Reject the 600 Club

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Not to be confused
with Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, a religious program broadcast
on CBN (about which I won’t comment), the 600 Club refers to the
officious thugs who comprise our federal government, and essentially
run our lives.

Take the 435
Congressmen, 100 Senators, 1 President, 9 Supreme Court justices,
add some assorted cabinet members, advisors and other lackeys, round
it off and 600 is just about right. Think about it, a mere 600 people
attempting to manage a nation of 300 million! Can this possibly
work? Is it even sensible?

Make no mistake
— this is a club. As Rothbard points out in his seminal work,
For
a New Liberty
, the effectiveness of our much-lauded system
of checks and balances is “flimsy indeed.” The Executive is nominated
from the ranks of the Legislative branch, while the Supreme Court
is appointed and anointed by the other two branches. They are all
part of the same political fraternity, and (except for a few rare
individuals) will always vote to expand their power and influence
— and there is no outside agency that can trump them.

Of course,
before Lincoln trashed the Constitution and forever quashed the
power of the individual states, there was such a constraint,
at least in theory. State nullification, as proposed by Jefferson
and Madison in their Kentucky
and Virginia Resolutions
, declared that state legislatures had
the right to decide the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress.
This was a vital check on federal power which was, inexplicably,
rejected by the majority of states, then hysterically denounced
by President Andrew Jackson thirty years later; the concept is all
but forgotten today. As a result, our country is now being blatantly
run (into the ground) by the 600 Club, while the states kowtow to
it for money and happily transfer responsibility to it, so they
can shrug their metaphorical shoulders when things go awry.

Over a decade
ago I drove cross-country, west to east, and as I was rolling through
the flat, brown pastures of Wyoming, it occurred to me that the
lives of its residents must be so foreign to mine that we might
as well be living on different continents. I also wondered how any
law passed by the federal government, 1,600 miles away, could realistically
apply to those folks. How could Washington politicians possibly
know what they might need, feel or want? How could any federal legislation,
for the “good of the country” as a whole, not be to their detriment?

Wyoming has
two Senators and one Congressman; how can the interests of its 500,000
citizens possibly be adequately represented in the federal government?
Now, I’m certainly not suggesting we elect more federal officials
or create more government at any level; my purpose is merely to
ask if our current system does an adequate job of representing its
citizens — or is it a sham?

Despite public
school brainwashing that central government is “inevitable and superior,”
this position has been challenged by many scholars, and it seems
almost intuitively obvious that smaller governmental units are more
rational. Simply assume that the 600 Club were managing Wyoming’s
population of 500,000, instead of the entire country’s 300 million.
Which do you think it would have a better chance of running successfully?

One wonders
how our putative representatives can possibly represent us adequately.
Assume three major issues with two positions each — say Iraq, immigration,
economy. There are thus 2 x 2 x 2 or eight different choices
of candidate needed to represent any given voter on election day.
We get only two alternatives. How is this representative democracy?

As detailed
by other contributors to this website, democracy in the United States
seems to have become a case of bickering left-wing socialists (Democrats)
and right-wing socialists (Republicans), both operating under a
gentlemen’s agreement to adopt similar platforms and policies, provide
ever more “freebies” to the populace to attract votes, and not rock
the boat. Each party knows that eventually its time will come, as
its “enemy” falls out of favor, and then its own comrades will control
all the goodies for a while. The 600 Club may gain and lose members,
but the club itself, and its raison d'être remains.

On Election
Day this November, I will vote many times for my new favorite write-in
candidate, “Reject Both.” This is not my original idea (and, unfortunately,
I can’t seem to locate its creator to provide credit where it is
surely due), but I heartily agree with it — this should be a printed
option on every ballot. If Reject Both gets more votes than either
of the other candidates, it “wins” the election and a new one must
be held. Until a satisfactory candidate is nominated and elected,
the office stays vacant. While many political offices might thus
remain vacant for considerable periods of time, I sincerely doubt
that it would make much difference in any of our lives.

October
10, 2006

Andrew
S. Fischer has worked in various fields.

Andrew
S. Fischer

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