Have you ever noticed? Or paid attention to your state legislators?
Did you ever wonder why North Dakota has so many wealthy, independent business men in office? Have you ever really paid attention and realized that our legislature is mainly compiled of retired people, housewives, and wealthy people?
Did you ever think the reason things are so screwed up here is because nobody is actually representing the poor, working, middle-class schmucks? I did. I researched it, paid attention and realized that legislature in North Dakota is not a full-time paying gig. They meet every two years for four months. How many of you can afford to leave your job (or even get the OK to from your employer) for four months? How many of us have jobs where having any type of political opinion or affiliation is frowned upon?
Yes, there are a handful of people in North Dakota legislature that have put aside their jobs and careers for the common good. And by a handful, I mean about 6. Those are the people we can truly admire. They aren’t doing it for their own interests, but because they want to help.
So, the way I see it, the only people who can leave work for four months and have no worries about their political views are the retired, the housewives, and the self-employed. That means if you don’t fit into one of those categories, you’re screwed.
What can we do about it? I’ve thought a lot about this. I thought about running for office myself, but if my employer said to do it, they would expect me to represent their interests in legislature rather than what actual North Dakotans want, so that’s really no good, is it?
My thought is, we make serving in legislature no different than serving in the military. You leave to serve your country and your job is still there (or one similar), when you return. You’re still serving your country, right? You’re still doing what you think serves all North Dakotans, right? So what’s the difference?
Of course, this will never happen because of our current legislators. They just don’t need that kind of competition. If anyone can run and fight and still be employed after the legislative session, we might get equal representation.