[T]he majority of people could not tell you the names of their two Senators and their Congressman, let alone much of anything about their voting records.
To be honest, I have to think a moment to remember who recently replaced one of my own two senators, or even which one of them was replaced and who’s left. I used to know their voting records quite well. After a while, it became a matter of, “What’s the use?” I could spend my time violating line one of the Serenity Prayer, thereby making myself crazy, or I could spend my time on lines two and three of that same under-used and under-appreciated piece of wisdom. For those that don’t know it
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
So proportional to the extent I became aware of what L Tecolote quite well explained about the remaining outer shell of the constitutional republic, I also stopped wasting my time filling my aging brain with information that is of no consequence to me in the long run, such as how my senator or congressman vote (I learned enough about their records long ago, and decided that practice-vomiting is both uncomfortable and not good for one’s health). Oh, the end results certainly are important, but I have not the individual power to influence them, and even if a ground swell rose up to try do so, they will still vote with those that fund them – not those they were voted in to represent. Even if they’re replaced, the news media will keep the illusion going by reporting on how “the people” rose up to replace so-and-so. But then comes the nominating process and finally the absurdly financed “campaigns,” and the replacement for the “offender” is rarely any different. In other words, nothing really changes – just the names. The few possible exceptions are either corrupted into falling in line, voted out because they’re not in line, or kept out of any committee assignment or other leadership position so as to have no meaningful influence beyond a single vote among 100 or 435. Such odds aren’t even worth looking at, so what difference does the name make?
Make no mistake, though. I have not given up, nor obviously have the members here (or a few other pockets of enlightenment). As I said above with respect to lines two and three of the Serenity Prayer, and as L Tecolote said:
For the moment, all you can get is momentary bites of Freedom, to the extent that (a) the authorities are currently looking elsewhere, (b) you are prepared to act, and (c) you are bold enough tho seize the opportunity.
Adherence to line one of the Serenity Prayer allows the the adherent to remain sane, as opposed to beating his or her head bloody as (s)he repeatedly bashes it against an impenetrable wall. Adherence to line two allows one to maintain self respect, have purpose in life, and improve circumstances for self and family in those circumstances over which control is still possible. And in line three is the key: having the wisdom to remain as constantly cognizant of the difference between the first two lines as possible, in one’s daily life. Thus my reason for not reminding myself who’s “representing” me in Washington or Atlanta is not the same as most people. I recognize that it no longer matters much because of “line one,” as opposed to the majority who have no clue why it should have mattered to them a long time ago – when it still mattered.