Next year, we should all go to the polls and vote against every single incumbent running for re-election, regardless of his or her party or so-called philosophy.
Can you understand what a shock it would be if all 435 members of the U.S. House and the third of the Senate that will be running were defeated? Washington would never be the same again, and that, on its face, would be a good thing.
I know most folks feel about their congressional representative or senator the way most parents feel about their child's school. The school system is a mess, but my kid's school is pretty good. Congress has a bunch of scoundrels, but my representative is a pretty good person.
Well, he or she might be. That's not the point. The point is that the present House and Senate of these United States have neglected the common good. They are literally making a mess of what was once and could be again a great country. They're bankrupting it. They are allowing the manufacturing base to be stolen by cheap foreign labor. They won't guard the borders. They have, in fact, sold out the American people to all the lobbyists who hover over them like a swarm of locusts. They let us get into wars we shouldn't be in. They refuse to provide the vigorous oversight the Constitution authorizes. They even refuse to act like an independent branch of government. The Republican Party has, in effect, imposed on us the parliamentary system, where the legislature becomes the lap dog of the executive branch.
Throw 'em all out. Doing that would even help solve the federal-debt problem. Tossing out a representative or senator before he or she becomes vested in that pearl-of-the-universe retirement system they voted themselves would save taxpayers millions of dollars.
Six years in the House or Senate is enough for any citizen. Don't get fooled by the so-called value of experience. The experience they gain is the same as whores and thieves. Inexperience can be a virtue, and experience can be a vice.
And, for heaven's sakes, don't worry that you might replace your incumbent with someone less qualified. The probability of finding people who could be more incompetent and neglectful of their duty than the present crop of politicians ranges between zero and minus one.
These nabobs and bloviators can't even write a lucid law. I listened to them debate the other day, and what they were arguing about was an editorial statement they wanted to insert into a bill. A bill should not have any editorial statements in it.
We are a nation of 290 million people. In Washington, 435 members of the House, 100 senators, one vice president (if there is a tie in the Senate), one president and nine Supreme Court justices make all the laws and rules and regulations that govern us.
Are you telling me we can't find 100 good men and women to replace the ones who have failed in their duty? That the present 435 members of the House represent the best people available in the United States? God forbid. We have not sunk that low. You could pick 535 men and women from any small city in America, pick them at random, and you'd have a vastly improved federal legislature.
You can walk down any street in America and find more common sense, good will, competence and concern for the public good than you can find in Washington.
Let's face it, folks: We have allowed our political system to deteriorate to the point where it attracts incompetents, crooks and mountebanks. Public office is the only place where many of these people can hope to make a decent living. Ask yourself if you had ever heard of your representative before he or she got into politics. In most cases, the answer will be no. We no longer attract leaders; we manufacture office-seekers.
Well, we have the power. Just takes turning out, ignoring the lobbyist-paid-for campaign ads and voting against the incumbents. Do your representative and senator a favor. Bring them home to the folks they claim to love.
November 19, 2005
Charley Reese [send him mail] has been a journalist for 49 years.
© 2005 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.