Through their state legislatures and without regard to the federal government, the people can demand a convention to propose amendments that can and will reverse any trends they see as fatal to true representative government.
– President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Contributions from parties with an interest in legislation are really nothing but bribes. Sure, it’s legal for the most part. Sure, everyone in Washington does it. Sure, it’s the way the system works. It’s one of Washington’s dirty little secrets—but it’s bribery just the same.
– Jack Abramoff
We’ve also set up a system that requires legislators to spend so much time raising money and campaigning for reelection that they have no time to fully debate the consequences of their actions (or, as we’ve seen in so many cases, actually even read legislation before they vote on it)
– Mark Meckler & Jenny Beth Martin “Tea Party Patriots”
What does it matter who you vote for if you believe the winner has already committed his position in advance to whichever group gave the most money? The average voter, who did not make a large contribution or gave nothing at all, feels his or her vote means nothing in deciding public policy.
To be successful, representative government assumes that elections will be controlled by the citizenry at large, not by an elitist group of big givers. Of equal importance, citizens must believe their vote counts. And elected officials must owe their allegiance to the people, not to narrow factions who speak only for the selfish fringes of the whole community. When the power of determining the winners of elections is lodged in the hands of a few rich persons or groups, who are independent of the people and of their representatives, and who are not accountable for their actions, no way is left to control them. This is the road to anarchy.
The situation has become so bad that I believe the stability of our political process is at stake.
– Barry Goldwater
While I make no recommendation of amendments, I fully recognize the rightful authority of the people over the whole subject, to be exercised in either of the modes prescribed in the instrument itself; and I should, under existing circumstances, favor rather than oppose a fair opportunity being afforded the people to act upon it. I will venture to add that to me the convention mode seems preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves.
– Abraham Lincoln (First Inaugural Address)
The politicians profit when we are inflamed against each other. We must learn to resist it.
– Mark Meckler