Monday, March 23, 2015

Last week...

some fourth grade students from Hampton NH got a very rude awakening from the state legislature when an innocuous bill they had drawn up as a civics project was churlishly voted down amid a certain amount of insulting byplay...while the kids were watching from the galleries no less. Now...from the inception of the republic a certain amount of derision at the workings of congress and the various state legislatures has always been built into the discourse. Many a "Morning Zoo" radio jobber holds his sinecure secure on naught but making jokes about congress. But this incident up in NH, so very crude and so very...public indicates that in New Hampshire the constituents and the representatives hold each other a very singular state of mutual contempt. And indeed why not? The electorate doesn't authorize any salary for their representatives as they seem to believe nothing the legislature does is worth paying for, meanwhile the legislature turns in the sort of surly half assed work one associates with very reluctant volunteers at a church rummage sale. And so things spiral downwards, with no salaries on the line, the legislature fills up with the oddest collection of time servers imaginable, literally people who can afford to hold the job thanks to sources of outside income. Which is turn a huge downward driver in natural selection as well as a clear invitation to conflict of interest. I mean, it just says something about the overall quality of the representative body in question that a Fourth Grade Civics Project ends in a contemptuous dismissal, "Leave Us Alone, We are Working for Free" is the clear vibe here. In elementary school (if it is well run I mean) everything is a teachable moment and I just hope these children have teachers who remind them they are legatees of a great tradition future citizens and voters who can indeed get their reps to sit up and pay attention at the ballot box.

No comments :