A Failed Congress

Alexis de Tocqueville, an astute political observer that lived in the early 1800s wrote this insightful statement:

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

Think Wall Street bail-outs, Cash for Clunkers, economic stimulus projects, and some approaches to nationalized health care, and the list just keeps on unfolding. We are being bought with our own money and most people haven’t a clue.

I would love to be proved wrong, but I don’t think there is even one statesman or stateswoman in Washington, DC these days who is wholly committed to the common good, and not just his or her own personal gain or pandering to their political party. Our ship of state is on a course directly toward the pounding surf on the jagged rocks and people keep arguing about arranging the deck chairs. Until the citizenry registers their discontent and throws the incumbents out of office we will continue to get the government we deserve.

Throughout human history dominant civilizations have only lasted a little over 200 years on average. The current direction of this country and its economy doesn’t bode well for things to come. That’s why our hope has to be in God and his unfolding purpose in the world, even if it means the days grow darker so the light can shine brighter.

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24 Comments
  1. Jonathan August 12, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Hi Wayne,

    I don’t want to distract from your point that “our hope must be in God.” That is true regardless of who is in the Whitehouse or congress and how virtuous they may be. That said, I do believe Ron Paul, a congressman from Texas, understands the concern expressed by Alexis de Tocqueville. He is staunch supporter of individual liberty and has consistently spoken out against bribery and coercion being forced on the American people by its government. I’ve been following him for nearly two years now and am amazed at his ability to speak truth in an environment of lies.

    I know this is not meant to be a politically focused website (and I wouldn’t want it to be), but this is the second time I’ve heard you express doubt we have a single honest politician in Washington. I thought you might appreciate an exception to that otherwise accurate stereotype.

    He’s written dozens of opinion pieces which can be found here

    http://www.house.gov/apps/blog/tx14_paul/

    Jonathan

  2. kent August 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Wayne, as I have said before, I get the sense the money isn’t really ours anyway but even if it is the publics reaction is even more puzzling. This would pass as them stealing our money right out in plain view and nobody does anything about it. Weird.

  3. Jonathan August 12, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Wayne,

    I don’t want to distract from your point that “our hope must be in God.” That is true regardless of who is in the Whitehouse or congress and how virtuous they may be. That said, I do believe Ron Paul, a congressman from Texas, understands the concern expressed by Alexis de Tocqueville. He is staunch supporter of individual liberty and has consistently spoken out against bribery and coercion being forced on the American people by its government. I’ve been following him for nearly two years now and am amazed at his ability to speak truth in an environment of lies.

    I know this is not meant to be a politically focused website (and I wouldn’t want it to be), but this is the second time I’ve heard you express doubt we have a single honest politician in Washington. I thought you might appreciate an exception to that otherwise accurate stereotype.

    He’s written dozens of opinion pieces which can be found here

    http://www.house.gov/apps/blog/tx14_paul/

    Jonathan

  4. kent August 12, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Wayne, as I have said before, I get the sense the money isn’t really ours anyway but even if it is the publics reaction is even more puzzling. This would pass as them stealing our money right out in plain view and nobody does anything about it. Weird.

  5. David Grant August 12, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Jesus had more to say about money than any other subject. It really is no surprise that people can be so easily bought.
    The prophetic voice of Jesus’ church has been lost because offerings to God have been gladly spent on the people’s own wants and desires. And yet most Christians in organized churches have no idea that their gifts to God are really just gifts to themselves.

  6. David Grant August 12, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Jesus had more to say about money than any other subject. It really is no surprise that people can be so easily bought.
    The prophetic voice of Jesus’ church has been lost because offerings to God have been gladly spent on the people’s own wants and desires. And yet most Christians in organized churches have no idea that their gifts to God are really just gifts to themselves.

  7. Joni Menard August 13, 2009 at 5:20 am

    I agree with Kent, its not my money. I would love to vote them out of office. My choices are just so narrow it doesn’t even feel like I get to move my deck chair!!!I’m ok though. We are Babylon 2. Its ok. God is not surprised. The real battle is not visible.

