Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

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May 20, 2010

William F. Buckley, Jr. Would Be Proud

by Doug Mataconis

42-19694571

William F. Buckley Jr. is famous for once having said:

“I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.”

If he were still around today, I’m sure he’d get some enjoyment out of the fact that a plurality of Americans agree with him:

Tuesday’s primaries were more proof of the anti-incumbency mood felt in many parts of the nation, and a new Rasmussen Reports poll finds that many voters continue to feel a randomly selected sample of people from the phone book could do a better job than their elected representatives in Congress.

The latest national telephone survey of Likely Voters finds that 41% say a group of people selected at random from the phone book would do a better job addressing the nation’s problems than the current Congress. Almost as many (38%) disagree, however, and another 20% are undecided.

These findings show little change from early January and early September 2009. However, the number of voters who feel a random selection could do better is up eight points from early
October 2008
, just before the presidential election.

Honestly, it couldn’t be any worse, could it ?

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4 Comments

  1. Of course, the newly elected folks will be incumbents in 4 years.

    Comment by Michael O. Powell — May 20, 2010 @ 12:19 pm
  2. So, then it’s back to the phone book !

    I am seriously in favor of term limit amendments to the Constitution.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — May 20, 2010 @ 12:24 pm
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  4. Of course, the newly elected folks will be incumbents in 4 years.

    Have we forgotten that representatives are elected every two years and senators every six?

    That aside, their status as incumbents at the next election cycle simply means it’s time for them to go.

    Personally, it would be interesting if representatives and senators were drafted, rather than elected. People are ripped out of their lives to perform jury duty for low pay (while the pay is low, the ability to have an impact on another’s life and strike a blow against the government is too great to pass up); I can’t think of any realistic reasons why drafting representatives and senators would be any worse of an idea (in terms of the morality of it). Sure, staffers would gain much more power and lobbyists, unless checked by rescinding much of the federal government’s power, would basically be writing the laws, but that’s not all that different from how things are done now (and not at all different from how things are done in Michigan).

    Comment by Justin Bowen — May 21, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

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