A young grade school boy wanted $100 to purchase some badly desired video games. After hearing his pastor’s sermon cautioning that we must ask to receive, the young lad launched into action. He prayed, but after two days and no closer to $100, his impatience inspired him to write the Lord a letter in greater detail. Not knowing what to do with the letter, the local postmaster sent it to the congressional representative in Washington. The congressman received the letter from a staffer and with a soft heart, sent the boy a $5 bill.
The boy, on receipt of the $5, was furious and sent the Lord another letter, this time a complaint. “Lord, you wrongly routed the letter through Congress and those swindlers took a 95% commission.”
Whether the jaundiced reputation of Congress is caricatured is not the issue. By its conduct, Congress has significantly contributed, to this image: the inability to get a budget approved; the refusal to call the opposition party by its chosen and grammatically correct name; sensationalizing issues for votes back home; government shut downs; constant violations of regular order. There is no need to prove how ugly we appear to the public, I simply note our constantly collapsing approval rating, which currently hovers at a microscopic ten percent.
No nation can long endure the strain of a tribal tug-of-war so prevalent in its legislative bodies. We, the members of the “Great House,” must quickly pledge our loyalty to a new level of civility or risk being labeled by future generations as the treasonists who extinguished the brightest light of democracy that ever gleamed.
Emanuel Cleaver, II