Congress is the most important governing body, and the most forgotten
Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, April 25, 2017
I think some people have the impression that our president commands every aspect of our government. I cannot explain the way people are so quickly driven to anger about what our commander in chief does in any other way. Luckily, things are not quite as bleak as they seem. The real business of running a country doesn’t fall to a single person — rather, it falls to a larger body of representatives elected from every corner of our country. I can already hear what you are thinking, “I already knew that the Congress was elected from each state and district.” But the recent events around decisions made by the new administration have made me wish to impart an interest in the legislative process that I find more interesting than the executive.
It isn’t by chance or mistake that the legislative body of our country was the first thing mentioned in the Constitution. Our country was founded at a time of unequalled fear of a single leader, and that shows in the vast authority and responsibility imparted on the Congress. Executive orders, used by the president, are relatively weak at creating long-term, lasting solutions to problems we face in our country. Our federal legislative body, on the other hand, can — with the stroke of a pen (or a computer) — make meaningful change to our country that will last years into the future. Yet, these people, who in working together command so much of our country’s policy here at home and abroad, are the most disproportionately less-known people in respect to the authority they wield.
If we want meaningful change to happen, and mistakes by those sitting in the executive corrected, look not just to the presidential election to remove them — look for the body created to make the most meaningful change in each of our lives. Research your representative and senators for what their positions on issues are, as they are your direct line to the movers and shakers in Washington. Their policy decisions have direct impact on your family, friends and prospects in the place you live. Similarly, during election cycles, stay informed about who is running against incumbents. The House of Representatives, for example, was meant to be the body most closely aligned to the will of the people. Let’s stop the trend of increasing re-election rates for these people who are held in such low opinion by the people that sent them there.
Change happens in more places than just the presidency.
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.