Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What's the Cure for a Self-Serving Congress?

My good friend, Bill, sent me a link to a long and very interesting storyfrom Esquire. My friend is not only well-read but also smart and discerning. When he sends me a something to look at, it behooves me to do so. I say this because, with so much noise in cyberspace, getting to the signal is hard but extremely important. So it is with this story.

The extensive interviews with members of Congress give insight to why that institution has become so dysfunctional. It’s also an attempt to explain why Congress can’t fix itself, although I find that part of this story perplexing.

Why? Because for all the discussion Mark Warren, the author, drew out from the members, nowhere was it clear why these members thought it was important to stay in Congress. Not one articulated why they should be citizen legislators instead of be career politicians. Nor did the people interviewed discuss how they could cure the reasons for their lamentations wrought on them by big-money politics and the Citizens United ruling. After all, they have the power to do so. I have to conclude they don’t want to; that they love the perks and the power and the money. So, how can I not conclude that the people interviewed were hypocrites and Mark Warren was sucker-punched.

And for those of us in the reddest part of the Red State, it is sadly instructive that many interviewed for this article held Ted Cruz and Louie Gohmert is such low regard. If the goal for some of these people in Congress is to truly and sincerely help the country, how well is Texas served by representatives who are held in such disdain? If you argue they accurately reflect and represent their districts, what does that say about us?

Congress has, in part, the power to fix itself; and we have the power to fix Congress if it won’t do so on its own. The lingering question is: Why can’t we?

The answer, again, comes down to big money and propaganda, because it is the big money that buys the spreading of propaganda. Anyone who knows about Edward Bernays would understand how the American public is now ruled by advertising, public relations and — also sad to say — the calculated dumbing down of the population by those who wish to scotch the critical thinking that would overthrow the status quo.

It’s a good read. And a sad one.