What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: jmdspk
This op-ed article by Utah state senator Bill Hickman is absolutely spot on.
Utah’s congressional delegation sold out long ago to the establishment. Having ensconced themselves in the status quo, they have come to feel secure from and supported by the so-called conservative base that continues to put them in office. Ignorant voters in Utah, most likely unaware of their representatives’ political catastrophes (both of commission and omission), continue to look the other way so long as the media doesn’t convince them that their leaders have committed something either blatantly illegal or immoral.
And since we can’t count on the majority of the media to do their job, the delegation rests easy—content knowing that their reneged promises, their abhorrent allegiances, their political absurdities, and their unconstitutional garbage of a voting record will not be the focus of any news broadcast, local or otherwise. So much for investigative journalism.
Name recognition and political connections are crucial for such individuals, for this is principal avenue through which sheeple determine who they will politically support. So long as other “trusted leaders” are endorsing an individual (who has large roadside signs and billboards!), the sheeple will likely follow.
Senator Hatch was elected to the U.S. Senate in his first attempt at public office, defeating three-term incumbent Frank Moss (a Democrat). He campaigned on the idea of creating term limits for Senator, claiming that Senators (including his opponent Moss) had lost touch with their constituents. “Senator, you have served the people of Utah for 18 years; it’s time to retire,” Hatch said during his campaign. How’s that for irony?
Senator Bennett’s story, while dealing with fewer terms, is not that different. In 1992, Bennett promised the delegates that he would serve only one term in office. “Politics shouldn’t be a career. You should get in, make your contribution and then get out,” he said. He is currently serving his third term. When asked by reporter in 1999 if he would be retiring after his second term, Bennett replied:
I don’t want to start stretching the definition of words, such as when ‘is’ is, but when I ran in ’92, I never made a firm commitment to retire after a certain period or signed any pledge. . . .
When this term is up, I’ll see how my health is, what the political situation is, and then make a decision as to whether I run again or not.
We all know Lord Acton’s maxim that teaches how power corrupts, and here we have prima facie evidence illustrating its truth.
I personally oppose term limits, for I think that a free people should be able to dictate who they want to represent them, for better or for worse. Regardless, these two sellouts both claimed that they would serve for a short time, have grown to enjoy the power they wield, and now will not give it up. This wouldn’t be so bad if they were doing a good job, but as Senator Hickman’s article states, they are absolutely not.
Joseph Smith had this to say on this type of situation:
…let the people of the whole Union, like the inflexible Romans, whenever they find a promise made by a candidate that is not practiced as an officer, hurl the miserable sycophant from his exaltation. (Joseph Smith, via Quoty)
Amen, brother Joseph.