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Who Owns Your Congressman?

Updated on April 30, 2019

What is the strongest influence on your Congressman?

See results

"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 what people 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.


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 solely 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.


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.


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”. So far less than ten percent of those taking the poll have selected that answer.

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?

Again, 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?

See results

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?

See results

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 ...


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