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Auchter's Art: Everybody wants to rule the world

John Auchter
Michigan Radio

We're all human. And that's the essential problem with democracy. It'd work a lot better if people weren't involved. But you really can't have a government "of the people, by the people, for the people" without, you know, people.

Our particular form of democracy, this constitutional republic, was designed to take into account the people problem by including separation of powers, checks and balances, and lots and lots of rules. It's all designed as a safeguard against our worst impulses, which is to get into power and then do whatever we want.

Currently, the system is again being actively tested as newly elected officials begin their terms — from the U.S. Congress to county boards. Again, we're all human, so it's important to recognize that there will inevitably be overreach.

But then there are instances that go far beyond overreach and absolutely bury the needle on the ol' hypocrisy meter. In Ottawa County, the newly elected majority to the board of commissioners started the year at a full ideological sprint. You can read the details here, but the takeaway for me was that a group of individuals who got themselves elected by professing their love for laws, transparency, and democracy, made an immediate mark by trampling over all three.

As the song goes, it seems everybody wants to rule the world.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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