Our country is divided politically — or so we hear — right from left, liberal from conservative, progressive from libertarian. Nothing new.
Yet, don’t we all agree on the main points? Certain truths remain self-evident:
- Government must have the consent of the governed.
- ‘We, the People’ are the boss.
- Our votes should count.
- Our constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness count even more.
At Townhall last Sunday, I wrote about a government (ours) that lacks the approval of the people. Even cynical moi is amazed that, in response to their sizzling disapproval ratings, our politicians seem intent on attacking our most fundamental democratic rights to actively disapprove. Freedom of Speech. Assembly. Petition.
On the first day of this month, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill he called a “dramatic” assault on the initiative rights of Californians. On the last day, another bill rests on the governor’s desk. It would force petition circulators to wear a sign on their chests, reading, “Paid Signature Gatherer,” if they receive any compensation at all for their work.
This “reform” is the zenith of wisdom among the Golden State’s great solons.
Our country’s problems with representative government cannot be solved by legislating away the rights of citizens to speak out and participate politically. And by “representative government” we mean not only that the job of a legislator is to represent us, but also that we reserve the right to represent ourselves.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.