Missouri politicians don’t care about the will of the people

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By DAVID A. COOK
President

Every January, politicians in the state House and Senate gather in Jefferson City and they work through May creating laws. It’s a few months of the year that finds many of us holding our breath as we wonder what fresh new attacks will come. 

This year Organized Labor has largely avoided major assaults from politicians. Although that might be because these same politicians have something much bigger in mind. They are attacking democracy itself. 

This year, Republican politicians are laser focused on one thing: making it harder for the people of Missouri to have their voice heard. They are doing this by making it harder for the people to put issues on the ballot for a statewide vote. 

You may remember that some of Missouri’s most recent positive accomplishments came, not as a result of leadership from Jefferson City, but as the result of the people standing up and fighting for a better state. We overturned so-called “right-to-work,” we passed campaign finance reform, we legalized medical and recreational marijuana, and we raised the state’s minimum wage. On every one of these issues the Republicans elected to represent their constituents were on the wrong side of public opinion. They actively worked to stop each of these measures from passing in the state capitol. 

The fact is that they are often on the wrong side of the issues. They are out of touch with what the average Missourian wants, and they resent voters getting the things they want. 

MAKING IT HARDER TO PASS LAWS BY A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE
Missouri Republicans have multiple bills all aimed to make it harder to pass laws by a vote of the people. They have a few different ways of trying this. Some of their proposals will require far more signatures to place issues on the ballot. Others would require an approval vote of more than 60 percent of the people to pass. The most insidious part of this effort is that they are hiding what they want to do. 

Our elected officials are so disingenuous; they have added an item to the bill that only U.S. Citizens have the right to vote. Well, I probably don’t have to tell you that its already illegal for non-citizens to vote. Of course, buried in this proposal, is the language that would make it harder for Missourians to have their votes matter on statewide votes. 

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I thought democracy meant that a simple majority could make decisions. Don’t we want to live in a state where the people can take to the polls and shape their own state? Why would we possibly want to make it harder for Missourians to make their own decisions? 

DON’T WANT MISSOURIANS TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS
The reason is very simple: the majority party in Jefferson City doesn’t want Missourians to make their own decisions, because they don’t respect the majority of this state. They are tired of seeing people reject their ideology and they don’t like feeling out-of-touch. 

This is a party on the wrong side of numerous issues and they’d rather take more power for themselves than trust it with the voters. They don’t represent the will of the people, they just represent their own interests. 

Don’t be fooled by these people. Too many politicians in this state are selfish and cynical. They don’t want to serve you. They want to serve themselves. We are still a democracy, and we should make sure we keep fighting for it. 

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