You know the ad on TV where somebody is walking around with a cell phone, asking, “Can you hear me now?” I’ve been thinking lately that this is a metaphor for us and our elected officials. They don’t seem to listen to us. The voters in Missouri say in a referendum that they overwhelmingly don’t like our healthcare reform; the media and political class are dismissive. Obviously, I’m not the only person who wonders if we’re being heard. 

An essay in the American Thinker, one of the most erudite blogs going, addresses the same issue this morning:

One of the main grievances cited in the Declaration of Independence was King George’s complete disregard of the people’s will. As the Declaration asserts, the colonists’ “repeated petitions [were] answered only by repeated injury.” These words echo throughout America today…

This is not to confuse self-governance with majority rule. Rather, we want the American system of constitutional republicanism. As a nation, we (1) make our own laws (2) through elected representatives, (3) so long as those laws do to not violate God-given natural rights of life, liberty, and property.

America, circa 2010, operates just the opposite on all three counts. Laws are made (1) in defiance of the people, (2) often by unelected bureaucrats or judges and are (3) regularly in violation of our rights to life, liberty, and/or property.

I am going to leave Rep. Charlie Rangel’s legal problems to others, but a minor incident at his lavish birthday party at New York’s Plaza Hotel says a lot about the disconnect between us and the political class. What they call the “optics” of the lavish evening were terrible, but worst of all was what one VIP did: As former mayor David Dinkins passed a protester, Mr. Dinkins gave him the middle finger.