I note, with mingled approval and annoyance, this article in the Orlando Sentinel. It was first published in 1984.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices – 545 human beings out of 238 million – are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Bank because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.
I exclude all of the special interest and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it.
No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.
Don’t you see now the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall.
. . .
Just 545 Americans have fouled up this great nation.
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted – by present facts – of incompetence and irresponsibility.
I can’t think of a single domestic problem, from an unfair tax code to defense overruns, that is not traceable directly to those people.
There’s more at the link.
I think the author’s making one mistake – one that lays the blame for Washington’s fecklessness at our door, as much as anyone else’s. You see, the representatives and Senators – yes, and the President – in Washington are there because we put them there. In some cases, we made wise choices. In other cases, we made extremely poor ones. Either way, they wouldn’t be there without our votes.
It’s too easy to blame Congress and the Senate for the mess we’re in. We need to look in the mirror when we do that . . . because we’re just as much to blame as they are. They reflect us, and our values – and, in the case of far too many of them, that’s a terrible judgment on their constituencies, and on our country.