3 Ways Lawmakers Get Stuck
Do lawmakers get stuck? How, you ask?
Stuck in Process
In New Hampshire, we have somewhat of a volunteer legislature. More the way the founders intended than what the federal government lawmakers look like, in structure and compensation. The rules and process is a good way to be stuck.
It means that regular people are able to contribute to the shaping of the state laws, if they so choose. However, it also means they need to have the means, which most of us do not. It may mean sacrificing time and money to serve, which many people do. Thank you, if that is you.
I have some friends who are lawmakers. They have my respect and admiration. The time and effort to do the job is a huge commitment. The aggravation of daily life and jobs or businesses are multiplied by the demands of carefully examining bills, some of which have life and death consequences. And then, they also have the added stress of public lives and constituents, who might stop them at the grocery store or at a local pub when they might just want to get home to family.
Stuck in Pride
Some get stuck in the pride of the job in a good way, always striving to be attentive to the people they represent, but others in a bad way, so puffed up in their own minds that they cannot think properly.
The very idea that they deserve respect gets a hold of their psyche. Of course they do. That’s why we call them honorable, but the idea is that they deserve that respect because they are serving the public good. Not because they are good. None of us are so good that we deserve honor separate from actions.
Hubris pride is blinding. A person stuck in pride cannot see the truth. I shake my head at the smooth talking physician who kills the most vulnerable humans on earth for a living and then tells the committee hearing that he knows there are no late term abortions happening in New Hampshire.
We are a small state, but what kind of gal does a person have to have to make a statement like that? How could anyone know if we had a Kermit Gosnell here? When asked if he knew the abortionist who flies in from out-of-state on Thursdays to do abortions, he said he did not. This is insanity. His testimony should have been called out as unacceptable. Instead, he was graciously attended to and thanked.
This happens all the time. Ridiculous lies are openly exposed, yet accepted into the public record as motivations to rule a piece of legislation ought to pass or inexpedient to legislate.
Lies should have no part in lawmaking.
Stuck in Perception of Authority
“Without data, we make up stories,” profound words from Brene Brown.
We have a bill that purports to be a study, a fact-finding committee to see what changes should be made relative to prostitution in our state. Some of the interested parties are pro-prostitution groups. Again, the people making a living from this illegal practice are being asked to give information to the committee about how we should change our laws.
Admittedly, some are here in our state, but some are outside groups with a vested interest in promoting prostitution, an inherently degrading and coercive business of buying and selling human bodies.
So, let’s get this straight, pimps and traffickers are so charismatic that they convince people to give up their very bodies, the only thing that provides life and a way to interact with this world, but lawmakers think they won’t get hornswoggled?
One detective that I did a presentation with, told of a notoriously violent trafficker that they caught. Just before she went in to interview him, her boss came out and said, “Be careful. I just spent a few minutes with him and I want to buy him lunch.” How does that happen? Charm.
They are so charming that they are able to talk people into letting others rape them, beat them, starve them, tattoo them, drug them, and literally give up their autonomy with loyalty to their abusers and some lawmakers think you’re going to get the truth from them.
I can only pray these people get unstuck. Lives and futures are at stake here. Thankfully, there are people and organizations watching, but too often they are only watching.
We are helpless, even when we bring expert witnesses to testify to the truth, if the lawmakers remain stuck in blinding pride and delusions of grander. Constituents are working to make ends meet, taking care of their families and often overwhelmed with the demands of daily life to be government watchdogs.
We are on a very scary trajectory. God help us get unstuck.