According to James Q. Wilson, “If you are like most Americans, you trust the Supreme Court, respect the presidency (whether or not you like the president), and dislike Congress (even if you like your own member of Congress). We see the members of Congress as broken, the ones never able to come to a compromise, and the ones constantly wasting money, time, resources, and energy. None of us can deny that Americans are constantly blaming Congress for every hardship our country is forced to endure, from economic troubles, to the deficit, Congress receives the brunt of everything. It is almost as though Congress has become our country’s scapegoat, when we do not know whom else to blame. We all also fear that Congress has become corrupt, and the representatives are only in it for their own benefits.
But why is Congress the group that we blame the most? Is it because Senators and Representatives are the closest things to us, our only links to Washington, or is it actually because our country’s downfalls are due to their mistakes? It may be that all of our problems are because of Congress, or it may just be that the actions of Congress are made more known than the actions of the President or Supreme Court.
Through my readings, I have come to realize that Congress may be much more important to our country than any of us believes. I have also come to understand that maybe Congress should not be blamed for as much as it has been, and should receive more credit than it has been given.
In this week’s unit, we have participated in modules and watched videos focused on informing us on Congress’ role in our everyday lives. From the videos I learned just how much time and energy Congressmen and women put into all that they do. They truly do have their constituents’ best interests at heart, in every decision they make. When we believe that Congressmen and women are just arguing, they are actually doing their best to please every person that makes up the American population. Although it may take a while, they are dedicated to discovering compromises. I also saw how dedicated they are to bettering their communities. From the modules I learned that Congress has an effect on the medication we take, water and milk we drink, clothes we wear, and the roads on which we drive. Before participating in these modules, I never realized how much of an effect Congressmen and women have on my everyday life, on the little things that make up my day.
I have learned that there is much more to understand about Congress than what meets the eye. Congress is not just made up of Republicans and Democrats in constant argument; in fact, it is an extremely complex system, more so than I ever understood. Congress is made up of numerous subcommittees focused on taking many different opinions, ideas, and beliefs, putting them together, and forming ways to better our country.
Maybe Congress actually does need to do a much better job, or maybe they could just use a bit of motivation or support from the American people. Everyone needs to be reminded just how much Congress does for each and every one of us. We all fail to appreciate the hard work that the representatives put in to better their communities. However, we must all remember just how important Congress is to not only our country as a whole, but also to every individual life. Next time you begin to blame Congressmen, ask yourself, “Would I be drinking this clean water if it weren’t for them?”