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The 118th Congress: A Rebirth of our Republic with Spirited Debate and Compromise?

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

There has been much said by pundits about the seemingly chaotic and divisive attempt by Republicans to pick a Speaker for the 118th Congress. What did we actually witness? Was it an illustration of a healthy democratic republic or the death knell of the political system that has served us well over 200 years?

Watching the Republicans take 15 rounds of voting to pick a Speaker over 4 days my reaction towards the Republican legislators swung from one end of the spectrum to the other. I thought, can’t you guys agree on anything, this is embarrassing. At other times I was proud of them as I witnessed the raw reality of a healthy democracy:

A democracy can sometimes be chaotic and contentious . However, that is democracy’s ultimate strength. Leaders must negotiate, all views and opinions are voiced, and compromise is reached in the end. Compare the spirited debate that often happens in a democracy to the lock-step political process we see in totalitarian governments where all vote the same way.

Being a life-long student of our political history and earning an M. A. Degree in Political Science, I decided to take a deep dive into our sometime contentious past. The recent events in Congress reminded me of the debate surrounding the ratification of our Constitution.

With the Articles of Confederation failing to provide a workable solution for unifying our fledgling country, a Constitutional Convention was proposed and delegates from the former colonies convened to create a new governing document. Debate was contentious and messy as delegates fought for their turf.

Key issues under discussion focused on three areas:

· How much power should a central government have?

· What powers should individual states have?

· What about the rights of the individual?

While the result was the U.S. Constitution we are still governed by today, not every delegate signed the document.. The process of ratification by all 13 colonies took approximately two years and the Bill of Rights did not go into effect until about a year later. In the final analysis, our great country was birthed through a process of contentious debate and compromise.

With this bit of history in mind, I believe and hope for a rebirth of the two critical components of a healthy democratic republic: open debate on issues and compromise. For this old student of politics, I would like to see the following initiated by the 118th Congress:

· Decision-making transparency.

· A return to the traditional roles of the three branches with legislation taking place in the House and Senate and not the Executive or Judicial.

· Get spending under control. Remember Congressman David Crockett’s impassioned speech in the 1820’s reminding our elected officials that the public treasury was not theirs to give. For more info on this speech see my previous blog at College loan gift.

· Clean up Deep State. Especially curb partisan corruption at FBI, CIA, and all DOJ.

· Re-establish energy self-sufficiency.

· Improve supply-chain operation in U.S. No more empty shelves in America.

· Bring down inflation.

· Audit and curb foreign aid spending.

· Investigate Fauci and his role in pandemic and economic benefits he received from Big Pharma and China and how he spent funding he was allocated by Congress.

· Investigate Biden ties to foreign governments and how these ties may have influenced his policy decisions.

· Close the border and do not give foreign aid to Mexico.

· Eliminate IRS agent increase.

There are many other issues confronting our great country, my brief list is a place to start. Now is the time for our elected officials to get to work for the American people. As always, remember this is your country, be vigilant and stay informed.

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