Zero Plus 360
Why You Should Join The
Congress Of Vigilance Today
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York
City, September 7-- The United States Congress met yesterday in
Federal Hall, a few blocks from Ground Zero, at the site where George
Washington was inaugurated our first President, and where Congress first
convened in 1789.
But there is a huge and Terrorizing
difference between the Congress of 1789 and the one of 2002.
That difference is Vigilance. It seems to have been lost over 100
years ago when Congress stopped representing families.
The Congress of 1789 was a Congress of
Vigilance. Today's Congress has been stripped, whittled,
emaciated from its original role of Sentinels of Vigilance, and turned into
a small collection of power brokers. No longer does the U.S.
Congress represent the families, the children, the grandchildren of
America. It can't. It's way too small to do that.
Back in 1789 the Constitution of the United
States, the most forward-thinking document in world history, foresaw the
dangers of power being centered among the few. To
balance that power, the Constitution split the power into three sections,
Executive, Legislative and Judicial. The idea was to
balance power with the people's Voices through Congress, challenging the
Executive and Judicial arms of government. Congress, comprised of elected
representatives of the people, was to be the watchdog of individual
All that has gotten lost in the
Back in 1789 the Constitution called
for one Representative per 30,000 population. Anyone
reading the original document usually skims over that fact as being
crucial to the idea of true "representative government."
The formula was brilliant. A
U.S. Congressperson could, over a year, virtually speak/listen to all
those he or she represented. Using today's formula of nearly
three persons per household, back in 1789 there would be 10,000
households. But since the family size was nearly double then what is
now, that number would be cut in half, to only 5,000.
In essence, a U.S. Congressperson was
essentially the "mayor" of the community, acting in a far more local and
community arena where issues came to his doorstep on a daily basis.
The principle was that the closer the representative was to the people,
the stronger the Voice in Congress would be to protect the families of
each community from oppressive, large government. And, under
the guidelines of the Constitution, a government "of, by and for the
people," could endure anything--for it would be a Vigilant Government, one
concerned with the future of the children and their children's children
rather than one controlled by a few elite leaders hoisted so high up the
flagpole they never got any dirt on their shoes, or never lived in the
challenges of daily life.
Power corrupts by size. The
more power one individual collects, the more corrupt that power can
That happened to America.
Politicians got complacent. They also got
power hungry. Over the past 200 years the formula of one
representative for each 30,000 population, as originally set forth in the
Constitution, has evolved to what is now called a "fixed ratio."
Since 1790, there have been five different methods used to determine the
size of elected representatives.
to history of changes)
Today, Congress is limited to 435
members, and has been since 1910. In contrast, nearly 200 years ago,
there were over 100 Congressional representatives.
The ratio of U.S. Congressional
Representatives currently is one for 650,000 population, a far cry
from 1:30,000. In fact, it's over 20 times as large as the number
originally set in the Constitution.
Some might say it's twenty times as
hard today to have one's Voice heard than it was a century ago when the
"fixed ratio" came into being.
Most think it is impossible.
It is a law that the farther away a
parent exists from a child, emotionally as well as physically, the more
they become strangers. Even though a parent and child
can live under the same roof, they may not communicate. A
child may keep his or her feelings secret from the parent for one major
reason--i.e. the parent never asks the child what he or she thinks, or how he
or she feels. They co-exist under the same roof, the child
standing at one end of the compass, the parent at the other.
Parental and political distancing are the same.
This is the situation
today with Congress. Few citizens even know their
Congressperson's name, let alone has had the privilege of him or her call upon them at
their home and ask "How's the family? What issues are you most
concerned with? How can I help make your life better?
Your children's life, how can it be improved? Their children's children's life,
what needs do they have I can address?"
With three people per household,
at 650,000 per Congressperson, that amounts to 216,000 households for a
U.S. Representative to visit each year just to "get to know" the heartbeat
of the people. Even Superman would scratch his head at that
But if that ratio was the original one, one
Representative per 30,000 households, 10,000 families wouldn't be so hard
to contact personally, or, at least a majority of them wouldn't be.
Making 10 phone calls a day to people in the community would cover nearly
half the constituents over a year.
However, Congress isn't structured to hear
what going on with a family. At least, not since 1910.
The original "Jefferson Method" of electing
one Representative per 30,000 population would swell the ranks of Congress
today to over 9,300 Representatives. Oddly, that's about the number
of mayors in America.
But would that be so bad?
If we are entering the "Era of
Vigilance," or, have started up its hill as a result of September 11,
who's to say going back to the original blueprint of "Family
Representation" wouldn't be the best for our nation?
Personally, I think it is a travesty to
call government "representative" when there is no forum for families, no
communication link between an elected official and the majority of people
living and struggling daily to overcome the "natural Terrorisms" of life.
No matter how well
intentioned a Congressperson might be, the idea of tackling 216,000 households is
overwhelming. It's as though the formula we currently use to elect
officials to represent us denies representation. When one
person is told to be the "ear of" nearly three-quarters of a million
people, even Dumbo the Elephant couldn't hear enough to make a good
But the structure for "listening" exists.
The Mayor System is about as close as one can get to the original 1:30,000
Representation formula Thomas Jefferson promoted and managed.
Naturally, communities revolve around a core of services and
businesses that feeds them, and that configuration is about 30,000.
In franchising, most all companies use that formula--one franchise per
30,000--because it links a business to a community, and allows it to
become "part of" rather "set apart from" the people in the area.
Here in New York City, only 150 Congressional
Representatives showed up at Federal Hall, their original home.
That was a ratio of one Representative for every 1.9 million people.
It is doubtful the Voices of the families within their scope of
representation was heard.
That's why I believe we should go back to a
"Congress of Vigilance." Perhaps a more appropriate name
should be--"The Family Congress."
If we are going to truly make decisions for
the welfare of our children, and their children's children's children, we
need to widen the avenues of Representation. The first
step would be to increase the size of Congress.
Having 10,000 Representatives would be far
more effective than 435 for one reason--the people's Voice would be more
likely heard than the lobbyists who bend Congressional ears for their
Business is all about the bottom
line--what's good for me today! Business has little
vision because it is ruled by cash flow--how much money is in the till
today! Thus, we make laws that favor the present, and
forget about the future.
If Congress followed its original
formula, 10,000 Voices would compete to be heard, and the issues wouldn't
be born out of cronyism, or a sense of power. Decisions would
be fundamental, for the majority would have to agree on them, and the odds
of any one idea winning the support of the many would require the most
basic of values to reach ratification.
Congress's visit to New York City was an
example of the diminishing power of the people over government.
It was a symbol of Complacency.
What America needs is a Congress of
Vigilance, and that will only come about when the majority of its members
represent their communities, not their campaign coffers.
You can help start
that process by becoming a Citizen of Vigilance.
By taking the Pledge of Vigilance, you signal to Congress the
importance of your Voice as a family member, a concerned citizen
for the future of the children. The more Congress sees
Americans banding together for the future, the more its members
will start to listen to you, and not those paid to bend their
If Vigilance has
a price, it is the cost of speaking your mind rather than feeling
what you have to say doesn't matter. It does. And
it all starts with your vow to become a Congressperson of Vigilance.
You can represent the children's children's children.
Take the Pledge of Vigilance. And speak up for the
Go To Sep 6: The Naked
Skies Of New York Leave Kids Vulnerable
- 2004, VigilanceVoice.com, All rights reserved - a ((HYYPE))