I think it's time to let Congress feel our election fury this November. As reflected in the latest Rasmussen Reports, "Just 9 percent (of Americans) say Congress is doing a good or excellent job." It is the first single-digit approval rating for Congress in Rasmussen's history, and it makes Bush's 30 percent approval rating seem like a stat to boast. The study went on to explain: "Just 12 percent of voters think Congress has passed any legislation to improve life in this country over the past six months. That number has ranged from 11 percent to 13 percent throughout 2008."
Even The Associated Press reported last week, in the story "Congress mostly going through the motions for now," that "some fights of the 110th Congress have lost their oomph in the waning months before the November elections, with both parties content to run out the clock on messy matters."
If members of Congress are not relevant or improving Americans' lives, why do we elect and re-elect them into office?!
If you ever have heard the saying "too many cooks in the kitchen," then you know how I feel about Congress. We have more representatives than we need and even many more than the Constitution requires. What many might not realize is that there is nothing ultimately sacred about the present number of people we have in the House of Representatives. Actually, the proper number of representatives from each state has been debated since our Founders' time. The Constitution endeavors to assure fairness and equity by requiring each state to have at least one representative, two senators and representation in the Electoral College. (At the other extreme, it states, "The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand.") So why not go with the fewest number allowed? It seems to me that in our day, in both House and Senate, fewer representatives by area would be more reasonable and effective than more representatives by population.
The current numbers in the House are stacked in discriminatory ways. For example, California has a large liberal voice with its 53 representatives. How fair is that for smaller, more conservative states that have between one and five representatives in the House? I believe just as we have one governor per state, we should consider reducing Congress to one representative and two senators per state (the minimum the Constitution requires). If one representative works for Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming, why can't it work for the rest of the states? Here's a movie we all can star in: "Honey, I Shrunk the Congress!"
I agree with the rationale of James Madison, a member of the Continental Congress and our fourth president, who advocated keeping the number of representatives within limits:
"Nothing can be more fallacious, than to found our political calculations on arithmetical principles. Sixty or seventy men, may be more properly trusted with a given degree of power, than six or seven. But it does not follow, that six or seven hundred would be proportionally a better depositary. And if we carry on the supposition to six or seven thousand, the whole reasoning ought to be reversed."
If we follow Madison's advice and have fewer representatives, then they couldn't put the blame for their incompetence upon other members of Congress. There would be less gridlock. They probably would get more done. Plus financially speaking, reducing Congress would save us at least $200 million, if you consider all their staff, overhead, travel, pension plans and other perks. And if we didn't like how the few represented us, we would have an easier time correcting their voices or disposing of them. Just a thought.
Bottom line: It is "we the People" who have power over the government, not them over us. They are called to protect our pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, not vice versa. And if they don't, the Declaration of Independence states, in no uncertain terms, that we are "to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for (our) future Security." It's time to replace most members of Congress with "new Guards" who do the following:
-- Uphold the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
-- Protect Americans' inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
-- Promote less government.
-- Fight for fewer taxes.
-- Demand balanced budgets.
-- Secure our borders.
-- Reduce our national deficit, debts and dependence upon other nations.
Disappointment with modern-day government and the preservation of our Founders' America is exactly why I've just completed my book "Black Belt Patriotism," which you can pre-order now on Amazon.com. It will be released in September through Regnery Publishing. It is my critique of what is destroying our country and how we can rebuild it and restore the American dream. I wrote the book because, as that famous "Network" line goes, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"