The Internet exploded this week over Congressman X, a new book due out in about two weeks detailing the rantings of a supposed current or former congressmen identified only as a Democrat. But though this anonymous congressmen (or congresswoman, considering we have no knowledge of the politician’s identity, whatsoever) waxes damningly about colleagues, the legislative process, and the American public alike, his keen criticisms prove one indisputable truth — voting perpetuates the problem.
“My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected,” Congressman X asserts in the book. “It takes precedence over everything.”
Though the more cynical among us know this to be the case, the revelation could be shocking to people who believe the legislative process still functions coherently. Oh, and about those people:
“Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works,” he says. “It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.”
Congressman X, the book, contains notes collected from the unnamed politician by Robert Atkinson, former chief of staff and press secretary for two Democratic congressmen, over a period of several years and is being published with permission from the source.
Entertaining at times, tragically telling at others, the confessions particularly excoriate the ignorance of the voting public as ill-informed, facilely fooled, and generally easy to use as tools for politicians to simply keep their apparently worthless jobs.
“Voters claim they want substance and detailed position papers, but what they really crave are cutesy cat videos, celebrity gossip, top 10 lists, reality TV shows, tabloid tripe, and the next fucking Twitter message,” he rants.
Perhaps the most germane statement revealed from the book so far, however, departs to a somewhat wistfully distressed tone that demands the public re-evaluate priorities:
“I worry about our country’s future when critical issues take a back seat to the inane utterings of illiterate athletes and celebrity twits.”
As the tabloidesque theater, also known as the presidential election, roars on, the debate over which ruler will next take the helm has become tired and loathsome for the disenfranchised. Supporters from the three camps continue battling vicious wars over social media and at rallies for Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton — though despite Clinton’s success in the primaries, her supporters are strikingly absent except for obvious manifestations of her paid troll army. But what Congressman X makes evident is the futility of such battles.
“Things are so partisan today most folks vote the straight party line, even though they don’t know shit about who they’re voting for. They just don’t want the other guys to win.”
Not only is the electoral process fruitless and irrelevant, but in the apparent lack of concern for the legislative process by the very politicians elected to hold office. While the American public obsesses over the elections, little consideration has been given to what will happen once the president and congresspeople take office — because as the anonymous insider sharply intimates, it doesn’t matter one iota who’s elected since being elected is their only concern.
“Fundraising is so time-consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on” might be one statement from the congressman that vitriolic supporters of any candidate or legislator should take seriously. “I don’t even know how they’ll be implemented or what they’ll cost.
“My staff gives a last-minute briefing before I go to the floor and tells me whether to vote yea or nay. How bad is that?”
It’s undoubtedly terrible — terrible for the legislative process and terrible for those who put faith in either the terrible system or that it can be reformed.
“I sometimes vote ‘yes’ on a motion and ‘no’ on an amendment so I can claim I’m on either side of an issue,” the legislator muses. “It’s the old shell game: if you can’t convince ‘em, confuse ‘em.”
An undeniably irony stands in Congressman X accusing the voting public of inanity while admitting to toying with votes on legislation that will undoubtedly affect millions of people.
Apparently, politicians’ childish insolence isn’t limited to playing both sides of a piece of legislation. He admits money-soaked policy has become reality, as strictures on donations and funding are regularly and deftly circumvented by legislators. Philanthropic organizations — he specifically names the Clinton foundation, but numerous charities exist — act as intermediaries and beneficiaries of bribery-for-policy.
“Some contributions are subtle,” Congressman X explains. “Donations to a member’s nonprofit foundation. Funding a member’s charitable pet project. Offsetting the cost of a member’s portrait to adorn the committee room he or she has so faithfully served.
“It’s a bunch of bullshit to get around gift bans and limits on campaign contributions. Where there’s a will there’s a way.”
Worse, “Business organizations and unions fork over more than $3 billion a year to those who lobby the federal government. Does that tell you something? We’re operating a fucking casino.”
On seeing this, yet more, evidence of how moot politics has become — at every level soaked in money and essentially only that — it would be difficult to defend voting at all. And clearly, arguing the system will change with the ‘right’ politician in charge willfully forgets how the breakdown of the legislative process into favors-for-profit corrupts even the most well-intentioned souls.
Voting simply doesn’t matter — at any level — and if you don’t believe me, just ask Congressman X.