JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 9592

Thursday, 16 March 2017 09:29
Helping Congress be more popular than polygamists and communists
Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

congress fightThe approval rate for members of Congress seems to be in free fall.  Few constituents approve of the dysfunction taking place in the nation’s capitol. Just 15 years ago, Congress had an approval rating of 65%.  But no more.  The most recent Harris and CBS polls show approval rates dropping to an all time low of 9%.  Like the guy sings in the Limbo Rock song, “How low can you go?” 

Let me tell you just how bad it is.  More Americans approve of polygamy than they do of Congress in Washington.  At the height of the Gulf oil spill, BP had a shockingly low 16% approval rating. And would you believe that 11% of those surveyed are OK with America becoming Communist?  Just about every low-life trend or person you can think of does better than the folks you and I send up to Washington. 

Apparently public cynicism is falling on deaf ears, as the "Republic-can’ts" and the "Demo-don’ts " both share the blame game.  There are tough decisions to be made regarding the new healthcare proposals, other entitlement programs and raising revenues that require urgent action, but the party bickering just doesn’t slow down. So it comes as no surprise to most of us that the favorable support of Congress continues to plummet. 

How can Congress be more responsive to constituents back home? Is it necessary for members of Congress to spend most of their time in Washington?   In 2017, why can’t lawmakers use the new technology of telecommunications to create a “virtual Congress?” 

During the time following the American Revolution, it was necessary for the original Congress to meet under one roof.  But why should a twenty-first century legislature be constrained by eighteenth-century technology? Why should Congressional members have to rush away from their constituencies back to Washington just to cast votes? They belong in close proximity with those who elected them, not at high-priced cocktail parties in Washington at the behest of rich special interest promoters. 

If millions of Americans can telecommute, why can’t members of Congress attend committee meetings by video conference?  If I can regularly Skype or Facetime with my grandkids, why can’t my congressman add a big screen to his or her office, tune in meetings, the go back to handling problems of constituents right out of the home district? 

As it is now, we might catch a glimpse of our members of Congress when they are interviewed on television.  How refreshing it would be to see your congressman at various school events or run into him or her at your local coffee shop.  Back in their districts most of the time, these congressmen will be surrounded by skeptical constituents, rather than fawning supplicants.  And they’ll continually have to justify any political decision they make that’s contrary to the will of the voters. 

There are a number of other proposals out there to make Congress more responsive to those who elected them. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, during his short run for president, suggested a part-time Congress. Term limits is an idea that continues to have high favorable support. Others are saying that congressional districts have grown too large, and more members of Congress should be added. All these ideas have merit. 

But there’s nothing more important than reestablishing a closer relationship between the congressman and the people he or she represents.  In the old days, it was called “retail politics.”  A handshake and face-to-face interaction.  Let a voter blow off steam or bring up what could be a good idea. 

There certainly is no patent for good “common sense” emanating from Washington these days.  So come back home, Congressman, and listen and learn from those who elected you. And maybe, just maybe, your popularity will rise above being a polygamist. 


Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.





Jim Brown

Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.  

Website: JimBrownla.com
Login to post comments
Powered By JFBConnect
  • Cat Fights on the Hot Cement Confederate New Orleans statues
  • Ex-Saints, Bears, Bills, NFL Exec, Jim W. Miller discusses NFL Draft tomorrow
  • Trump's new plan; Curtains on tax returns release; 40% say Trump-Russia; Probing Obama admin
  • Watch Louisiana Governor Edwards talk about CAT Tax failure

catRarely, have I seen few issues that have generated as much raw heat, tension, and passion than the Confederate monuments controversy. 

Just as existed during the real civil war, where brothers battled brothers, social media is the battleground, particularly Facebook, pitting friend against friend.

On one side of the tense divide, there are those who are protecting the New Orleans civil war era monuments.  Burnt in effigy, forever, is the symbol of Mayor Mitch Landrieu for up-ending what the monument protectors consider to be the loving civil society of New Orleans.

Lately, events have turned somewhat militaristic.

Some protectors of the Confederate monuments have been staying vigilant, in person and online, even surveilling during the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the next Mayor Landrieu attack. On Sunday morning, with protections of snipers, masked workers and a dumbstruck audience, the worst of all of the monuments was cut and carried., the Liberty Monument. 

Read More

miller nfl live2 5It’s D-Day or Draft Day tomorrow in the NFL.

More specifically, Thursday represents the first day of the NFL draft 2017.

Read More


trump curtainsThe major President Trump news of the day focuses upon taxes, not only the tax cuts he is proposing but his own taxes, which he obviously, refuses to unveil.


Read More

edwards play money 1

At a press conference today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the CAT Tax did not pass the House Ways and Means Committee.  The Governor, in addressing the media said that "the fate of that bill was decided long before we unveiled it".

Read More

BB Menu


Sen. Appel talks budget, economy


Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1