Washington is broken, is a refrain we’ve heard too many times; it is a tiring refrain; it is an old refrain and yet, it seems to have become a national anthem of sort in Washington; a situation we’ve all come to accept but continue to complain about. So, why is it that for several decades of being so fed up with Washington nothing has been done?
The status quo, everyone can agree, doesn’t benefit the “gros” of the population; case in point: well over five million individuals cannot obtain health care coverage because their governors, their senators are fighting tooth and nails to block access to Obamacare in their respective states. Ironically, election after election after election, the constituents dance to the same song and send the same perpetrators back to Washington over and over and over. The list of longest serving house and senate officials in Washington is many pages long; the average duration of their tenures in Washington is 35 years. The longest serving senator, John Dingell, announced on February 24, 2014 that he would not seek re-election to another term in Congress. What a treat! He only served 58 years and 130 days as of this writing.
One needs not be a genius to conclude that the representatives in Washington have gotten very good at pitting constituents against one another, democrats against republicans, vice-versa, thus guaranteeing themselves very long tenures in Washington. And it must be obvious by now that they’re not in Washington to serve you or your interests. The remedy is however a very simple prescription, to unify behind the causes that benefit the greatest number instead of lining up behind a party, for true progress can only be achieved when we learn to understand and if we learn to accept the viewpoints that are contrary to ours.
So the next time you really want to know why Washington is broken, look in the mirror. If you think Washington is broken, fix it.
Follow Mike Ducheine on Twitter: @mducheiney
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