Reader Wants Change From Representatives
To The Reader’s Forum:
The Preamble to Our Constitution provides, in part, “We the People of the United States, in Order to . . . promote the general Welfare, . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of . . . “
All political party ideologies aside, we in the United States are a constitutional democracy first and foremost, which is – dare I say – a higher ideal than free commercial enterprise. Our Founding Fathers recognized this, and so did the states, when they enacted and ratified Art. I, Sec. 8 of the Constitution, giving a governmental body, our Congress, the authority to regulate interstate and international commerce for the benefit of the general Welfare.
By authority of the Commerce Clause, our founders made big business answerable to us and subject to our regulation through our elected representatives. Some folks today have forgotten this. For reasons that make no sense to me the proponents of unregulated free market capitalism think that our country would be better off if we leave big business alone, if we let it govern itself, no matter how it affects our lives. To me, these folks seem to value fate over cultural self-determinism, the interests of the few, over the interests of the many, affluence, over need.
But it is need, the needs of the many, that is the foundation underlying democracy, all democracies. Serving the few, by empowering them to do what they want, regardless of the consequences of their actions, disempowers the rest of us from self-governance. This is a moral hazard of the laissez-faire economic model of many “conservative” politicians today, based, in part, on the ideology of Ayn Rand, rather than on the ideology of a democratic republic* and elected representation.
We cannot afford to let our politicians bring about, through law or in absentia of law, a system of interstate or international commerce that separates our economy from our people any more than we can have a democracy that separates its people from its government.
Until our representatives enact and enforce laws that bring about the greatest economic good for the greatest number of Americans, our economy and our democracy will continue to falter and so will the well-being of our people, and our nation as a whole. A representative, democratic government can behave in no other manner and continue to claim to be representative.
Maurice F. Baggiano, J.D.