Yesterday, I wrote about how the establishment controls things more than any particular individuals. Today, I would like to discuss this topic as it relates to Congress.
There are 535 congressional seats. There are 435 in the House of Representatives and 100 (2 for each state) in the Senate. I have often heard that everyone should simply vote against the incumbent (the current office holder) and then we would have a whole new congress (although it would take 6 years to clean out the Senate).
I would certainly be happy to see everyone in congress fired, especially since Ron Paul is leaving anyway. This would certainly signal a change and it would tell the politicians that Americans are fed up. It actually baffles me how some of these clowns keep getting re-elected, especially Republicans who supported all of the bailouts.
If all of the incumbents lost their seats, it would obviously show a change in public opinion. However, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that public opinion had gone completely libertarian. Perhaps we could see a scenario where the government is on the verge of bankruptcy (which it is) and it has to enact deep spending cuts in order to avoid hyperinflation or default. Perhaps we could see the politicians practically being forced in to making severe cuts in Social Security and Medicare. We could see a revolt that resembles Greece more than the Tea Party.
Here is my point. If all of the members of Congress were to lose their job without a change in public opinion towards liberty, then it would do us no good. This is why it is not important to get the “right” people elected. It is far more important to change people’s opinions in favor of more liberty and less government.
As Hayek said, the worst rise to the top. The federal government holds a lot of power over a lot of people. It is this massive power that attracts the worst elements of society. The only way to get rid of corrupt politicians is to dramatically reduce the power they have. As long as there is power, it will attract some of the most evil people you can find who wear nice clothes. If that power is taken away, then you don’t really have to worry too much about who is in office.
In conclusion, the reason that Congress has so many corrupt politicians is because of the power they wield. If you take that power away, then it takes away the corruption. As Harry Browne liked to quote Michael Cloud, “the problem isn’t the abuse of power, it is the power to abuse.”
Only the American people can take that power away by withdrawing their consent. We don’t need to elect the right people. We need to convince the American populace that their lives would be much better off with smaller government.