I Believe the Word You’re Looking for Is “Representative”

In the morning on occasion, I listen to Neal Boortz on talk radio. The reason I listen periodically is two-fold: I’ve memorized the current rotation on all the radio stations I listen to and sometimes he mentions things going on I otherwise would never hear about through normal news channels.

This morning he was lamenting that the average American male was able to name the head coaches for their particular state’s beloved college football teams but couldn’t name their representative in Washington DC. I smiled because it was true, but I couldn’t help but wonder what the full implication of that would be… follow the train of thought!

Imagine the end of a long day, and the “average American male” is getting ready for bed. His beloved wife lays down beside him with bedroom eyes and says, “The children are asleep.” The American male then takes out a clipboard and netbook and asks her gently, “Have you looked over the dockets for tomorrow? We may need to send emails to our representatives to express our interests.” The wife laments but agrees, falling asleep as she makes notes about Net Neutrality and a bill for “bailout accountability.”

Thus the word of the day is “representative,” because while I may read up on how my favorite sports team is doing, the idea is that someone in Washington is supposed to be looking out for my interests. Not good enough? Sign up for emails to a watchdog group who looks out for how your representative is doing, but the entire idea behind sending someone you’ve elected as a “representative” kind of speaks volumes, doesn’t it? If not, shouldn’t someone (or something) better take its place?

Look at this another way. Do you know the name of your bank’s current CEO or President? Of your local branch? Don’t these people have control over your money? How about the name of you county tax assessor? Might be important at least once a year. From your local butcher to the person who fixes the television cable, knowing the names isn’t as important as knowing where to look and who to contact when something goes wrong. Politicians are doing a job just like all these other services are, but as a rule, they simply don’t rate as high on the “why should I know their name” scale as sports stars or film celebrities (well, except for Barack Obama, of course).

Three hundred million people cannot be pressed to vote on everything that passes through the legislative branch of the government, especially with any real understanding on every issue. But if a representative isn’t doing that job either, I believe there are procedures in place for that as well, and you can find the names of the ones responsible fairly quickly when the time comes.

In the meantime, how about those Cardinals, huh?

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One thought on “I Believe the Word You’re Looking for Is “Representative”

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