Friday, April 07, 2006
Young man, are you listening to me? I said, young man, what do you want to be?
As a kid my whole concept of government was one part "Schoolhouse Rock" and and one part Norman Rockwell. When I first started to "get" the concept of Congress, elected representatives from all parts of the country, I pictured a place where Eskimos, native Americans and businessmen all met to hammer out the people's business and pass our nation's laws. Since I saw America as made up of people of men and women of all races, finacial backgrounds, shapes and sizes I assumed Congress, as a micro-representation of our society, would be the same.
I know, I know. I was a naive little bastard.
When I was older and in college and really started reading up on the history of our government I was surprised to find out that in the past there had been fights on the floor of Congress and duels over disagreements between Representatives. I found this strangely appealing. Not the part where people actually got hurt, I wasn't pining for any more Alexander Hamiltons. I was attracted by the concept that once upon a time those that were elected to office actually cared passionately about the issues before them. Passionately enough to physically fight for them if necessary. To risk life and limb.
I know Cynthia McKinney can come off a little crazy in interviews. There's a certain "boy who cried wolf" aspect to her charges of racism and the timing wasn't the best as it gave the Republicans an issue to jump on. As if they really needed an issue to jump on. If they got nothin' they just make stuff up. War on Christmas, anyone?
But I can't help but wonder if Congress might actually be a little better off with twenty more Cynthia McKinneys. Because from where I sit she looks a lot more like the country I live in than Tom DeLay or Dennis Hastert. And nobody can say she's not passionate.