Being a manager in Human Resources over the years, I’ve had many occasions to create job descriptions. I was prompted to think about this the other day when I heard Representative Maxine Waters proclaim that her only reason in running for re-election in 2018 was to continue to pursue the impeachment of President Trump. So, with my professional background, allow me, Representative Waters, to tell you what you and your colleagues’ job description is per the Constitution.
Most would probably say that the job of our representatives in Congress is to pass laws. After all, the Constitution plainly states that they comprise half of the national legislature, and legislating involves writing laws. True, that is the meaning of the term “legislate”, and that is the part of the government to which the Constitution assigns them; but I’d rather they spend time unwriting laws, abolishing regulations and de-authorizing the myriad of departments and agencies they’ve created over the years that have no foundation within the Constitution! The preacher in the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes concluded by stating a truth “amened” by every student, namely that “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” If he were to write that today in view of our Congress he could well have said “Of making laws there is no end, and much regulation wearies the citizenry.”
Though some laws are necessary to the preservation of a civil society and the liberties of its citizens, I would submit that such is not the primary duty in a congressional representative’s job description. Instead I would point to the last phrase in the first amendment to the Constitution: “…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Why would the founders have felt the need to add this to the Constitution? We need look no further than to our Declaration of Independence, for that is exactly the purpose for which it was written and submitted to the British Crown, but to no avail. The founders had languished under the tyranny of a ruler who brushed aside their petitions for redress, so they wanted to make certain that in the new government they were crafting there would be a mechanism to preserve that ability and right of the people. So just what is that conduit that is available to us whenever we feel the government has overstepped its authority and is threatening our liberties to seek redress if it is not through our representatives? Is that not the very meaning of the term “represent”? Just who are they representing? Us, their constituents. To whom are they representing us? Is it not the national government?
No, no Maxine, your purpose in running for the office of Representative is not to “Impeach 45” (unless he has committed offenses that threaten our liberties, which he has not), but to be the mouthpiece for your fellow citizens when they feel they have been harmed by the government. Lord knows you have a mouth – you just need to use it for the purpose for which your office intends.
-August 11, 2017