The 113th congress (Jan. 3, 2013-Jan. 3, 2015) passed the least number of bills in American history.
In addition, the government shutdown in 2013 cost taxpayers at least $1 billion dollars.
Only about 11 percent of Americans today approve the job that Congress is doing.
That number is troubling, considering that the American people have more favorable opinions of cockroaches, colonoscopies and Nickelback.
If a cockroach and a Congressman invaded your home, which would you squash first?
One might ask, why is the “greatest political system in the world” failing the American people?
On the surface, the answer is that elected official’s ideologies are extremely polarized.
Since 1879, members of the House of Representatives in 2013 were the most divided on contreversial issues.
It is hard to nail down the exact time in history this polarization commenced.
What is clear is that political polarity has been largely perpetuated by the amount of big money corrupting elections.
Billionaire donors feel entitled to get specific legislation, riders, corporate welfare, etc. because of their financial backing.
If politicians fail to deliver on their promises, then they will not receive the same hefty endorsement during the following election.
Since 2012, the money race for most candidates has skyrocketed because of virtually unlimited sums of cash funneling into Super PACs.
In America we have a problem of dependency.
Yes, a problem of dependency on elected officials to their donors’ views.
Politicians must raise more money than their opponent, and the candidate that raises the most money has over a 90 percent chance of winning the election.
The correlation suggests that politicians are usually putting aside their constituents’ views to appease the check-writers.
Today, the one presidential candidate that has said no to Super PACs is Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Sanders has come out for repealing the Supreme Court decision of Citizens United.
He has stated that if he becomes president, he will not appoint a justice unless they overrule it.
Presidential hopefuls are attending expensive dinners with buy-ins for as much as $2,700 and speaking at billionaire “primaries.”
Most of these events are closed to the public and are not recorded.
Candidates at these big donor fundraisers are in one booming echo chamber, appeasing the richest and most powerful.
Astonishingly, Sanders is drawing crowds all across the country in the thousands.
A plurality of views has come to the forefront at his speeches. Black Lives Matter protested two of Bernie’s speeches.
Sanders responded by developing a comprehensive plan for racial justice reform and continues to name the victims of police brutality.
Let’s not pretend that Sanders is avoiding any type of dialogue: He has refrained from attacking Hillary on her email situation, he refuses to answer questions about his hair and he advocated for inter-party debates in June and for more Democratic debates.
He is trying to engage in meaningful debate with liberals, moderates and conservatives. Democratic and Republican machinery are blocking any inter-party debate until the general election.
Oh yeah, maybe this news got lost in the Trump media sensation “Jesus Christ Superstar,” but Sanders is the only Democratic candidate in history to accept an invitation to speak at Liberty University (an institution that resembles Union, despite not teaching the theory of evolution in their classes).
It is possible that Sanders did not win even one student over to his side.
It is also true that Sanders was condemned on LibertyU’s Yik Yak. None of that really matters in the end, because he is running to be President of the United States.
A good president is one that attempts to put aside partisanship and sign bills that work for American families.
The job should not be a challenge for the longest-serving Independent in U.S. congressional history to unify this country across shared beliefs.
Lastly, I cannot neglect the fact that Bernie Sanders is a self-identified Democratic-Socialist.
Of course, a socialist could never be elected, the same title that Obama has received from Republicans since 2008.
Maybe the Democrats should own the term, because our “Socialist” president was re-elected.