Chapter 9 - Do or Die
The way to get members of Congress to work together is quite simple: make their right to run for re-election dependent on it! How? Through a vote on Congress, as a whole. Only if Congress won this vote of approval, would its members be eligible for re-election. With this one simple change, we would see a new spirit of cooperation in Washington. You see, although we are told that elections hold the politicians accountable to the voters, it’s not entirely true. If the American people could actually “throw the bums out” that would be one thing. But the way our elections work, we can only throw our own bums out—our own two Senators and one Representative.
What if we had the right to truly throw the bums out—all of them? What if the American people could vote on the entire Congress, not just its individual members? After all, with Congress’s approval rating typically barely much above 10 percent, why should any member of Congress be allowed to keep his or her seat? If a company’s products got a 10 percent approval rating, how long would that company stay in business? And yet Congress, with an approval rating sometimes as low as the single digits, sees its members re-elected at rates topping 90 percent. Election to Congress has become, for all intents and purposes, election for life. Two centuries after we threw off the shackles of the British king, our Congress—the heart of our democracy—has essentially devolved back to a monarchy.
Consider the case of Congressman John Dingell, Jr., who retired from Congress in 2014 after serving over 59 years in office. Not only ....[Purchase the book here to keep reading]