When the Founders Fathers passed our Constitution in 1787, the idea of a representative republic was a grand idea — an experiment — as no one in power had ever executed such a distributive model for governance. At the end of the constitutional convention, Ben Franklin answered the question about what form of government the convention had created by stating, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Franklin, as well as the others in attendance, knew this idea of a representative republic would only work as long as regular citizens served as our representatives. Our first president George Washington set the example of returning to private life after only two terms as President. Washington said when being asked to run for a third term, “I had rather be in my grave than in my present situation, I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world; and yet they charge me with wanting to be a king.”
However today we have few such noble individuals “serving” in government. Most expect to be there for life. We can look no further than to our own representative Greg Walden, who is seeking his ninth term. This is after serving three terms in the Oregon House and a partial term in the Oregon Senate. When you add it all up, Greg Walden has been “representing” us, in one form or another, for 30 years now. This type of service is exactly what Franklin and the other Founders feared might happen. Men and women, would masquerade about as servants of the people, but really live as kings and queens. Today we call them professional or career politicians.
If we want to reform our nation into a true representative republic, we need to start electing people that are like us — who work in the private sector, who struggle paying the bills, and who know the burden of Washington’s over-regulation and taxes. We can not continue to elect career politicians who have fallen prey to the power of Washington at the peril of the people. Is Walden one of us? The answer is clearly no. He is one of them — one of the kings, who only seems to show up in Oregon when it is necessary to secure a return ticket to the U.S. House for another term. He claims to have been a businessman, but there are only two years in his resume that would allow for such and enterprise. Two years in private life verses 30 years as a government employee does not reflect the majority of us. It reflects the few and the privileged. Moreover, during Walden’s 16 years in congress he has done little if anything to remove any form of government. He pretends to fight for us but his solutions always seem to end with compromise in order to keep the real power in Washington.
The constitutional convention of 1787 was not a represented by lifetime Federal bureaucrats but by people who truly believed in a specific role and limit to the Federal government, with all other powers granted to the states and their people. They feared a powerful Federal government would lead to the end of this Republic. Therefore the Constitution enumerates only 18 specific duties for the Federal government. However, that is not the form of government we have today. Instead we see an all-power Washington that dictates to the States a one-size-fits-all agenda with no regard the diversity, way of life or economic impact on the rest of us.
Until we change our representation in Washington, until we elect someone who will really fight for State and individual rights over the burdensome, dictatorial Federal leviathan, we are destined to become a monarchy — with an emperor and his court of jesters pretending to represent the people.