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  • B. Thomas Marking

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Updated: Sep 25, 2021

The Congress Needs to Earn our Respect


A week after the “insurrection” on Capitol Hill, congressmen and commentators are still wringing their hands and asking, “How could this happen and what can be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again?” The answer is right in front of their faces. I’m remembering the classic 1967 hit by Aretha Franklin, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Both the Congress and the media need to regain the RESPECT of the American people, or this may well happen again.

Here are some initial thoughts:


Congress:

  • End the private funding of campaigns. You can honor your oath or take the money – not both.

  • End segregated seating in the chambers like you did for schools. Learn from and about each other.

  • End the practice of burying pork in the back pages of unrelated legislation to avoid scrutiny.

  • End the inordinate powers granted to those in leadership positions to control the agenda, the committee assignments, etc. One Congressperson shouldn’t be more equal than another.

  • End the Career Politician with strict term limits. Politics should be no one’s “career”.


Media:

  • Stop sensationalizing every story, even the weather, to gain readership or viewership.

  • Take all the programs that spew partisan propaganda all day long off the air immediately. Give us the news the way Walter Cronkite would have reported it; factual and thoughtful.

  • Interview some common citizens who are literate and educated enough to explain what is happening with “The Silent Majority” — not the crazed bigots or the clueless commentators.

  • Stop getting your story leads from social media outlets that have no fact filters. And put every story in context, historical and international. Just a little objectivity, please!

  • End your unauthorized role in selecting the “front runner” in political campaigns and in predicting the outcome of elections before all the votes are counted. That is not your prerogative.

Will these lost institutions take this moment in history to re-evaluate their current practices? I’ll be very surprised if they show any inclination to do the right thing for a change. No -- I’m afraid it is up to US. Aren’t you tired of being herded like sheep?


11 January 2021

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