  8. kent August 13, 2009 at 7:15 am

    So maybe by us allowing them to take it we really are following Jesus’ suggest to give it to Caesar if he asks for it and many are just expiencing anger about it all because they really don’t trust the things Jesus said about money and the world system?

  9. Joni Menard August 13, 2009 at 8:20 am

    I agree with Kent, its not my money. I would love to vote them out of office. My choices are just so narrow it doesn’t even feel like I get to move my deck chair!!!I’m ok though. We are Babylon 2. Its ok. God is not surprised. The real battle is not visible.

  10. Bob Freelove August 13, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Wayne,

    You are right on the mark. What is taking place is the result of a society and culture that has turned from worshiping Father to one that is devoted to Mammon. Yesterday I read something from Thomas Merton that really says it all.

    “If we strive to be happy by filling all the silences of life with sound, productive by turning all life’s leisure into work, and real by turning all our being into doing, we will only succeed in producing a hell on earth.” — Thomas Merton

    When society equates happiness with money, working to obtaining more money, and measures success by the accumulation of financial assets is it any wonder that we are witnessing the very destruction of our republic? When the freedom of individuals and their responsibility to preserve their own freedom is replaced the desire for the state to guarantee that no one fails so that we can all get our fair share from the state, can we avoid creating a hell on earth or do we just accept it and hope the state doesn’t leave us out?

    As I continue on this journey my only confidence comes from the fact that Father loves me, no matter what happens to the culture I live in, and will never leave me.

  11. kent August 13, 2009 at 10:15 am

    So maybe by us allowing them to take it we really are following Jesus’ suggest to give it to Caesar if he asks for it and many are just expiencing anger about it all because they really don’t trust the things Jesus said about money and the world system?

  12. Theresa August 13, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Wow. What a quote. Chillingly prophetic. The times we live in are so…so….matrix-like.

  13. Bob Freelove August 13, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Wayne,

    You are right on the mark. What is taking place is the result of a society and culture that has turned from worshiping Father to one that is devoted to Mammon. Yesterday I read something from Thomas Merton that really says it all.

    “If we strive to be happy by filling all the silences of life with sound, productive by turning all life’s leisure into work, and real by turning all our being into doing, we will only succeed in producing a hell on earth.” — Thomas Merton

    When society equates happiness with money, working to obtaining more money, and measures success by the accumulation of financial assets is it any wonder that we are witnessing the very destruction of our republic? When the freedom of individuals and their responsibility to preserve their own freedom is replaced the desire for the state to guarantee that no one fails so that we can all get our fair share from the state, can we avoid creating a hell on earth or do we just accept it and hope the state doesn’t leave us out?

    As I continue on this journey my only confidence comes from the fact that Father loves me, no matter what happens to the culture I live in, and will never leave me.

  14. Theresa August 13, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Wow. What a quote. Chillingly prophetic. The times we live in are so…so….matrix-like.

  15. Greg Martin August 13, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Rignt on Wayne – our professional congress is why after 40 years of voting my conscious, I paid no attention to any of the campaign jargon and simply voted against any incumbant of over two terms. It hurt to do so with some candidates, but I felt getting rid of a the bums outweighed all other moral issues.

  16. Greg Martin August 13, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Rignt on Wayne – our professional congress is why after 40 years of voting my conscious, I paid no attention to any of the campaign jargon and simply voted against any incumbant of over two terms. It hurt to do so with some candidates, but I felt getting rid of a the bums outweighed all other moral issues.

  17. Mike Childress August 14, 2009 at 6:43 am

    I believe that just as I have a gift and calling from Jesus to introduse people to freedom from religion, I have a gift and a calling to strive for all sorts of freedoms for others. Although soemtimes I see a paradox of relationships. Often we see people in oppressed societies with an apparent deeper devotion to Christ than in places where people do not seem to “need” a walk with Jesus.

