It's hard to believe that voters are consistently, decade after decade, happy with the same old representation they receive in Washington. It's like more people are willing to file for divorce than they are to cast a vote for fresh, new representation in Washington. How can this be?
Putting aside party politics ... Are we to believe that nobody ... NOBODY with better ideas, that would be more representative of the people in their districts ... ever challenge these lifelong incumbents and beat them in elections?
Maybe it's just me ... but I thought we all voted for politicians that say one thing, then go to Washington and do the exact opposite, yet remaining in office forever.
Using my home state of Michigan as an example, Rep. John Conyers (D) has held his position since 1964. He's in his 45th year in office! Am I really to believe that in 45 years, there hasn't been another Democrat in his district that "we the people" believe would improve our representation?
Maybe I'm cynical ... but I find it impossible.
Michigan's 14th district is full of bright, innovative people. Surely there's a young Democrat out there more worthy of the job. Making matters worse for us here, the only person with a longer tenure in Washington than Conyers is Rep. John Dingell (D):
In 1955, 29-year-old Dingell took over his father's seat in Michigan's 15th district after John D. Dingell, Sr., a New Deal Democrat, died. Having just won his 28th election, Dingell will set the record for longest serving Representative ever in February 2009.
Why Does this Matter?
The following video (courtesy of Paul Ibrahim) says it all!
The Moral of the Story:
For the first 130 years of our republic, the size of the House of Representatives grew to accommodate the rapidly growing population, but that all changed in 1920, because Congress claimed it was running out of office space.
Yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt. - Wayne Campbell
As I've pointed out before, and contrary to the notion of "government by the people," Americans are among the least represented people in the world! As Matthew Cossolotto, aide to former Speaker Jim Wright (D) and former Rep. Leon Panetta (D) said back in November 2001:
As James Madison wrote ... "I take for granted ... that the number of representatives will be augmented from time to time in the manner provided by the Constitution" ... prominent commentators, including syndicated columnists George F. Will and Robert Novak, and Paul Jacob of U.S. Term Limits, have forcefully advocated increasing the size of the House from its present 435 members.
Americans should be asking a simple question: Why 435? ... the number 435, which was set in 1911 when the population reached 92 million, is completely arbitrary ... Through some legislative sleight-of-hand following the 1920 census, the House decided, contrary to established practice, not to increase its size ...
But it doesn't have to be this way. Instead of a zero-sum game pitting state against state, reapportionment could be a much fairer, win-win process if the House would only lift its self-imposed, cartel-like ceiling on the supply of representation in America ...
In 1789, the very first House of Representatives consisted of 65 members. Since the nation's population was roughly 4 million people at the time, each member of the House represented approximately 62,000 people.
After the 2000 census, each member of the House will have to represent an average of 650,000 people. Consider that the next time you try to set up an appointment with your "representative."
To achieve the representation our founder's intended ... or to at least achieve the representation most people around the globe (living in democratic societies) experience, today's House of Representatives should have 6,000 members. And if you ask me, this is just the type of Big Government "we the people" deserve!
Having 6,000 representatives would create a much closer relationship between the district's constituents and their representative, thus requiring the representative to be more concerned about "we the people" instead of the Washington Power Elite. It would also make it significantly more difficult for both corporate and special interest lobbyists to buy influence policy.
As witnessed in the above video of Rep. Charlie Rangel (D), Washington politicians believe they're special, above the law, and as far as "we the people" are concerned, well ... it's none of our "God damned business!"
Real change would take place with a "People's House" made up of 6,000 representatives. Folks like Charlie would then be just one out of 6,000 others, turning his position into a "normal job," instead of the elite position he currently holds (where he gets away with tax evasion).
Americans deserve a genuine citizen's legislature. It's time to empower "we the people" with a Bigger Government!
For more information on this important cause, please visit Thirthy-Thousand.org, and let's return the House of Representatives to the People!