Consent of the Governed

Dear Editor
 “Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature.” – President James Garfield.
 The Declaration of Independence says: 
 “…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…”
 “Consent of the Governed” means We the People grant powers to our elected officials. To do that knowledgeably, we need to attend meetings held by our officeholders and pay attention to what they say and do and also what they don’t say and don’t do. Our elected officials must be held accountable for their actions and their words, accountable to us, the voters.
 As a people, our voter turnout is abysmal. Studies show that one out of three Americans vote in presidential elections. One-half of the one out of three choose the president, which is about 18 percent.  Sadly, 82 percent of “We the People” do not choose the president.
 At the national level, voters often feel they don’t have a voice, that Washington DC is so far removed that our legislators lose touch with their constituents.
 At our local level, we can participate and have a voice in what goes on in our community. To be knowledgeable about what elected city and county officials are doing, we need to participate:  Attend City Council meetings, County Commissioners meetings, Planning and Zoning meetings. 
 If we have questions, we should be allowed to ask questions and get answers. If there are documents being discussed, we have the right to request those documents. We need to be knowledgeable and informed citizens so we will be knowledgeable and informed voters.  
 Our elected officials are deriving their powers from the consent of the governed. We, the People, are the governed. We should be very judicious with the powers we grant to those governing us. We grant those powers with our votes.
Lisa Collini
Weiser, Idaho


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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