Congressional Boot Camp

In theory, members of congress represent the will of their constituents, but in practice that hasn’t been the case for quite some time, with few exceptions. They know it. We know it. Their decisions are based entirely upon their personal ideologies, and that of their financial backers. To hell with the people. We, the people, mean absolutely nothing to them.

It always astounds me that politicians are elected and paid to pass legislation on issues that they know absolutely nothing about. How is it possible for someone to sit in judgment on topics that are completely outside of their realm of experience?

Here’s a thought. If we dismantle the fundraising mechanism for congress, if we cap the amount of money one can spend to run for office, level the playing field, as it were, prohibit contributions by corporations, and make all funds go through a general pool so that no politician can determine the source of the proceeds and therefore is beholden to no one, then the public will be running the country once again.

This would also free up a lot of time. Congressmen spend the bulk of their time in fundraising activities. If this were no longer an issue, there would be greater opportunities to do the things that they should have been doing all along: familiarizing themselves with the issues they are weighing in on.

For example, how can people vote about whether or not to go to war when the vast majority of them have never set foot in a war zone? Before they can vote on such an important issue, they should either have to live in a war zone for two months, or send their children to fight on the front line.

Don’t think waterboarding is torture? Before you can say that, you should have to experience it yourself, and also subject someone else to it.

Against abortion? I’ll take you seriously once you’ve adopted a crack baby with fetal alcohol syndrome.

Making policies that impact the homeless? Sleep on the street for a month. Preferably in winter.

Weighing in on immigration? Let’s take everything away from you, surround you with people who want you dead, and kick you out of your homeland. Then we’ll talk.

All this could be avoided if everyone in congress possessed one quality: empathy. The ability to imagine what life is like for others, particularly the less fortunate. The concept that just because something isn’t a problem for you, that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. Until you have some moral authority, as far as I’m concerned, you have no authority at all.

End of rant.


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10 thoughts on “Congressional Boot Camp

  1. lyn sutton

    Unfortunately sociopaths are incapable of empathy. Even when they’ve experienced pain or loss they won’t care about others experiencing the same. It’s only about self with a sociopath. (you can lead a horse to water…) Aren’t these the same politicians who would vote on the great changes you’ve suggested? 🙂 Maybe if we, the people, demand everyone in public service pass empathy and morality tests those elected to pass and implement legislation and law will truly return this country to we the people.

      1. lyn sutton

        Not if pumped full of truth serum and hooked to a lie detector machine while being assessed by a body language expert. 🙂

  2. lyn sutton

    i noticed you called your post a rant. I prefer a more positive term. Discourse, albeit a short and justifiably outraged one. Rant has such negative connotations as evidenced by it’s many negative synonyms. Discourse on the other hand better describes your rational and organized expressions of your beliefs and thoughts. Don’t sell yourself short. If a man wrote what you did would anyone call it a rant?

    1. That’s probably true, that it’s a gender biased word. But I must confess, I like to rant. I find it emotionally cleansing. I spent half my life trying to avoid expressing anger. So now when I manage to do it, it feels like triumph to me.

      1. lyn sutton

        If it’s emotionally cleansing then it’s venting not ranting. I developed ulcers before I learned how to vent and not feel guilty about it. You should feel triumphant because your vents are quite eloquent. 🙂

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