When one thinks of the term, ruler, many images may come to mind and few have a positive connotation. Unfortunately, too many people think politicians in the US today are modern-day versions of the ruler. In many cases, politicians hold this view more strongly than anyone else. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Our politicians are not rulers or people to hand down mandates to the American people. In fact, politicians are the employees of the American people and are tasked with carrying out the desires of the majority. In addition, they are supposed to be wise enough to recognize when the majority’s opinion infringes on the rights of those in the minority to govern accordingly. Sadly, many of our politicians do not aim to help the people and seem more inclined to push their own agenda. Special interest groups, PACs, and corporate entities often drive these agendas through financial support to politicians. It is also sad that many Americans accept this as the way government was meant to work in the US. Yet, the power is meant to be yielded by the people and not those who seem to be better suited to selling used cars in a buy here, pay here lot. We seem to have accepted the notion that government power lies in the hands of the parties and career politicians who have no knowledge of how most Americans live today.
When we elect officials, it should be based on their desire to represent the needs of the people rather than what party they belong to or what Super PAC they have supporting them. Let us look at health care as an example. This is an issue that seems to have divided Americans, but in reality, the division only exists in the buildings of DC. While we may not all agree on everything about health care, I am willing to bet that every American simply wants better access with lower cost. It really is that simple. However, the politicians have basically told the public that they are not smart enough to appreciate the nuances of health care. They bicker over Canadian health care, one payer systems, etc., but miss the point that Americans are sick of paying exorbitantly for all manner of care. If our politicians had our best interests in mind, they would be working to ensure that everyone had access to cheaper, more accessible care. However, their party agendas and special interests take precedence over the needs of the American people.
This is not the only example, but the only one I include in the interest of space and time. The point is, our politicians have run amok with power and have elevated themselves to an American House of Lords, where the masses are beneath them. Unfortunately, we have ourselves to blame. When we go to the polls, we focus on charisma and what pundits are telling us. We choose the candidate that we like the most without considering if they will represent the best interests of the people. We need to recognize that politicians are not our rulers, but our employees. We must choose people to make decisions that are most closely aligned with protecting all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion, etc. If you hired someone to clean your house and they came in and told you how to clean your own house, you would be appalled and quickly fire them. However, this is what we allow from our employees in the House, Senate, and White House. As Americans, we have the ability to elect people who will do what is best for us rather than what is best for their small group of cronies. Don’t forget that you are the boss and the government answers to us and not the other way around.
I recently completed my PhD in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) at the University of Wyoming. I have published multiple articles in peer reviewed journals and have a book chapter coming early next year. I aim to explore issues of privilege and equity of education, especially as they pertain to STEM education.