    Wayne:

    I just finished “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore” and was deeply touched and inspired. It helped me to realize that I had moved more toward teaching people about Jesus instead of helping people build a relationship whith Him. I am looking forward to listening to Him again instead of trying to figure out “what would Jesus do.”

  18. Mike Childress August 14, 2009 at 9:43 am

    I believe that just as I have a gift and calling from Jesus to introduse people to freedom from religion, I have a gift and a calling to strive for all sorts of freedoms for others. Although soemtimes I see a paradox of relationships. Often we see people in oppressed societies with an apparent deeper devotion to Christ than in places where people do not seem to “need” a walk with Jesus.

    Wayne:

    I just finished “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore” and was deeply touched and inspired. It helped me to realize that I had moved more toward teaching people about Jesus instead of helping people build a relationship whith Him. I am looking forward to listening to Him again instead of trying to figure out “what would Jesus do.”

  19. Diane August 15, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Wayne thank you for sharing your heart on this subject, sometimes we Christ-followers think that we cannot enter into this political arena. My question is if we vote ‘them’ out who to vote in? They all seems to be two faced, say one thing do another. The whole voting process should be changed.

    Three years ago while visiting my husbands family in Lebanon, his nephew ask me what I thought of the politics in America. I told him that I was becoming more and more disappointed in the whole thing!He said, “Auntie, you haven’t seen anything yet, America is very young and your just beginning to see corruption. If you want to see corruption, just stay around here for awhile.”

    My husband added, “In Lebanon they ask for the bribe up front, without blinking, or trying to hide the corrupt intentions. In America, they call it by another name……and the people swallow it.”

  20. Diane August 15, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Wayne thank you for sharing your heart on this subject, sometimes we Christ-followers think that we cannot enter into this political arena. My question is if we vote ‘them’ out who to vote in? They all seems to be two faced, say one thing do another. The whole voting process should be changed.

    Three years ago while visiting my husbands family in Lebanon, his nephew ask me what I thought of the politics in America. I told him that I was becoming more and more disappointed in the whole thing!He said, “Auntie, you haven’t seen anything yet, America is very young and your just beginning to see corruption. If you want to see corruption, just stay around here for awhile.”

    My husband added, “In Lebanon they ask for the bribe up front, without blinking, or trying to hide the corrupt intentions. In America, they call it by another name……and the people swallow it.”

  21. Kevin August 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    My uncle pointed out that one of governments main problems is they think it’s their job to protect us from pain at any cost and not allow us to fail and receive the consequences of our own decisions. And they seem to have convinced a good number of constituents that this is their role too. This is very unlike God.

  22. Kevin August 16, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    My uncle pointed out that one of governments main problems is they think it’s their job to protect us from pain at any cost and not allow us to fail and receive the consequences of our own decisions. And they seem to have convinced a good number of constituents that this is their role too. This is very unlike God.

  23. jacob January 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I dont know if anyone still reads responses from older articles, but 4 years have gone by and I have come full circle in my political thinking. I suggest everyone do some real research on RON PAUL, he political philosophy of liberty and freedom seem to sound a lot like some of Wayne’s teachings, albeit about a different topic. I thought he was a crazy cook 4 years ago, but by a friends suggestion I have read his books, fact-checked what his positions were and why he held them. He is the real deal, and those who do not want more of the same, from either party, should look at Ron Paul and his ideas.

  24. jacob January 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I dont know if anyone still reads responses from older articles, but 4 years have gone by and I have come full circle in my political thinking. I suggest everyone do some real research on RON PAUL, he political philosophy of liberty and freedom seem to sound a lot like some of Wayne’s teachings, albeit about a different topic. I thought he was a crazy cook 4 years ago, but by a friends suggestion I have read his books, fact-checked what his positions were and why he held them. He is the real deal, and those who do not want more of the same, from either party, should look at Ron Paul and his ideas.

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