Power should belong to citizens

Government does not know best.

Whether talking about the federal government in Washington D.C., the General Assembly in Atlanta, the county commission or city council, government does not know better than the citizens it represents.

Whether it is State Representative Rick Jeffares’ unilateral attempt to change the governance of the Henry County Commission and its chairman, or the city council of Stockbridge annexing residential areas by legislation rather than through a process that requires notification of the affected neighborhoods and businesses, or the McDonough city council choosing to go behind closed doors to talk about what could be discussed in public, those elected to office should never usurp the will of the public or assume they know more about what is right for their community than the public at large.

We do not elect officials to think for us.

We elect them to represent us.

That is what is meant by the word “republic,” a representative form of government.

Given a choice between the will of elected officials and the will of ordinary citizens, we should always defer to the people.

The people we elect should never be so audacious so as to usurp the rights and interests of citizens.

Public service is not autocratic rule.

Being elected to office should not be viewed as being placed in a position of authority and privilege.

The Declaration of Independence, provides, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

These words are primary to our entire form of government.

Governing power is rightly held by the governed, citizens, and not by the governing, elected officials.

We have protections in place, laws, to prevent a governing class from seizing power away from citizens.

The problem, however, is that citizens and the media have become accustomed to looking the other way while officials have become accustomed to looking out for themselves.

The intention of a public servant should never be to simply do what is necessary to get re-elected.

The intention should always be to adequately, competently and ethically represent the interests of very citizens they are elected to serve.

Power, true power, should never belong to officials.

It should always belong to citizens.

— Editor Jim Zachary


pjcabrel 2 years, 7 months ago

Elected Representatives, be they elected to collect money for lunch, or elected to represent us in government matters come in two types.

On one hand, we “elect” by asking for volunteers to go to the store or restaurant for us, and we give them some money and whatever they decide we should have is what we get; regardless if it is what we really wanted or if it is nutritious or tasty to us. We give them the money and hope for the best.

On the other hand, we “elect” by asking for volunteers to go to the store or restaurant for us, and we give them some money and instruct them to call us back with the menu or specials. Once we have the menu or special each of us can decide if we want to consummate our purchase or not.

The former is representative of our current legislative process. We “elect” someone, give them our money and hope for the best. To my way of thinking this method is nonsense as it assumes that the elected representative is looking out for our best interests. Too often it seems that even the most conscientious person left unchecked becomes corrupted.

To my way of thinking, no legislator should ever author legislation or cast a vote for any legislation until he/she has personally visited her/his constituents in Town Hall meeting throughout her/his legislative district answering questions and asking how her/his constituents want her/him to proceed and to take straw votes throughout the legislative district to see exactly where the majority sits on the proposed legislation, and why they feel that way.

If the legislator feels the issue is too complicated for her/his constituents to understand therefore he/she feels it would be a waste of her/his time then he/she should resign because he/she is not capable of explaining the situation to the average person so that he/she would understand it well enough to be able to share that information with her/his neighbors and to make an intelligent decision of Yea or Nay.

More so, to restore the little democracy that WE THE PEOPLE have in our Constitution Republic, we need to eliminate the so-called “Career” or “Professional” politician. We NEED to amend our United States and respective State Constitutions to implement “ONE AND DONE TWO-YEAR TERM-LIMITS for all who serve in the legislative Branch and “ONE AND DONE FOUR-YEAR TERM-LIMITS for all who serve in the Executive Branch.

Frankly, we NEED more of our citizens (preferably non-lawyer) to feel empowered to serve in our governance. Amending our Constitutions implementing mandatory Term limits would be a big step in that direction.


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