit their citizens from betting on sports. The Court recently ruled that states and municipalities can force businesses in other states to collect sales taxes on their behalf when conducting online sales. President Trump applauded the ruling. If small businesses in New Hampshire obey this new federal ‘law’, they could go out of business. Were small business owners in New Hampshire represented in this judicial legislation?
State courts control whether state laws are ‘legal’ and how congressional districts are drawn. Local judges are often powerful and corrupt, as well. They regularly let other governmental criminals off of the hook. They regularly allow the city governments to steal land from innocent people. When a Connecticut town stole a Susan Kelo’s house in order to give the land to a large business that planned to move into town, the Connecticut Supreme Court justified the theft. On appeal, the US Supreme Court confirmed that a city taking someone’s home against their will in order to create economic development on the land does not violate the US Constitution.
Additional Distortions of Our Representation:
State Representatives and Senators in each state are responsible for determining the borders of each congressional district every ten years. Naturally, both Republicans and Democrats work secure some districts to be guaranteed wins for their parties. For example: If your state had 10 congressional seats, you would love to draw 4 districts which would be comprised of voters who strongly support your party, making congressional win easy every 2 years. Then, all you’ve had to do is win 2 more districts in your state and your party would own 6 out of the state’s 10 districts. The opposing party’s state and federal politicians would make deals with you that allow them to draw or ‘gerrymander’ 4 districts which give them easy victories. They’re a confident bunch, so that believe that they can beat your party in the 2 competitive races in the state. Instead of districts being square or round, they are now often ridiculously contorted, long, complicated shapes.
The more gerrymandered a district, the less meaningful each vote. Remember; politicians rigged the election by drawing the district in a way that includes far more of their supporters than the opposition’s, rendering millions of votes meaningless.
Just as they do with ‘banking reform’, every politician from both major parties claim to be the next Messiah of ‘ending gerrymandering once and for all’ if elected. Yet, the issue is never fixed. And it never will be.
Of the 195 states on Earth, 193 of them are members of the United Nations. The UN can make ‘laws’ which apply to all 193 nations in the union. The UN does have a military, though they would be more likely to punish delinquent nations by using sanctions. Examples of recent UN ‘treaties’ which made the news were the ‘Paris Climate Accord’ and the ‘Arms Trade Treaty’.
One of the few issues that is hardly disputed on a partisan basis entails lobbyists. The short story is this: As long as we have a right to freedom/free speech, people and companies will use their money, resources, and speech to affect legislation and policy. While this is preferable to the alternative (fascist destruction of free speech), the government will inevitably be affected by lobbyists who are paid by companies to speak out and/or bribe legislators to benefit them. The more powerful the government, the more control lobbyists have over the citizenry.
The only solution is to continually and ferociously take power back from the government. Once the government becomes less powerful than the individual, all of the unrepresentative issues highlighted by this article will hardly even seem to be a problem. After all, who cares how terrible a government is if the government is too weak to hurt you?
Voter Fraud and Hacking
There are likely millions of illegal aliens voting in the US each election. Many deceased people remain on voter rolls throughout the US, and many people vote more than once. Additionally, electronic voting methods are much easier to hack than people would like to believe. A young child hacked Florida's voting site in under 10 minutes, changing the outcome of an election.
Quid pro quo
It is standard practice for politicians to receive 'donations' from their cronies and then award them tremendous government contracts (meaning give them taxpayer money) in exchange for their donation. This is corruption, plain and simple.
Even the Constitution Gives Government No Authority
The below video is the audio-book of 'No Treason' by Lysander Spooner, a pro-liberty activist from the 1800s. The book explains in an incredibly clear and indisputable way why the Constitution grants no power to anyone who claims to be part of a 'government'.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views held by The Liberty Block or any of its contributors or members.