Abe Lincoln told us that “a House divided against itself cannot stand.” Today, we so often see the public sector pitted against the private sector. This only divides our country, weakening all of us.
Too many politicians never experience what it means to work in the private sector. So how can they represent the majority of Americans who do? On the other hand, many congressional districts don’t have a living soul who has ever served in Congress other than the incumbent. That denies us the kind of shared knowledge we need to have an informed debate.
Consider the 16th district of Michigan, represented for the last 44 years by John Dingell. Mr. Dingell’s father held the seat for 22 years before that. So for the last 66 years no one else in this part of Michigan was able to gain experience in the Congress. No wonder there’s such a wide gulf between the public and private sector!
It would help if those who represent us in Washington know that one day they’ll be private citizens again. We also need to give more people a chance to serve in public office. Term limits is now accomplishing this in 18 state legislatures and can do the same in Congress.
As Americans, our strength has always been our ability to bring people together from different nationalities, religions and philosophies through a common belief in individual freedom and equal opportunity. Career politicians divide us. And history tells us that united we stand, divided we fall. Old Abe had a point.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.