To the editor:
A recent letter writer (Oct. 10) feels that "we" have been left out of the local decision-making process. He said that "we" did not decide to ban fireworks and smoking, "we" didn't take a stand against the Patriot Act, and "we" will not ban cell phones in cars. He goes on to say, "The city's policies and practices are run by a few, small, special interest groups, and 'we' have been left out of the process."
Those small special interest groups are called elected officials. "We" live in a representative democracy. "We" have the opportunity every two to four years to participate in "the process." "We" can elect representatives who "we" think will make decisions and policies that "we" agree with. Even within that system, "we" have the opportunity (at least in Lawrence) to directly affect change by referendum. If "we" don't like the smoking ban or the fireworks ban, and "we" can rally enough like-minded people, "we" can change the law.
I do, however, understand the writer's frustration. After all, "we" didn't vote to invade Iraq. "We" didn't cut funding for levee projects in New Orleans. "We" didn't nominate a close friend and political crony to the Supreme Court. "We" didn't pass the Patriot Act. And, "we" didn't create a mega-billion dollar deficit.
"Our" only recourse is to elect candidates who will better represent "our" views in the future.