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As Political Tribalism Grows, Do We Need Congress Anymore?

Does American politics resemble a circus?  Maybe that description is a little childish. How about a war of the roses?  A divorce of our entire legislative branch is a failure against American citizens.  Yes, against since We the People are not receiving our due process of laws that stabilize our country.  

This year Congress is busier using an impeachment process than their pens to the paper.  There have only been 68 laws passed, one of the lowest in history.  But that’s their job right? What would happen if you went to work but didn’t do anything all day except to talk about the boss?  How long would you keep your job? Political tribalism is a demeaning process that inhibits the ability of our Congressional members to be held accountable for a lack of work.  Besides the 68 laws passed, only 415 were voted on. Wow. Comparatively, Chicago has passed over 930 pieces of legislation-ordinances and resolutions but they are a crime capital.  Well, at least they’re trying to improve their city and society. Chicago is a city with a population larger than some states.  The Minnesota state legislators passed over one hundred ordinances.  It’s time we call on our Congressional members to do their jobs since legislation protects us all.

Congress has been passing the buck on gun safety for far too long.  The Democrats blame the Republicans and the NRA while we bury our children.  We need a safety precaution measure with national enforcement in our schools now.  We might all have different ideas but without any legislation, our kids are still at risk.  Florida legislators took immediate action after the tragedy at Parkland. New Red Flag laws have been instituted statewide and in cities but nothing from our federal government.  Political division isn’t a cure for any violence.

Funding is always a hot topic, especially after the recent federal government shutdowns.  When legislation isn’t passed, money isn’t distributed. Our hopes and dreams for new parks, housing, environmental protection, and food safety are on hold.  The Senate Appropriations Committee is on hold during impeachment.  Even when they were in session the bills requiring funding were split bipartisanly further halting funding.   A short term funding bill is the only solution thus far.  Short term funding does not allow for hiring, expansion of programs or guarantee programs renewal for the new year.  Those programs are what we are paying them for, not political theater.

Let’s talk about salary.  Rank and file members of Congress make $174,000 a year with minority and majority leaders in both chambers hitting nearly $200,000.  That’s over $87 million dollars a year for people who don’t work. That $87 million could be appropriated for any of our needs.  If we really thought about it, we could kickstart or gofundme our own needs. Gofundme has raised over $5 billion dollars for individuals and communities while Kickstart enabled thousands of businesses to grow. Sounds like, We the People got this. Local councils and chambers of commerce have become a main source for communities to reinvent their towns and city neighborhoods. It’s their quirky ideas regarding new tourism and small business collectives that have re-engineered America’s small business growth. With the expansion of email in nearly every American household, we could present our needs to our direct communities.  Then we could vote in our local polls similar to ballot referendums to make our own laws. Local politics has always been the core of our democracy. Politics and government is a trickle-up process where our needs on the national level normally grow from seeds in our communities.   

As our direct representatives in Congress continue their war of the roses, it’s time we find our own means to legislating and funding our needs.  They don’t have our back, they have the party’s back. Do we need Congress anymore? 

Image by 1778011 from Pixabay

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