Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. If the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.
Congressman James Garfield of Ohio, remarks on the 100th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1876.
Garfield’s comments can and should be applied to the White House, as well, and have never been more fitting. When you’re seeking the source to blame for the sorry state of our political culture, our broken system of government, and the “public servants” who make the decisions that impact our lives, remember that it is our fellow Americans who elected these people to represent us. Elections have consequences.