By John Ruffu
Our free speech when we march on DC or on our local streets holding signs is “meaningless free speech” when our representative is “shut out” and their speech on our behalf is “stifled” and made powerless to affect legislation that reflects our will. Those signs we hold while marching have no value of citizen free speech where it counts, in the process of legislation.
If our political party is the minority party, by rule of the US House, our representative cannot utter one word reflecting the speech on our signs of demonstration unless permitted by a majority chairperson. Speech by members of the majority party result in legislation. That is how ‘Majority Rule’ works relative to free speech in the US Congress. In Congress real, authentic and effective free speech is determined solely by our political party affiliation. The otherwise constitutional guarantee of that speech has been thrown off by the US Congress using ‘Majority Rule’ and its use of monopoly of committee chairs and the authoritarian power inherited therein.
The way to assure “citizen legislative free speech” for those in the minority party is to empower it with committee chairs in proportion to the percent of seated members in a chamber of Congress. If after an election, party A has 54% of the seats in the US House, they get 69 of the 127 US House committee chairs. The remaining 46% or 58 committees go to party B. The sides alternate in picking committees.
The result gives each side a sword to protect the free speech of their constituents. The free speech behind the sign of a minority party constituent then has a chance of becoming law by virtue their representative has power through the committees they chair. Negotiation and compromise is the natural result. Otherwise under ‘Majority Rule’, new legislation is formed by unconstitutional force because the majority party silences the minority party’s “citizen legislative free speech”. That kind of policy is not nationally directionally unifying. That is to be expected when one side can speak and the other is silenced.
Therefore, as in the past, government shut downs will come and go, the mentally ill homeless will continue to be unserved and the major issues most agree on will continue to be neglected. A few polarizing issues will continue to be allowed to separate and marginalize and otherwise prevent the maturing of our democracy. That maturity is measured by the advancement towards the achievement of the Preamble’s goals that are supposed to be produced if we correctly implement our constitution: justice, tranquility, promotion of the general welfare, common defense and the pursuit of the blessings of liberty. Those goals (except common defense) continue to be erased from our form of democracy under the unconstitutional use of ‘Majority Rule’ in our Congress.