Michael Battalio

Sunday, June 07, 2015

My politics (part 6): Poor Representation

This series deals with some of my stances on political affairs and topics of the day.  I am quite liberal on some issues, but more conservative with others.  I self identify as an independent, but I definitely lean left.  This begins a sub-series on poor representation in government.

I am struck in almost every single State of the Union and opposition response at how strongly politicians are trying to convince the rest of us that we are just like them and they are just like us. Does anyone actually believe them? I certainly don't. And that's the problem; the disconnect is so large that they don't even see it.

Our leaders fail us because they don’t actually represent us.  This is true in so many ways.  As a white male I’m absurdly over-represented.  Females and every other race are under-represented.  We could spend several entries on this.  However, a lot of people in the media have covered that angle already.  Likewise the lack of religious diversity is also astounding.  Christians dominate Congress.  Atheists and agnostics and every other major religious group are under-represented.  The angle I want to attack here though deals with occupation and financial situation.

One of the many reasons Congress has no idea what the rest of the country has to deal with is that there are barely any scientists, teachers, or working class people. Where are the regular people?   They have no clue what it is like to be the rest of us. Until congress actually represents America, we will always be dissatisfied in their performance and competency.  Not that we should overthrow the government, but how is the situation we have now any different than when we had a far away king ruling?  The people in charge don’t really represent us.  They represent the top 10% or at the least only a few percent of the population in many respects; they don’t truly care about the rest of us.  Unsurprisingly, one of the most miserly and anti-tax representatives is also the wealthiest, Darrell Issa.

Another reason politicians are out of touch of reality is that they all have so much more money than we do.  They simply don’t understand what the rest of us are going through.  They even think they deserve to be paid more ($174,000/year already) even though all they do is fight over petty manners and raise money to remain in power.  The last few Congresses have accomplished the least of any Congresses of the last several decades, yet they think they deserve a raise.

We’d be better off if we picked 435 people at random from registered voters.  We’d certainly have more equal representation.

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