Government is the way we organize our responsibilities to each other.
That’s the phrase I repeated over and over in my first campaign for Congress in 2006. It seemed then that while maybe overly-idealistic, that description of government’s role was at least appropriately aspirational. And it at least had the benefit of contrasting clearly with the Republican philosophy, which seemed to be not quite “survival of the fittest,” but at least “to the victors go the spoils.”
Over the first 14 years of my congressional life, I never stopped believing in the theory that government in America should be a source of societal justice, but in practice that ideal had become less and less realistic. As our society became more and more polarized, and public expectations of government became less and less ambitious, I began to suspect that my ambitions for the federal government, especially for Congress, were far greater than the public’s, and that the country’s expectations for government were historically low.Read More ›