Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Do We Really Believe What We Say? the Local Government We Profess to Trust the Most Is the Government We Have Limited the Most

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Do We Really Believe What We Say? the Local Government We Profess to Trust the Most Is the Government We Have Limited the Most

Article excerpt

Let's see now, uh, we believe the American system of government is the best in the world and, uh, that local government is the best, most trustworthy government of all.

We believe that local government is best because it's closest to home and therefore most representative of and responsive to the people. Yessir, that's what we believe.

The American system is anchored to representative government. We have a republic in which supreme power rests with the people and is exercised by elected representatives elected by and responsible to them. We like that system.

And we place the most trust in the elected representatives in our local governments because they are our neighbors, our fellow townspeople, folks who live down the street.

That's what we say.

Here's what we do: We try to place term limits on our elected representatives. Is it because we aren't willing to accept our responsibility and keep our end of the bargain in this system we profess to support? And we place the most shackles on our elected local representatives, them with and spending lids imposed by a level government farther from home.

So do we believe what we say?

Does our desire for term limits suggest that we think it is too much bother for us to keep track of our representatives and then make an informed judgment on whether to re-elect them? Too much bother to try to determine whether their opponents might be better choices? Too much bother to perform our role as citizens?

Would we rather hand over that power and responsibility to term limits -- no matter that they would disqualify superior public representatives along with the incompetent and those who always are going to just be along for the ride? …

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