Thursday, June 02, 2011

Coordinated Assault By Legislatures Is A Bigger Bully

The coordinated assault by Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country is becoming impossible to ignore for this “No-Labels” Independent voter.  Shunning “best practices” and majority-public opinion most seem bent on pervading “worst or mean-spirited practices” that are collectively far more heavy handed than the Federal government many love to demonize.

Given the unsuccessful full-court press last year to ram digital billboards down our throats, those of us in Durham, NC could have anticipated the contribution-fueled antics this year at the state level, designed in part, as intimated by a co-sponsor from another part of the state, to teach us a lesson; but in truth overriding the wishes of 8 out of 10 North Carolinians, including those affiliated with the party in power.35847_bullies[1]

But you can see a coordinated, simultaneous attack in other states, some with long-standing bans on billboards altogether, something Durham also implemented two decades ago.

The coordinated onslaught seems to be an equal-opportunity offender, as likely to disregard Republican affiliated voters and Independents every bit as much as Democratically affiliated voters giving credence to pundits who describe this caucus as the most ideologically-obsessed in the nation’s history.

Even Independent voters like me seem much more aware of the threat, though, than some Democrats such as the acquaintance who wrote back to me, after learning that 80% of North Carolina voters, including 89% of Independents, are opposed to measures that would significantly increase the amount of trees billboard companies are allowed to decimate from publicly-owned roadsides, stating that he isn’t “greatly opposed to the vegetation part of the bill.”

Okay, if not Republicans, Democrats nor Independents, then who does he represent?  The Billboard Industry? The 10% of voters who agree with him?  Campaign contributors?  Just plain apathy I fear!

He, like so many others in elected office, doesn’t seem to grasp that we elected him to represent us, not just his personal opinions.

We can’t replace these folks for another 13 months and begin to rectify the havoc those currently in control seem bent on wreaking, but when we do maybe we need to also sweep out anyone else who disregards or fails to show leadership on the behalf of the majority.

Representing no more than 30% of voters, Tea Partiers puritanically demand lock-step loyalty to their dictates from elected officials regardless of the opinions of the majority of voters.  That isn’t democracy, representative or otherwise.

But actually representing the wishes of the majority, that’s what a representative democracy is all about.

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