Contentious groups in government

Dennis Gosnell

Assistant Editor

Contentious groups in government

On Feb. 3, 1984 Charlie Reese, a former columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, wrote an article called, “545 vs. 300,000,000”. In this article, Reese expressed his views concerning the dispersion of accountability in government.

Reese tries to convey that no one man or woman in the U.S. has the single say so to put words into action.  A proposition is made, a committee is formed, and all elected congressmen and women and senators who have been given the power to make and create laws must vote. The people of the U.S. have put these individuals into seats of power and given them license to create the laws of the land as they see fit. No one person is at fault, they all are.  They either succeed or fail together.

“One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices – 545 human beings out of 238 million- are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.” – Excerpt from 545 vs. 300,000,000

When two contentious groups are both fighting for the ideals of their respective groups, and place more value on their own perceptions of right and wrong, the outcome leads to citizens being pulled one way or another, or leads to them becoming under-represented.

“Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They and they alone have the power, they and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses – provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.” – Excerpt from 545 vs. 300,000,000

Idealizations of right and wrong create illusionary falsehoods

Arguing right and wrong is essential and beneficial for philosophers who have the freedom to do so. However, right and wrong becomes irrelevant in the normal sense of what right and wrong is, when a greater number of people are involved.

The first amendment of the U.S. Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Governments should not have a stance on religion, on personal choices concerning what to do or not to do with their bodies, or on the stance of how people should choose to love another being.

All these issues involve how a person makes a deeply significant choice concerning their lives.  Whether it is right or wrong is irrelevant, people must have the freedom to make their own choices. Right or wrong is a perspective that is not static; it is fluid and ever changing.

An appointed official of the people has a responsibility and duty to the people who have given their vote, and also to those who voted for someone else or did not vote. Once elected it should not matter that a person did or did not vote. That official has a duty to represent all the peoples of their respective represented areas equally.

As the 2012 Presidential elections near, take the time to look at how the government that is paid for by people has given its support to the people.



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