Is It Still Cynicism If You’re Right?

This is fantastic: A satirical look at what Congressmen do, in the form of a letter home to the constituents. Gerrymandering, party politics, lobbyists and the legislative process are all there. For example:

Are you shocked that lobbies write the legislation that I introduce? Well, wake up and smell the coffee. Do you really think that my staff and I actually write legislation? I’ll let you in on another little secret: I don’t even read the bills that I introduce. They’re really boring and technical. Besides, I don’t have the time to read any bills, even my own, between committee hearings where I can grandstand for TV and fundraisers for my next campaign.

Sometimes I wonder how I can teach civics when I have such a very low opinion of politicians. Then I remember than I’m right. I’m sure most of them aren’t as bad as this fictional letter writer. But no matter what they say, they’re all in it for themselves. Normally, there’s nothing wrong with someone’s primary goal being Number One. Rational self interest is, of course, the basis of our economy, one that has given all of us the highest standard of living in the history of the world. Private individuals, though, have to persuade you to part with your resources. Congressmen just force you to give it away, all the while telling you they are your servant.

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One Comment on “Is It Still Cynicism If You’re Right?”

  1. D.A. Ridgely Says:

    Except, you know, congressmen give their voters what they believe they want; namely, plenty of government services and benefits and the illusion that someone else will pay for it all. Trust me, no one has a lower opinion of elected officials than I do; but they’re whores, not bullies, and their own rational self-interest (as understood in terms of Public Choice theory) in meeting their constituents’ demand is what drives the expansion of government more than anything else.

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