Americans Should Be Allowed To Vote Out Politicians

You know what we need as Americans? Crimes specific to politicians. We need some way to hold the members of our government to a higher standard. Not the Constitution, which just lays out what they’re supposed to do. I think we need some method of being able to just fire them when they do or say certain things, such as creating segregationist laws,  abusing legal loopholes to their benefit and the detriment of Americans, something.

I know that Congress has ethics rules and such… but you know what happens to people that violate those? Practically nothing. Many resign, and many get voted out that don’t, but too often are there politicians that say things in direct counter to what their jobs are supposed to be. Members of the science committee decry science. Members of the ethics committee get caught having sex with underage people. Representatives of the people suggest using humiliation as a tactic to target specific groups of people.

Basically, there needs to be a much easier way to fire people in government instead of letting them rake in money for two to six years doing jack-all or actively harming this nation.

Yes, I know a lot of this comes from me being a liberal and finding conservatives like Representative James Lankford blaming gun violence on welfare moms and suggesting we humiliate homosexuals until they lose equal protection rights repugnant to the utmost degree. It’s disgusting to think that there are people, voters, that agree whole-heartedly with Lankford. But I have faith that every time one of these politicians spouts out some awful, ridiculous, shameful thing, their constituency doesn’t want them saying or thinking what they’ve said or thought.

Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, getting that person out of office becomes a herculean task. If they’re a senator, you have to wait six years for their term to be up. By then, people have forgotten all sorts of sins, which is just a sad reminder of the state of our national attention span. If they’re a representative, they’ve only got two years, but that’s still enough time for many to forget or to obfuscate the issues.

I don’t have a real suggestion for a solution, unfortunately, other than a recall vote that can be triggered by a certain number of people petitioning for one. And maybe that is a possibility that can be used in the real world. I recall governors facing that problem before… never any senators or representatives in my memory, but maybe it’s possible. If it is possible, that option needs to be used far more often and people need to be made far more aware of it.

Our nation’s not in the greatest position it could be. One of the places we need to start cleaning up is with our politicians, kicking the ignorant, vicious and lying out as soon as they reveal their true colors. Let the people keep them on a short leash. We need to start working on an oversight from the population that isn’t just voting them out next election. We need a way to oust them, deny them their pension and try someone new that might actually try to do the right thing.

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2 thoughts on “Americans Should Be Allowed To Vote Out Politicians

  1. mharper says:

    According to Wikipedia’s article on recall elections, a majority of states have recall election laws/procedures–some require the determination of malfeasance by a court before the recall election may take place, but most do not, and the recall election is held once petitions reach a certain threshold.

    As for such laws applying to US senators and representatives, one would need a constitutional amendment for such procedures to be implemented. (“Allowed” is a fuzzy term here, since it implies that the gov’t is separate from the electorate, and hands down laws and directives, rather than existing at the will of the electorate.) While there are ethics committees that may censure politicians, my understanding is that these rebukes are merely bad publicity (or rather, I’m not sure if there are stiffer penalties or fines).

    But here’s a question: your issue is with politicians who say things “in direct counter to what their jobs are supposed to be”. Now, while private companies may choose to fire employees who spout off opinions that the company does not want to be associated with, the First Amendment offers greater protection to public employees (the logic being that the gov’t can’t punish one’s speech, and one works for the gov’t…so the gov’t can’t fire you out of hand).

    This is link to tests for whether or not the gov’t has violated the First Amendment rights of employees: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/employpunishment.html

    I think, taking the Lankford statement you mention (the humiliation one), that we get stuck on #5 of the tests–whether or not these statements adversely affect the ability of the gov’t to efficiently provide services in a significant way.

    Take the case of the humiliation comment, which reads “Some of those things you have the power of humiliation where you can raise it and put in sunlight. They love functioning in the dark.”– The comment is in response to a question from an audience member at a town hall, asking Lankford to look into certain programs dealing with substance abuse in the LGBTQ community. Lankford’s response, of which the above statement is a part, centers on his agreement to follow-up on the question and look into the programs (thus responding to the questions of his constituents–which is kinda what he’s supposed to be doing).

    (Incidentally, the “some of those things” raises the question of what those things are that Lankford is referring to, since the previous comment references both dismay at “LGBTQ indoctrination” and at “This is what our president is doing”–is the humiliation directed at the LGBTQ community, or is it directed at the president and the workings of a federal agency?)

    We also have to admit that, when Lankford says “you”, it’s difficult to tell if he’s directing it at the questioner, or if he’s using it in the way one would use the generalized “one” (like I just used here). In either case, Lankford has not explicitly stated that he himself is going to use the power of humiliation, which I think would have to happen for a court to find him in gross negligence of his duties.

    I’ll have to look up the welfare moms statement and get back to this.

    • linaloki says:

      Thing is, I’m not talking about the government firing government employees. Those rules should be in place for those hired by people within the government. We hire the politicians, though. We’re their employers.

      And the person asking the questions was apparently a politician, too. Her questions make me think she should be put on the short list. But these people are just a couple of examples. We can all come up with examples, particularly recently, of people making comments about, say, rape or science or homosexuality that are massively inflammatory, quite false and, for many of them, in opposition to what they’re supposed to be doing. Particularly the politicians on the science committees that rail against science.

      But, again, this is probably just my liberalism getting annoyed at the insultingly idiotic yet ultimately ultra-conservative things these politicians say that an unfortunately under-educated populous may agree with. Still, we hire federal politicians, there needs to be a way to fire them, I think.

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