Published in the Holland Sentinel on August 20, 2007
The U.S. Congress is doing a real crappy job of serving the citizens of this country.
According to Real Clear Politics, the latest poll average puts the job approval rating of Congress at just 24.7 percent. Americans are obviously not happy with the current performance of our so-called leaders in Washington, D.C.
Among other things, the left is upset with the Democrats for failing to end the war in Iraq. Liberals actually believed last year's campaign promises and have been once again duped by those who simply tell them what they want to hear in order to get elected or re-elected.
Meanwhile, the right is still ticked off about the repeated attempts to grant citizenship to illegal aliens. Not only did a number of Republican senators spit in the face of their base, but the president himself went out of his way to belittle and berate the most loyal of his supporters.
Let's not forget about the independents. Those in the middle would give just about anything to see something positive get done on Capitol Hill for a change. Their No. 1 question has got to be, "Whatever happened to common sense?"
It is obvious that our senators and representatives have forgotten just who they work for and what their job is. Maybe they all need to go on a leaders' retreat to re-evaluate their pitiful existence and re-educate themselves about the U.S. Constitution. They all seem to know what the document is, but they are obviously not living up to what it says.
The biggest problem I see today with our Capitol Hill cronies is power. There are those who have it, those who think they have it, those who want it and those who will do anything to get it. Having and wielding power has become more important than doing what is right for the sake of this nation.
I must have missed the paragraph in the U.S. Constitution that places an emphasis on attaining power while in office. Silly me, I thought these leaders were in Washington to serve their constituency. Somewhere in my twisted past I learned that our government was supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people.
One of the fixable keys to attaining power is longevity. The longer we leave elected officials in office, the more they strive for and typically acquire power.
If you had to name the five most powerful people on Capitol Hill, would they not be those with the most tenure? How much better would your life be if those five individuals were no longer eligible to serve in the U.S. Congress?
The ultimate solution to the power problem is term limits. The absence of term limits has created a false sense of invincibility and immortality in too many of our legislators. If we would simply restrict our elected officials to 20 years on the Hill, we would not have to deal with the insanity that seems to settle in on our career politicians.
Once the term limits are in place and the toilet of corruption has been flushed, the American Congress can get down to business and get back to work for the American people. Then and only then will the congressional approval ratings get back above 50 percent. Then and only then will our national legislature be truly effective.
Then and only then will Congress be what it was originally intended to be.