Why Our Elected Officials are Not Qualified to Govern

What does it take to get a congressman or woman hired? A grade “A” competency in handling speeches? A debonair style and a glossy wit? Wherein do we look for his or her competency in gathering information about new, radical or unproven solutions to longstanding problems? Whither do we see that they attend to all of their charges in a timely and efficient manner; that they search out advice, look for the most recent educated judgments, listen to all their constituency be they tiny or be they big? Does this come to the forefront only after they find themselves in office? Are we often gobsmacked by our favorite horse only after the race is won?

Most of our elected officials are neither experienced nor educated in the fields they are asked to make policy about. They come from a general background with a lot of preconceived notions and bias inherent in their minds even before they ever sit down to make policy. They cannot then make educated judgments and correctly foresee all of their implications within the time and duties mandated by their office.

For example, prison management affects prisoner reform, state budgets, neighborhood policing, community health, the quality of life for every individual arrested, booked into a jail, held in custody and incarcerated in a prison. So, how does this affect you? Not only are you more likely to be arrested, you are more likely to find yourself held, locked up and have your citizen rights violated and perhaps lost altogether as you are processed through what many now call the modern Prison Industrial Complex, a term often identified as the “PIC.”

This prison industry grew out of a perceived need by our guarantors of peace for social vengeance, and now we see that this vengeance is coming back at us triple-fold. The people we are sending away are getting further and further estranged from the social fabric and into the frays, compounding social and political problems for government, law enforcement, and what we now may even righteously call the corrections “industry.”

When government leaders began to rely on private entities to incarcerate our prisoners, they unwittingly fed and groomed a monster. As prison contracts got signed, so new beds in new prisons needed to be filled, and re-filled as the unquenchable monster grabbed more and more money from the state coffers to build bigger, better prisons. This new correctional industry then turned its eyes blindly to the souls of our brothers and sisters who began to find themselves caught in the hands of this imperfect, unjust and intractably growing young bully, the one we are so justly referring to as the Prison Industrial Complex, or, as mentioned earlier, the “PIC”.

Oh, but this is a tirade about democratically elected government; the people who try to serve with distinction but who are often unwittingly poor at making the decisions that define our lives, the decisions that tell us who we are as Americans; decisions with which, due to poor foresight into the endgame of their decisions, we often find ourselves at odds. And yet, the congressmen who define our statutes and write our law usually yearn no less to be justly free than we.

We ask these people to decide our fates every day, and they might not know about how marijuana saved Aunt Jovita’s life and how it then dismissed her liberty. They might not know about how cousin Leroy thought he was doing the right thing when he immediately reached for his driver’s license as got out of his vehicle to address the officer who stopped him in a traffic stop, and ended up dead; shot by the officer who feared for his life. They might not think abortion is something a civilized society should be a party to; but they might not have watched the troubled teen mother be unable to nurse her own baby or change his diaper because her wits were clouded with demons day and night; and if Child Protective Services cannot even tolerably care for and protect the children in its custody, what is a teen mother to do, if she has no food, no shelter and not even the wits to care for herself?

And we have now the bill traveling through Congress meant to toughen treatment in our immigrant communities, making all those who are not white, Anglo-saxon Americans fearful they will be taken into custody for possible questioning, meet with tougher treatment by law enforcement for small infractions and potentially being deported for no real reason other than that our grand President, Donald J. Trump, is afraid of them. This all-the-while statistics point to lower crime rates in immigrant communities.

So I tell you, why are our elected officials making decisions by who donates the most money to their campaigns or which congressmen will vote his way in exchange for his vote their way, rather than studying the problems, looking inside at the human faces, seeking educated answers and developing policy on reality?

Because it is risky to do so?

Because they might anger their voting base if they rock any boats in choppy waters?

Because our congressmen learn to not think for themselves?

Better yet, because they do not have the time and/or connections to get through all the information they must, and should, consider before voting on their bills?

What makes them so fearful of dissenting views? Of new ideas? Of the people en masse?

Why are they so afraid to do in office the things they were elected to do?

Let us help our congressmen evaluate policy beginning to end, call on all our constituents to have a say and make sure our congressmen know we will defend them if they listen to us, get thorough information surrounding their policy decisions and while voting, vote for us and not against us, all of us as a democratic majority, a legitimate commonweal.