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Politicians should stop gerrymandering, start cooperating

January 18, 2012
David R. Correll
Letter to the Editor of the Westfield Republican, If politicians think that gerrymandering is “forming a more perfect union,” they are seriously short of understanding what they have been elected to do. Political party gerrymandering of state voting district boundaries, to assure their party of continuing voting majority, is just power-game playing to eliminate opposition at the level where citizens have the most direct knowledge of the facts. There, the give-and-take of problem resolution is replaced by single party arguments which rise to unreconciled extremes to the dysfunction and polarization of Congress. Constitutional objectives are ignored in aggressive political battles for power with no intelligent idea of how to use it for public good. Congress seems to just act instinctively to benefit itself without first supporting the constitutional objective to “promote the general welfare,” or even the obvious human need for collective cooperation to survive and propagate. After our successful Revolutionary War with England, representatives appointed by the colonies to update the existing Articles of Confederation soon realized that an entirely new Constitution would be required to govern. A major new idea was deriving the authority for government from the people themselves. This confirmed that representing the will of the people is the main purpose of our government as long as the will upholds the objectives of the Constitution’s Preamble and Bill of Rights. Capitalism is very important to our economy, but protecting the “welfare of the people” must also prevent the recurrence of capitalist self-destruction. Unfortunately, voters, lured by attractive Pied Pipers who they trusted to lead them from the desert of despair to the American Dream, too often have been abandoned in the quicksand of unregulated capitalism, where the wealthy reign supreme. Even with the clear facts learned from past failures, politicians still persist in using their political power games to maneuver inappropriate ideologies into law instead of negotiating cooperatively to forge the best ideas into legislation. It is time for our elected officials to negotiate cooperatively to forge legislation to benefit average Americans.

David R. Correll Westfield



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