Saturday, December 17, 2011

An American Lawmaker's Creed

I desire to be a lawmaker. This is my creed.

I understand that human beings are selfish. I understand that their selfishness leads them to do good things and to do bad things.

On the good side, their selfishness leads people to work hard to provide goods and services that other Americans desire and are willing to pay for, and to form companies that provide jobs for their fellow Americans who also are willing to work hard to provide the goods and services.

On the bad side, peoples's selfishness can cause them to lie, cheat, commit other malfeasance and be negligent in how they go about their business.

My job as a lawmaker is to make laws that do not impede the good things that people do growing out of their selfishness, and to make laws that seek to prevent or limit the bad things that people may do as a result of their selfishness.

In doing my job as a lawmaker, I understand that a law has great potential to favor some private parties and to disfavor other private parties, and those private parties know that very well and are highly motivated to try to influence me to vote for laws that favor them and disfavor others. I need to be on my guard about this and, if I vote for laws that favor some private parties and disfavor others, I have an obligation to be honest with my constituents about what I have done and why.

Further, I am cognizant that the bigger government is, and the more pervasively it affects people's businesses and economic livelihoods, the more pernicious is the corruption of the political process in order to gain advantage for private economic interest. This can lead to gridlock, polarization and broken government that impedes the government in solving the country's problems.

I believe, in the current political environment, my lawmaker's creed does not prevail in practice.  It does not prevail because, to get elected and stay elected, one must mainly not follow the creed. The reason that one must not follow the creed is because contributions that one needs to run a political campaign and get elected need to be obtained from private parties who require that they be favored and not disfavored under laws that are passed, one must accede to that as a lawmaker, and that accession must be hidden from the voters.

Change is not impossible. It is possible that my American lawmaker's creed could prevail in practice and that lawmakers could, in fact, follow it and be honest with their constitutents.

The best chance for my creed to prevail is for citizens to act in unison to demand that my creed be followed by their lawmakers. Part of my job is to tell the citizens they must act in unison.

To conclude, I must be vigilant and honest with my constituents about my own compliance with my American lawmaker's creed.

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