Progress Verses Congress

I have finally figured it out. You have considered this very question as well, perhaps losing some sleep over it. It has been pondered by some of the greatest minds of the previous three centuries as well as many from our Twenty-First Century. Countless pundits and philosophers have asked the question, debating it over and over without coming to any conclusions, yet never seeming to exhaust the possibilities. The question that has plagued American life from the beginning of American life is: Why do we have Congress?

Don’t believe that we have had issues for a while? Let’s look back. Waaay back. Thomas Jefferson asked, “If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?” Can you tell he was a farmer? He was also the man who wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” I think that last quote made it into some kind of governmental document. Yes, I know I took them both out of context to make a point. This is supposed to be funny in a sad, pathetic kind of way.

Still not convinced? Let’s look at the Nineteenth Century with a quote by Samuel Clemens. Mr. Twain wrote: “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” A thought that was first penned over one hundred years ago seems like it could – or should – have been written today. Just the other day I was half listening to the news when someone was referred to as “one of the smartest people in Congress”. That does not seem like much of an accomplishment.

Here is one more for you from the Twentieth Century. Humorist Will Rogers asked the question, “If pro is the opposite of con, what is the opposite of Congress?” You would think he was writing in this century, wouldn’t you? Now, to be fair, I have seen that Congress has been very quick to act on matters of fiduciary importance. When it is time to vote themselves a raise, they seem to be very prompt. Raising the minimum wage for millions of Americans takes a lot more time and committee meetings.

Larry Hardiman (why couldn’t I have been born with that last name?) explained politics in an excellent way: “The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly’ meaning ‘many’, and the word ‘ticks’ meaning ‘blood sucking parasites’.” Truer words have never been spoken. That applied to business as well as government in my not so humble opinion.

In my lifetime, Carson and Letterman, Leno and Conan, Fallon and Kimmel, have all made very good livings poking fun at the antics and attitudes of our politicians. That is essentially my point. The purpose of Congress is not to pass laws and investigate things that are going wrong in the government. They are not really there to provide a system of checks and balances for the Executive and Judicial Branches. They are not even there to control the purse strings of the United States. Their job, their role, their sole purpose to exist – to make us laugh and realize that no matter how bad we screw up, Congress will do something even worse. They do their job frighteningly well.  Thank your Congressperson today for all they do to make us feel better about ourselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *