Traditionally, the post-election period has been a time whenÂ we the bossesÂ sit back and let the politicians get to work. As the refrain goes, â€śWe have done our part; we elected them, now itâ€™s up to them.â€ť Apparently, the feeling is, and has been, now that they are elected we simply turn the government over to them. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a fundamental question that must be answered: Why did we elect them?
One of the many failings of our current public school system is the failure to teach the concepts associated with our founding and our form of government. In many high schools, civics is seldom, if ever, even mentioned, much less taught.
Despite all the media comments, hype and â€śreportingâ€ť about ourÂ democracy,Â America is not a democracy; it is a republic, a democratic republic to be sure, but a republic nonetheless. Are our children not taught this because history is being rewritten and the concept of the American republic is being thrown under the bus by being labeled aÂ democracy?
I wonder how many high-school students or even college seniors would immediately recognize and know the origin of these words:
â€śWe the PeopleÂ of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity do ordain and establish â€¦â€ť
(Did some of you also have to pause a moment to recall this is the Preamble to the Constitution?)
â€śWe the People â€¦ do ordain and establish,â€ťÂ as Abraham Lincoln pointed out in the Gettysburg address, the concept of â€śgovernment of the people, by the people, for the people.â€ť
Consider Article I, Section 1, of our Constitution:
â€śAll legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.â€ťâ€śâ€¦ legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress â€¦â€ť
Legislative powers are â€śgrantedâ€ť and â€śvestedâ€ť essentially to â€śgive a right, power, property, formally or legallyâ€ť to a person or persons to legislate (make laws). These elements are conferred on someone by someone. In America we have no royal bloodlines, monarchs, kings, rulers for life or rights of succession. Congress and the president, regardless of the aura associated with their positions, are, in the final analysis, public servants. Servants are assigned, granted, vested with the privilege of serving those who hire, select or appoint them to their positions. Lest we forget, they are theÂ servantsÂ ofÂ we the public.
One of the foremost issues, in fact the deciding factor in the presidential race, is something called the Electoral College. The president is actually elected not so much by your vote as by the power resident in some nameless, unknown member participating in a process called the Electoral College. An in-depth discussion of that entity is beyond the scope of this article; however, since they, not you, elect the president of the United States, should you not know who they are, and whyÂ theyÂ chooseÂ yourÂ president?
Political parties should be required to identify to you,Â the boss,Â who serves as an elector and why. Ever hear of something called the Certificate of Ascertainment? By the way, this should not be misconstrued as a call for the abolition of the Electoral College, as it is still far superior to a direct democracy, which is essentially mob rule. Rather, it is a call for all of us to become more actively involved in the best political system in the world today. The system â€śainâ€™t broke.â€ť It just isnâ€™t being used properly. Civics, the study of the rights and duties of citizenship, should be taught to our children beginning in grade school.
We the PeopleÂ must be involved in the running of our own government. That is why congressmen must come home every two years, the president every four and the senators every six years to get our permission to continue serving us. Donâ€™t go to Washington, do it and then not tell us what you did, ala Obamacare (from which Congress specifically exempted themselves) and/or secret arms deals (like the one that cut our nuclear stockpile from an estimated 5,000 warheads to 2,500) or changing NASAâ€™s mission from keeping us preeminent in space to becoming a Muslim outreach.
Do your electors and representatives, from the president to your local city councilman, know whatyou want, why you want it and whatÂ you expect of them? If not, why not? Are you â€“ the collective you â€“ making sure that those you have vested with the authority to act on your behalf, areÂ trulyacting on your behalf? Are they doing what you sent them there to do or have they become the pawns, the chattel of special interest groups? Our public and civilÂ servantsÂ should know via emails, letters, blogs, phone calls, faxes, websites and other social networks what we want.
The campaigns (clean or dirty, efficient or not) are history. The billions have been spent; the president (and your representatives) are congratulating each other and their staffs.Â We the PeopleÂ have â€śdone our part.â€ťÂ We voted them in, and now? Now, it is up to us to ensure they are representing us (the House ofÂ Representatives, remember?), carrying out our desires and not overstepping their boundaries.
Just one more example:
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; andÂ a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be publishedÂ from time to time.â€ťÂ (Article 1, The Legislative Branch Section 9, Limits on Congress; emphasis added)
When is the last time you saw an â€śexpenditures of all public monies â€¦ publishedâ€ť?
Letâ€™s make this perfectly clear:Â There is no such thing as â€śgovernment money.â€ť
All the monies Washington spends are public money â€“Â ourÂ money.
The president and Congress are spending, lending, giving away our money â€“ which they take from us via taxation.
Didnâ€™t I read somewhere about â€śtaxation without representationâ€ť? (Must be some musty historical stuff.)
So what are we going to do about it? Sit back and allow a continuation of what has been happening over the past several administrations â€“ piling up trillions in debt via encouraging folks not to work, giving billions to people who hate us, fighting but not winning politically correct wars and enlarging an ever-expanding, already bloated, inefficient government bureaucracy?
Or, do we get involved and hold those we hire (and those who hired them) responsible for their actions?
Itâ€™s your call.
Ben Kinchlow is a minister, broadcaster, author and businessman. He was the long-time co-host of CBN's "The 700 Club" television program and host of the international edition of the show, seen in more than 80 countries. He is the founder of Americans for Israel and the African American Political Awareness Coalition, and the author of several books.