Thursday, October 30, 2014

Security Against Misrule: Immediacy and Morality

After reading Jeremy Bentham's inquiries on a constitution for the nation of Tripoli, I accepted his argument that "The Security against Misrule is publicity."

File:Portrait of Jeremy Bentham Wellcome M0016939.jpg
Jeremy Bentham
However, following the fall-out of corrupt leaders getting reelected, in despite dogging allegations of corruption and misconduct, whether in Detroit, Michigan or Providence, Rhode Island, or even the White House, one must accept that publicity alone is not enough to end misrule in our governments.

It's not enough to know that public officials are doing wrong.

Nor is it enough that they are routinely exposed for their wrongdoing.

When the crimes of local officials gets personal, when individual voters in large numbers feel directly threatened, then misrule meets the check and balance of angry voters and reform pressures.

After years of corruption under Democratic governors, Rhode Island voters started sending in Republicans.

After four state senators have been arrested and indicted in California, voters are starting to pay attention to the pay-for-play corruption which defines Sacramento politicking.

Now that state leaders are pushing state prisoners into county jails, who in turn are releasing convicts earlier into our neighborhoods, Californians will experience crime either directly or in the news. What happens when otherwise safe neighborhoods experience an evident uptick in crime?

Water tables are falling during the dry 2014 year. Farmers are leaving their land barren. Food prices will rise, and shoppers will find fewer crops in their stores. How will voters in suburban areas feel about water rationing, higher prices for water consumption? What about apartment dwellers who face eviction or high rent for basic resources?

Poor and working class families are fighting for jobs, for the best education for their kids. The quality of public school education has not changed, even with more money. Local charter schools are enduring greater scrutiny from parents, much of the time because they know that their kids need to compete for fewer seats in colleges, with rising tuition. Minority communities with a strong respect for education feel marginalized by pandering interest groups which want to reintroduce race as a key factor in college placement. Asian-American cohorts, which had normally voted Democratic, signaled their willingness to vote GOP just to silence liberal voices in the legislature.

The greatest security against misrule is the morality of the individual voter, and the consequences of the immoral actions of our legislators. Revolutionary uprisings sprung from law-abiding citizens who refused to cower under tyranny. When the oppression was so great, that death was no longer a fearful outcome, American colonists took up arms against the imposing British Empire, and won.

Obama refuses to lead, refuses to protect
puts his country and citizenry in harm's way

When a President refuses to defend a nation's borders, when communicable diseases permeate our otherwise healthy society, when government incompetence and corruption become so rife that our hardest working and most vulnerable citizens (Veterans, children) are placed in harm's way, men and women will react strongly and demand an end to the ongoing misrule in their midst.

The dreadful leadership of state lawmakers and executive officials is bearing down on voters. The security against misrule is more than just publicity, but immediacy and morality.

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