Saturday, October 03, 2009

Is Your Congressman your LEADER ?

I am having a very hard time with someone I really love and appreciate who has a discerning mind and deep unexploited understanding about national and international policies and governance.

She INSISTS that when we elect someone to a political office, they become our "leader".

I insist that the person I vote for, if elected, becomes my "servant" and that my role is employer to the extent I share employer status with thousands, and the elected person must make some sense of our cacophony. That is a JOB, and not an easy one. But he is an employee and not a leader.

That's why he / she gets the Big Bucks, right ?

Here is what Merriam Webster says:

Main Entry: leader
Pronunciation: \ˈ'lēe-də?r\
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1 : something that leads: as a : a primary or terminal shoot of a plant b : tendon, sinew c plural : dots or hyphens (as in an index) used to lead the eye horizontally : ellipsis 2 d chiefly British : a newspaper editorial e (1) : something for guiding fish into a trap (2) : a short length of material for attaching the end of a fishing line to a lure or hook f : loss leader g : something that ranks first h : a blank section at the beginning or end of a reel of film or recorded tape
2 : a person who leads: as a : guide, conductor b (1) : a person who directs a military force or unit (2) : a person who has commanding authority or influence c (1) : the principal officer of a British political party (2) : a party member chosen to manage party activities in a legislative body (3) : such a party member presiding over the whole legislative body when the party constitutes a majority d (1) : conductor c (2) : a first or principal performer of a group
3 : a horse placed in advance of the other horses of a team
— leaderless \-lə?s\ adjective

In the beginning of this Republic, the authors of the Constitution (none of whom was T.Jefferson---he was in Paris) had the idea that congressmen in the lower house were answerable to the voters in the district in the state they came from; and the Senators, who were supposed to be wiser (Senator comes from the same root as "senile") would be answerable to the state legislatures that elected them.

This certainly iplies that the founding fathers generally took the John Marshall and Patrick Henry view that the legislators were servants of their electors.

Now, when one of these legislators was chosen to chair either the whole Senate (as president, pro-tem) or the House (as Speaker, THEN that member became the "leader" of that restricted entity which so chose him.

But not the "leader" of the people.

In a republic, the citizens pay the bills and the citizens are the bosses....At least that is the way it was dreamed of and originally fleshed out.

In what time remains (for me or for the Republic), I will still treat things that way.

I only wish my Sainted Friend could see it my way. For, SHE really IS a "leader".

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