We the People...

Once upon a time I believed our politicians represented us and it didn't matter which side of the tracks you came from. If you worked hard and stayed out of trouble you could make it. Why, even a bankrupt Missouri haberdasher could become president. And even though this small, thin man wasn't popular while he served, he had the courage to end a war and fire a general who didn't follow orders. The buck did stop on the desk of Harry S. Truman.

Somewhere in this great melting pot of a country, we got lost. That responsibility Truman and countless others showed is no longer. Instead as a country we have deteriorated into blaming our inefficiencies and failures onto a party rather than ourselves. To paraphrase Casey Stengel, we put the bums in office and so just as easily we can boot da bums out. Or maybe that was the Crusher.

In Minnesota we have a caucus system run amok. When a politician votes outside his caucus it can generate a headline in a large city newspaper. That is not right. In a representative democracy our politicians are supposed to represent us and not his or her caucus. Last time I looked we seemed to be a fairly diverse group and our interests are certainly not the same as urban suburbs or the inner city yet it seems our politicians vote with their caucus and to hell with what is best for the district they represent.

Politicians who vote for their caucus rather than representing the views of its constituents should be looking for work. Those politicians who represent their district before their caucus may deserve a second chance. Most of us do not have strict Republican or Democratic views and our politicians should be voting that way. Men and women endured hardship and in some instances death for the right of expression. Come November we get to straighten out the mess we are in. We can be silent no more.

Merle Hanson,

Winona