"First do no harm", as I understand it, is an oath administered to graduating medical school students to guide them forever in their profession. We all hope they follow this oath.
Legislators, both state and federal, take an oath to uphold the Constitution of their State, if a state official, and The Constitution of The United States if federal. We all hope that they follow this oath also.
I wish legislators had to take the Hippocratic Oath too since their decisions can really cause wholesale harm to a society. Much of this harm seems to come about when a legislator legislates in a way to keep themselves in office. A vote on a bill not to upset the voters may seem prudent at the time and for future reelection, but in the long run may be the worst thing for the future and generations yet to follow.
Our Country's Framers had little idea legislators would become full-time professionals at their occupations. Most envisioned farmers or millers would serve a term or two then go back home to live out their lives there. Times have changed and the minds of legislators have changed along with time. Eating from the public trough must be enticing. The easy move from legislating to lobbing must be so very inviting too.
Today, our Country needs a redirecting of basic priorities starting with the limiting of terms of service for legislators. We always hear," lame duck session "and how much progress is to be made during that session. Why ? Because legislators including presidents are not running for reelection; therefore, they can vote their conscious instead of pandering for votes.
Churchill said of The United States, " You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." Maybe that's where we are now, having tried everything else and now we 'll do the right thing. The impending World financial crises with us as a prime player makes Congress look like babbling fools in their pre-positioned stance about the debt ceiling and cuts to entitlements and raising revenues. All these talking heads blathering talking points only to gather in potential votes can't have you and me in their heart of hearts.
We are better than this I was always taught.
"Of the people, by the people, for the people", that is us : when young sent to War, when healthy asked to build a nation for the future, now when old asked to sacrifice gains worked for so the effluent few can get more. This, my friends, is not a representative democracy but it is a plutocracy. The rule over us by the rich is one of the harshest governments of them all. To them : money is power and power is money. We are merely pawns, numbers to be crunched, throwaways.
My time is running out so someone has to pick up the baton and run with it. I only hope one of you who reads this bends over, picks up the baton, and runs like "hell".
Ronald C. Downie