Who Is The Boss?
Trustee Model vs. Delegate Model of Representation
As most polls demonstrate, most Americans are losing faith in their elected officials: in their ability and willingness to help their constituents solve their increasingly serious problems, and their inclination to represent the best interests of the wealthy corporate elite that the public perceives as the fundamental cause of their increasingly serious problems. The core problem inherent in this situation is, who do our elected representatives work for? Them or us...? To answer this question, we need to address the issue of which model of representative we want to elect -- a choice you may not have known we had.
In politics today, there are two different models of how our elected representatives should actually behave when they get into elected office: one is the Trustee model and the other is the Delegate model.
The Trustee model holds that representatives should be allowed to use their own judgment when deciding upon how they will vote on particular legislation. They will ideally consider both the facts and the views of their constituents, and are given the latitude to make their own final voting decisions -- regardless of whether or not the majority agrees with those voting decisions. It is understood that the voters "trust" that the representative will always vote for the best interests of his constituents -- thus relieving the constituents of the hard work of learning about the issues and communicating with the representatives.
By contrast, the Delegate model holds that representatives are not given the option of using their own best judgment and are to vote strictly according to the majority wishes of their constituents, regardless of whether or not the representatives agree with their constituents. It is understood that in this scenario the voters will stay informed on the various issues and take the time to communicate with their representatives.
In the USA, we have most often chosen to follow the Trustee model of representation and have limited the input we can have on our legislative process to the elections alone, trusting that the promises made by the candidate will be fulfilled once he or she gets elected to office. We have generally been reluctant to trust the judgment of the public in this country for fear of so-called "mob rule." But have we been well served by our Trustee model representatives? Have they, in fact, actually been using their best judgment on our behalf? Are they truly working for us?
The answer is clearly and emphatically "no." What we have today, instead of representatives working solely for the best interests of their constituents, is a perversion of the Trustee model whereby the elected representatives are now voting strictly for the best interests of their political party and their corporate sponsors. This is due entirely to the huge amounts of money in politics today. It takes millions of dollars just to run for office, thanks to the rigging of the process by the major parties and their sponsors, and under-funded independent candidates have no chance of getting elected -- I can tell you that from first-hand experience. Candidates who do want to win are forced to take corporate money and are thereafter essentially hired employees of those corporations. In other words, the corporate CEOs are their bosses instead of the constituents and they are expected to vote accordingly -- which, as anyone can see, they do, without exception.
So it is easy to see that our choice of a Trustee model of representation is not working out so well for the majority of us. Our representatives simply are not voting the way the majority of us want. Poll after poll show the majority of voters support most of the issues that the representatives of the two parties vote against. And legislative vote after legislative vote shows that those representatives do not support the issues that their constituents want them to support. With voters getting so little representation through the Trustee model, why do we continue to support it?
We continue to support it because we have been given no viable alternative. Since both major parties now rely on the same wealthy corporate elite for the bulk of their campaign funding, then we essentially have no choice but to elect a representative that will be solely concerned with the best interests of those "who brung 'em" -- the party leadership and their sponsors, the wealthy corporate elite.
And what are those wealthy elite having our representatives vote for? Laws and repeals of laws that reduce the essential regulations we need to protect ourselves from the predations of that "maximize profits" philosophy that the corporate elite lives by. The main target of those laws today is the American Middle Class. Why? As Willie Sutton, an infamous bank robber, once said when asked why he robbed banks, "That's where the money is!" There is still a huge amount of money to be had in what's left of our economy: in homes, taxes, bank accounts, credit cards, investments, retirements, Social Security, Medicare, etc. How can they get away with unscrupulously taking all the hard-earned money away from Middle Class Americans? Because nothing is there to stop them. They have, in essence, turned off the burglar alarms, laid off the police, paid off the judges, shot the watchdogs, and confiscated the guns. America has become as corrupt as Chicago was during prohibition. And now the mob truly rules -- the corporate mob.
With all that in mind, let's look at the Delegate model of representation again. That, as we said earlier, was a form of representation whereby the people decide on the legislation to be passed and the representative simply puts the bill together and votes for it, as directed by the constituents. With that model, the representative is in the employ of the constituents and not some corporate leaders. And if our representatives have to vote strictly according to the will of the majority of their constituents, why would any corporate lobbyist want to offer him money or lucrative jobs? Simply, they wouldn't.
The basic issue comes down to this: do we want to elect someone who does not have to represent or answer to his constituents like a Trustee does, or do we want to elect someone who will do what we tell them like a Delegate does? In other words, who's the boss? Do representatives work for us or do they work for corporate sponsors? Who do you fear more -- your neighbors or the corporate elite? You already know which direction the Trustee model of representation is taking us -- down. Isn't it time to try something different -- something that more closely resembles democracy, instead of the plutocracy we currently live under?
How do we make such a change? That question is what MajorityVoteRules.Org is all about. We are dedicated to finding the way to bring such a change into being -- in our lifetime. What we need first is feedback -- we need your suggestions, your ideas, your criticisms, as well as any support you care to provide. But we need to move quickly: the momentum toward the crash of the Middle Class is growing.
Einstein is quoted as saying, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome." Our current method of representation is what is wrong with our political system and is why our country is in such a terrible shape. Just continuing to vote for yet another member of a major political party will not do a thing to improve our lives: it will only take us closer to the crash.
Humans are not great at making big changes, which is why the corporations are winning -- in fact, they are literally banking on that fact. But change is exactly what it is going to take to get our lives back. So, bottom line: who's the boss? Them or us...?