For those who haven’t seen the show, House of Cards is a fictional television series about ruthless pragmatism, manipulation, and the accumulation of power by U.S. Congressmen.
And, as reported earlier this month by KansasWatchdog.org, Kansas U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo says the show isn't too far off track.
“[Underwood, the House of Cards protagonist, is] a caricature, but there are folks who are back there (Congress) whose desire is to just continue to be there,” Pompeo said. “They accumulate power for the sake of accumulating power, instead of accumulating influence in order to achieve an agenda, something you want to get done for your constituents.”
Of course, no one expects Congressmen to be angels, and we all suffer from impure motives from time to time.
But John Adams summarized the sentiment of the founding generation when he said, “public virtue is the only foundation of republics.” Adams meant that virtuous Congressmen, executives, and judges are essential for the survival of the American system of government (a republic).
So when even some Congressmen “accumulate power for the sake of accumulating power,” we have a serious problem. And with the Congressional approval rating down to an all-time low, it seems high time that something be done to remove our federal officials’ ability and incentive to accumulate power for power’s sake.
Term limits, anyone?