I know a lot about the subject and am always eager to share my knowledge with her. When she gets with her buddies and they start talking about outlet shopping or their grandchildren, she could blow their socks off by saying, "Speaking of outlet shopping and grandchildren, did you know that Article Ten of the State Constitution establishes two ways in which the Constitution can be amended, either by legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or by constitutional conventions?"
She says she would rather talk about outlet shopping and her grandchildren.
Last week, I came into the kitchen and announced that state redistricting is scheduled to take place in a couple of years and that could impact who represents us both in the Congress and in the State Legislature.
"It doesn't matter," she said as she poured some kind of glop on the broccoli, "Johnny Isakson represents me in Washington and Rich Golick of Vinings is my state representative. Let whoever do whatever. It doesn't change anything."
"You don't understand the significance of what I am telling you," I said patiently, "While redistricting won't affect the U.S. Senate because senators are elected statewide, redistricting could possibly alter the districts of the members of the U.S. House, including our own members of Congress."
"That's wonderful, dear. If I need anything from Washington, I'll just call Johnny. Now eat your broccoli."
"Senator Isakson is a very busy man and he has a lot more things to do than hang around waiting for you to call."
"He told me he didn't. Now, if he is not going to be redistricted to Wyoming or Idaho, why should I care about all that other stuff? It sounds very boring."
"Because it could mean a tremendous change in the political and socio-economic environment for years to come."
"Does that mean I won't be able to get hold of Johnny Isakson when I need him?"
"Good. Now eat your broccoli. It's getting cold."
"One other thing: Redistricting will have a similar impact on our state government. As computer analysis becomes more sophisticated, the lines for our state senators and state representatives may be redrawn significantly."
"Does that mean that Rich Golick will no longer be my representative?"
"Rich Golick hasn't been your representative for the past eight years. We were moved out of his area in the last redistricting."
"Maybe you were, but I wasn't. Rich Golick has been my representative since he showed up at our door campaigning back in 1998. It was very hot that day and I offered him some water. I liked him then and I like him today. If there is something I need and I don't choose to call Senator Isakson, I'll just call Rich."
"But, dang it, he is not your elected representative!"
"Oh, but he is. Would you like me to heat up your broccoli?"
"Look, I know you know a lot about outlet shopping and grandchildren, but you don't know anything about politics. The Constitution of the United States spells out in very clear terms how we choose our elected officials. The same with the State Constitution. You can't just go around picking who you want to represent you like you would a lawyer or an insurance agent. You elect people to represent you. That is why we have elections."
"Was Johnny Isakson elected? And Rich Golick?"
"Well, yes they were, but. . . ."
"I rest my case."
"Boy, you really don't understand politics, do you?"
"Maybe not, but I do know this. Johnny Isakson is my representative in Washington and Rich Golick represents me in Georgia. If I have a problem, I will call them. If I don't, I will leave them alone. And if that ever changes, I will refer to Article Ten of the Georgia Constitution and get a legislatively-referred amendment passed to clear up the matter. Any more questions?"
"Yes. Do I have to eat my broccoli?"
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.