Who Owns Your Congressman?

What is the strongest influence on your Congressman?

  • We the People
  • Money/Deals
  • Political Party
  • Religion
  • Other
See results without voting

"Direktorium LDE"

Originally uploaded on wikipedia by User:MOdmate at 6 March 2007, 10:28.  Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.
Originally uploaded on wikipedia by User:MOdmate at 6 March 2007, 10:28. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons. | Source

First - Who Owns Your Congressman?

This article is a quick poll to see who we believe is the strongest influence on our Congressmen. Is it “we the people”, “money”, “political party”, “religion”, or something else? Before presenting the question, this article will briefly discuss what is meant by each term. The goal is to indicate what factor is perceived to be the dominate influence on your congressman, rather than an indication of fact. I forget who said it, but many believe 'Perception is reality'.

We the People

This answer indicates your belief that your representative makes efforts to reach out to his constituency and accurately reflects their feedback before deciding how to vote on any particular bill. People who select this answer were likely taught in 20th century conservative schools.

“Money/Deals”

This answer provides for the case where your representative reaches out to his contributors and lobbyists to solicit their view before voting on a bill, or has his ear soley tuned to their voice. It also should be selected if you think your Congressman is more likely to be influenced by “you do this for me, and I’ll do that for you” type deals. People who select this answer may also have been taught in 20th century schools, but were also likely raised to the principle: "You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours"; a phrase intended to imply that people mutually work towards curing each others itch.

“Political Party”

This answer provides for the case where you believe your representative relies on the guidance of his political party to decide how to vote on an issue. Most people who select this answer are likely to view the political process as an expression of loyalty to a group or team.

“Religion”

This answer provides for the case where you believe your representative relies on the guidance of his church or religion to decide how to vote on an issue.

“Other”

This answer provides for the case where the author totally missed a major possibility. If you select this one, please provide a comment so I can consider modifying the poll.


We all know that the high school classroom government civics class answer is supposed to be “we the people”, but, I’m almost willing to wager that few will select it. The results here should be interesting.

The latest review of the results trend indicates that we believe our congressman are much more likely to be influenced by money or deals. I would like to be believe this is not actually the case, but simply a misguided perspective. Nevertheless ...

Second - What SHOULD be the strongest influence on your Congressman?

We all know that the classroom government answer is supposed to be 'We the People', but only ten percent of the People had selected that at the time this article was first updated. So I decided to do a second question, just to make sure that we all agree that the answer for representatives should be 'We the People'.

This led to the Hub question 'What should be the strongest influence on your congressman?'. I left that question out there for a few days before updating this Hub. When I got a response from Credence2 indicating it seems everyone agrees, so I decided to update this Hub.

The questions results indicate that everyone agrees the correct answer should be 'We the People'. The early results say, Eight votes to zero, 'We the People'. Then, I added the question to this article. On the next update of this article, the count was again unanimous, this time three, that it should be ‘We the People’. It is rare to get such overwhelming concurrence in these type articles, but that is OK this one time. Besides, a sample size of 11 votes would not likely be considered statistically significant by a statistician, even if they did agree with the result indicated by the question. But, I ramble - moving on.

For ease of one click access should anyone want to vote again as part of this article, that question is repeated below here as a poll question.

What should be the strongest influence on your Congressman?

  • We The People
  • Money
  • Deals
  • Political Party
  • Religion
  • Their Conscience
See results without voting

Why the Difference?

Clearly there appears to be a significant difference between who we think our Congressman should answer to, and who we think our Congressman actually answers to. So, I’m going to ask yet another question. Should we be taking steps to do something about the difference between the classroom understanding and the perceived reality about who our Congressmen answer to?

Should We Fix This?

Should what is taught in the classroom match the apparent reality when it comes to who our representatives answer to?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

Update 2015

If we also agree this should be fixed, a follow-up article will seek to open a dialogue on how to go about fixing it.

As of 25 July 2015, there is only one lone answer to the question, should we fix this? The need for an update is still pending.

So far the results indicate nobody really cares.

However, a new type of candidate for president has stepped forward, and he seems to be openly advertising that government is all about making the deal, and cites his experience in this realm as his qualification. His name is Trump.

Will future historians view the beginning of the 21st century as a new era in politics, where politicians began to get a sense for how they were perceived by the people and responded by emphasizing their own expertise in dealing and compromise rather than regarding the ability to work a deal with suspicion? Will our perceptions change if the deal-making ability gives us our own new opportunities? Only time will tell ...

More by this Author


11 comments

FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 5 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia Author

Thanks for the comment Peter.

One would hope that representatives stick to representing their constituency, but with the influence that money has on politics, it is easy to believe that the representation is based on contributor, whether the contributor is part of their constituency or not. Are you aware of any organizations that provide data on this question?


PETER LUMETTA profile image

PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

When a congressional seat costs the person running in the neighborhood of $3M for the campaign, money comes first. So their "representation" is based on how much money you can contribute not where you live.

Peter


Consumer 5 years ago

Why can't they where brands like the NASCAR crowd? It would be sooo much easier to see who they are working for!?!


joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Robert Brady is owned by Comcast, Dandrea, and of course the unions.


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 6 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia Author

I just read a Hub today (“Tax and Spending Revolt Grows with YouCut”) that makes it look like our representatives are getting the message and seeking ways to get us back to 'we the people'.


Tom T profile image

Tom T 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

Not sure it has ever been much different. I did like the contract with America thing 20+ years ago. At least they all campaigned and agreed on 10 things they would do if elected. I believe they tried to get votes on the vast majority. Not sure you can ever get away from congress or any elected official being beholden to someone...but at least it is not being beholden to the government.


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 6 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia Author

All, good points, ego, capitulation and special interests, and the poll results so far are consistent with expectations.

OpinionDuck,

By the hour buy-outs is something I hadn't even considered.


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

Congressman are not owned they are bought by the hour, and sometimes by the job.

I would submit that if mandatory full tax audits of each and every member of Congress were to be done by an outside agency, we would better know who owns the Congressman.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa

Who Owns Your Congressman

For sure it's not the average taxpayer.Special interest like the unions are resurrecting to be in charge.


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 6 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

There are a few congressmen who vote their conscious.

Comprimise seems to be the norm at times.

capitulation is even more so.

It would be nice if ever congressman had a website where they could get input from the voters.Questioneers,or comments on issues.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

It is sad to see what is happening in Congress. It seems that what the bulk of American wants is irrelevant and the big ego is in charge.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working