In the past few weeks, I have watched our democracy nearly wash away the checks and balance of power and open democracy. In North Carolina, the newly elected General Assembly, which is controlled by the Republican Party in both chambers, has stripped the newly elected Democratic governor of his powers with a series of rapid laws shifting power. The U.S. Congress has already begun to erase certain laws and change rules. Of course, this is their prerogative, but I question at what level of checks and balances will our government experience before the process collapses?
I am aware that our nation is bitterly divided. The recent election and past elections clearly show how divisive our nation has become. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I feel that bureaucracy is a good thing because it keeps a check and balance on government. It is when a branch of government changes power or policy to favor itself then it creates a further division and essentially becomes an expensive lawsuit or future Supreme Court case. A positive step for politicians is to stop trying to tilt government in your favor. Rather leave the system alone and introduce your legislation. Merely trying to amend the rules is like playing football and moving the goalpost closer to cheating your way to a win. This pisses off everyone because eventually, the opposing party will use the same tactic at a later time.
Another problem is that Congress and politicians, in general, need to stop playing the blame game. First, you bring an idea to the table. Each side discusses or debates the good and bad of the idea. It goes to committee and hopefully has better ideas interjected and weak ideas deleted from the bill. Then when it’s all said and done, it goes to the house or senate floor for a bit of further debate and a vote. That is how it’s done and has been done for hundreds of years. Congress today seems to be skirting the rules and procedures to ram through what it wants rather than people want. Therefore it’s no longer an agenda of citizens but a personal policy of a few. Eventually, it affects everyone and we the people are tired of the bickering.
This upcoming Congress will have an all republican congress and president. But there should be a fair warning to all those Republicans because not too long ago the Democrats had the same scenario. The plans they had completely backfired because of rule changes and forced legislation. If the Republicans should have learned any valuable lesson from that era was not to become radical and change the rules. Otherwise, it may be the shortest-lived control of Congress in history.