Tired and frustrated about Washington, D.C.? Do you believe that Congress is out of touch with the people? Do you believe that Congress does not represent us and instead represents special interests with their legions of lobbyists and big campaign donations. It also seems clear that those in Congress have a sole purpose of continuing to serve and this purpose is to do everything and anything they can to remain in Congress. Have you noticed that those who retire usually retire very wealthy?
Where else can we be told time and time again how the Congress will clean up its act, yet we suffer powerful committee chairpersons and rules designed to keep and grow the status quo. The affliction of power brought about by seniority affects both parties. Our two party system appears to be the problem and not the solution – ideology takes second place to capturing power and remaining in office. Their real constituent is reelection! We routinely return the incumbent to Congress at greater than a 90% rate. Something is radically wrong when the very people who complain about the Congress, us, routinely return their representatives to Congress more than 90% of the time. Perhaps this 90% return rate is not totally our fault, but can be traced to the design of the election system, campaign funding, and the support of special interests. Does it seem right that your Congressman or Congresswoman is more influenced by money from outside his or her district? Why should some agricultural company in Hawaii be allowed to monetarily influence a Congressman from an industrial district in Pennsylvania? It happens that money flows in to Congressional campaigns from all over the United States and yes, Europe and China, among other places. Why is it okay for everyone in the world to buy the loyalty of your representation in Washington?
If and when you call your representative in Congress, you will most likely get voice mail that asks you to leave a message about your issue. They keep raising the funding for the staffing of their offices, yet there is no one to answer the phone? These people feel so insulated that they have openly and brazenly discussed, and in committee voted to add a voting representative in Congress to the District of Columbia and the State of Utah. This is highly unconstitutional behavior – the Constitution is crystal clear on how representation is handled and representation is not established by the Congress at their whim. This vote in committee and soon to be a floor vote represents the ultimate example of people serving in Congress suffering the aphrodesiac of unchecked power.
What can we do about our Congress? Can we amend the Constitution? Congress controls the Constitutional amendment process or do they? Our Constitution provides for an alternate amendment process, one initiated by the states. A state can call for a constitutional convention and if two thirds of the states agree, i.e. 34 states, it convenes. The states send representatives to the convention and any amendment coming out of the convention needs ratification by three fourths of the states, i.e. 38 states, to become an amendment of the United States Constitution. Now you can petition your state legislators, your representatives in your capitol, for a constitutional convention to change Congress and to restore lost rights back to the states.
We can seek a change in how Senators are elected. When the Constitution was adopted, it provided for election of Senators by the states legislatures and not direct election of the senators by the people. While this method was subject to politics and political maneuvering, it gave the States a say in the size of the federal government, the judiciary, and foreign affairs through the Senate. It was the seventeenth amendment that made this change. We need to repeal the seventeenth and replace it with an amendment that provides for election of senators by their respective legislatures, with a restriction on recall requiring a two thirds vote in all houses of legislature of the state – Nebraska has only one house of legislature, while the others have two. This would take the pandering and special interests out of the Senate, since Senators would not need multiple millions to run for reelection. This amendment would add an additional check and balance – the state itself through its Senators.
We can seek an amendment that would limit campaign contributions in cash, property, or services to an individual residing or a corporation headquartered in the district of the congressional candidate – no political party contributions, thus only constituents are important to the member of Congress.
We can seek an amendment that requires all spending bills and any spending appropriation to be of like kind in a bill, be in the body of the bill with no spending amendments, and have gone through committee and been approved by the majority of the committee. This will eliminate earmarks.
We can seek a change in ballots across this nation for candidates for a federal office. No longer can states make special rules that make it hard for third party candidates to get on state ballots for president and vice-president, or congressional representatives. This would stimulate the candidacy of members of parties other than Democrat or Republican parties.
We can seek term limits on members of the House of Representatives to three terms. This will eliminate the individual absolute power some members of Congress have achieved.
These few amendments will re-establish this republic and fix the now forever and perpetually corrupt Congress. Members of Congress are addicted to a drug of Congressional power and will never give it up on their own. We need to make this change through the states – push your state representatives to make these changes. Tell them these amendments will provide the states with more rights and make it easier and less costly for the state representatives to run for federal office.