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The Big Bout

By       Message John Sanchez Jr.     Permalink
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Why congressional races should occupy our attention and what we gain when we do so.


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A great deal of what is important to Americans has gone by the wayside in our modern age. Some of it is lost to us through inattention; some is educated out of us, and some taken away while we concentrate on the sundry misdirections of an assortment of agendas.

One glaring example that we see every four years during our election season is the primacy of the executive branch of the federal government. We seem to see the elections as a night of boxing with a big headliner in the race for president and an undercard of four hundred sixty eight or so lesser matches.

This perception is thoroughly reinforced by the mainstream media who concentrate on the presidential race because they do not have the resources to properly cover over four hundred congressional races. In any event, being corporatist as their basic nature, they are quite happy in emphasizing the presidential race since they prefer to deal with a unitary executive unhindered by a congress that was elected without sufficient attention from their constituents.

The founders of this Republic did not see the executive branch as the primary branch. The three branches are meant to be coequal; but the top billing in the Constitution went to the legislative branch.

The Constitution organizes the government by its proximity to the citizens. Therefore;

Article I

Section 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.

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Section 2 establishes the House of Representatives, Section 3 establishes the Senate. It is Article II that deals with the Executive Branch and Article III that establishes the Judiciary.

It is this basic organizing principle that should guide our attention and efforts when we campaign for, support or vote for candidates for these offices. The House of Representatives, being closest to the People, is also where our efforts to elect a candidate can be most effective. Once candidates are elected, it is also the body that should be most responsive to our petitioning. The key is organizing ourselves to take advantage of what the framers of the Constitution left to us. If we can put in place a responsive veto proof majority in both houses of Congress, there will be no such thing as a unitary executive.

That is why these races are the headliner and the race for president, the undercard.

This election season promises to be a watershed, as there are no incumbents from the Executive running, and deteriorating economic conditions suggest that incumbents everywhere and from both parties will have difficulty holding their seats. It is an opportunity for us as citizens to steer the machinery to suit our ends for a change.

It is time for all of us to get involved!

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I am a lifelong resident of the Chicago suburbs, with a several year hiatus to serve in the Navy when my Vietnam era draft notice turned up. I had been told that guys with last names like mine were among the preferred cannon fodder in the Army, so (more...)
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