“Hanna Pitkin (1967) provides, perhaps, one of the most straightforward definitions: to represent is simply to “make present again.” On this definition, political representation is the activity of making citizens’ voices, opinions, and perspectives “present” in the public policy making processes.” taken from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2006)
I awoke today to the morning news as I do most days. Between the weather, daily reports of shootings and silly human tricks that make up the morning news the commercials for political candidates fill my waking moments. Over the years, I have started paying more attention to who represents my interest in the political arena. Most of the time, I get drawn to one candidate or another but in the world between sleep and wakefulness, I realized that nobody is representing my interest.
With all the pointing the fingers and sensationalism that is presented to sway the votes of people, who for the most part will vote their party anyway, there is no real message. It is a series of who voted this way or who stole this money. I have to admit that some of them are pretty humorous in their obvious distraction to their own agenda. Overall the substance is as solid as steam.
There was a time, I am not sure if it was just folklore or reality, from our history books that portrayed politicians as the representatives of the common man. Farmers, shop owners and small business men dominated the political world. People with the ideas and conviction to convince their fellow citizens that they were going to represent their beliefs were the ones that served. In this day and age, this sees more of a myth than a history lesson.
Why is it that we spend our time complaining about the way government is ran, yet we don’t make a conscious effort to do anything about it? The choice is not simple. It involves educating ourselves on the choices we make when voting or to even vote at all. I have to admit, I am not the most avid pollster when it comes to election time. Recently, I have found out how my lack of involvement in local government is impacting my family, but that is a story for another time. However, it brings me to the point I am trying to convey. We are people who have the freedom and rights to vote for those representing us. Many have died for this right and many are still dying for the rights that we have. Until, we as citizens, pay more attention to what is happening in the world around us instead of spending our time watching the television and complaining, will forever be cattle that is led to the slaughter by someone else that is benefiting from the meat.
Just try for a moment to look past the flashy television ads, lawn posters and political parties. Seek out the real issues and beliefs that matter to you and your family. Educate yourself on our government, the world and the policies that are being initiated. Learn about how each decision a business makes impacts your life. Dig for the answers to question. Even better, understand the questions and stop being cattle. If you choose to be ignorant in what is happening around you, then you choose to not complain about it. You are not a victim, you are a participant in what is happening.
Until next time…