Home Editorials Do legislators really legislate for the best interests of their constituents?

Do legislators really legislate for the best interests of their constituents?

by William T. Robinson, Jr
William T. Robinson, Jr.

I wonder if I am alone when I often assume that some of those elected to represent us are totally ignoring what the majority of their constituents want. It is becoming a daily occurrence that we have too many lawmakers voting against what the majority of their constituents want. Unless things have changed, I thought our elected officials were supposed to work for us—not for themselves, esoteric groups or big businesses. I find it highly ironic that some of these lawmakers spew a lot of rhetoric trying to convince us that we don’t need this or that and rationalize that what we really want will be detrimental to us in the end.

I can understand legislators going against legislation totally in opposition to their moral compass or their integrity; however, too many issues are about helping those less fortunate and taking the financial burden off common working people. Helping those in need should take top priority.

Too many politicians seem to be making questionable decisions discounting the wishes of their constituents. These are legislators who should be questioned and made to elaborate on what may be considered betrayal of their constituents, especially on open and shut issues that shouldn’t be debatable. I would readily argue that most school children are able to know what is right and wrong, devoid of a lot of rhetoric, hyperbole and straight out lies.

As citizens in towns, cities, municipalities, and states, we want lawmakers capable of exhibiting empathy and understanding for those needing a helping hand, especially as it refers to finance, health care, housing, education, reducing taxes, etc. Some issues our lawmakers have voted on lately encompass gun law regulations; women’s rights to control their own bodies; voter suppression laws; deregulations for corporations; global warming regulations; health care; and legislation for and against marijuana.

As a diehard voter in Nashville, Tenn., I am personally ashamed of the stance the Republican controlled state legislature has taken on many important issues going against what I feel is in the best interests of the majority of common working citizens. Sometimes it is just about doing what is right when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Sadly, I feel a lot of issues are seen from a Eurocentric lens, disregarding and ignoring working class people and people of color.

The people I’ve talked to feel the most important issues include: 1) Gun regulation laws – In Tennessee, the laws governing gun regulations are a joke and totally disrespectful to the many school children slaughtered in school shootings (anything less than banning assault weapons or raising the age for obtaining assault weapons is irrelevant). 2)  African Americans and those seeking truth are outraged by Tennessee banning books and the teaching of CRT. 3) ‘Pro choice’ individuals (as well as women who are ‘pro life’ because of religion) don’t feel others have the right to impose their beliefs on all women, concluding abortion rights are between the woman, her family and God. 4) People interested in upholding democracy and people of color are more than outraged about legislation supporting voter suppressions laws. 5) The majority of Tennesseans are for marijuana’s legalization for medicinal and/or recreational purposes. Other states have shown how financially beneficial such legalization has been for their state. Marijuana use has not been a factor in increased crime in these states and has helped these states’ coffers.

Remember how many Tennessee lawmakers originally found every excuse to fight or discourage the state lottery. And now they can’t get enough of the monies provided by the state’s lottery to help fund education and other areas. It only brings to light that too many of our state legislators are out of touch with what the majority of their constituents want. Makes you wonder who do many of them really work for—apparently not the masses.

Vote in November and make your wishes known.      

Related Posts