This posting is purely my opinion. YMMV.
Our government is based on the idea that our elected officials do the will of the people. They are theoretically supposed to get their “direction” by listening to those whom they represent. In a perfect world, this is what would result in their reelection. So not only are they mandated to represent their constituents, but they have a practical reason to represent their constituents faithfully.
The government no longer functions this way. This failure occurs for several reasons.
First, many – probably most – politicians appear to be taking bribes (disguised as funds to their political campaigns from lobbyists; or sweet deals from insider knowledge – you fill in the details). So they are very heavily influenced by the flow of money.
Second, many – probably most – of their constituents simply are not paying attention to what their elected officials are doing. The relatively few constituents who are paying attention do a lot of screaming and shouting, but it does little good because the great majority of their fellow constituents are not politically aware, and don’t care to be.
So the road back to a good government, one that we can respect, has a number of fundamental problems to overcome. One is finding a way to eliminate the outside influences that affect our elected officials through greed; the other is educating and motivating the people who elected them.
Sadly, our elections have turned into popularity contests. This does not bode well for good government.
There is a third problem in arriving at good representation: ideologues. See my next post for that one.