By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – What’s that?

You say you feel powerless, at the mercy of big time politicians, big business, and every power broker in-between?

Plenty of people have been feeling that way for a long time.

I was looking last night at a CBS News poll from 1976, 41 years ago, where nearly 60-percent of voters said government serves “big interests,” not the people.

And last year, a poll found 60-percent of Republicans, 53-percent of Democrats, and two-thirds of voters under 30 felt “helpless” about the election, ultimately won by a candidate who promised to empower people who felt powerless.

I get why you might feel that way.

But cheer up a little. Because you’re wrong.

Just look at what’s happening lately with the most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States.

For now at least, his agenda on immigration has been rejected by the courts, his agenda on health care rebuffed by his own party, and a growing litany of campaign promises, on NATO and China, stalled or repelled by reality.

Right here at home, we recently saw the efforts of some of our most powerful politicians and business people to foist the Summer Olympic Games on us thwarted by popular outcry.

And right now we’re seeing some of the biggest, most arrogant businesses in the country like the big airlines and Facebook forced to change their practices in response to public pressure.


Not you or me.

Unless we choose to be.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Comments (2)
  1. Except the people elected a man who promised to do something about immigration and is being thwarted by unelected crony judges. That’s why people who don’t agree with your biases Jon are feeling powerless. Even when we elect people, they get stopped by the big government powers that we are trying to stop.

  2. That may begin to change, Outwest. Donald Trump has almost 150 judgeships that need filling, and during next three-and-a-half years, there should be at lest two, and probably three openings on the Supreme Court (Kennedy, Ginsburg, and possibly Breyer).

    The fundamental concept of our judicial system rests on judges applying the law, not what they think is fair. They are fully entitled to impose any sanction that they think is fair within the limits of the statute that they are enforcing and the binding case law.

    Judges are not supposed to be “super legislators” entitled to create new law.

    To allow them that privilege would mean that we would have hundreds and hundreds of “micro-mini legislatures” around the country whose only check would be the courts above them, who themselves would be considered, superduper legislatures, and those lead by an extraordinarily super duper, all powerful mini legislature of nine men and women.

    The result of that would be legal chaos, a condition that the law abhors.

    This nation needs confidence that its courts will uphold the law as passed by Congress and approved by the President, no matter who was in the Congress at the time or the President that signed statute into lay.

    Right now, there is little confidence in our judicial system a all levels of the judiciary.

    Also, President Trump seems interested in breaking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals into smaller districts. Not a bad idea.

    But, the problem with the Ninth is that its judges are the most likely to act as mini legislators and have the record of being the most overruled district in the country.

    If Trump CAN split up the Ninth, he can force retirement on a fair number of liberal judicial Neanderthals and Robespierres, and can appoint a raft of new, less licentious justices tho bring the Ninth back into some sort of connection with the rest of the nation’s judicial thinking.

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