The American people are disgusted with the U.S. Congress. In 2014, public approval of the "first branch" of government reached a forty-year low, its popularity ranking well below Nixon during the Watergate years and BP during the oil spill. Congress is producing legislation at a historically anemic rate, while many of the nation's most immediate problems fester. Those are the facts. The fiction? The notion that we can't do anything about it. Two-and-a-quarter centuries ago, the U.S. Constitution assigned various powers and obligations to our legislative branch -- a written warranty calling on our elected representatives to "promote the general welfare." But failures in recent years reveal a profound truth: Congress is in breach of contract. More than ineffective, the legislative process has become defective. And to a great degree, it is the congressional system that is driving the problem, not just the people and parties who are stymied by it. It is time to stop labeling them all "fools." Instead, we the people must push to reform the rules. In Unlock Congress, veteran journalist and former political strategist Michael Golden examines the ways in which congressional failure generates a harmful PRODUCT. Rather than narrowly affixing blame to individual politicians or even to the partisan divide, Golden methodically diagnoses underlying causes behind the breakdown. He identifies the PROBLEM obsolete rules that lead to major defects within the system. Finally, Unlock Congress lays out a PLATFORM of solutions designed to reinvigorate both the process and its players.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Unlock Congress did not disappoint. Michael Golden weaves in-depth research with terrific stories and elegant prose to break down the problems at the root of our system. Not only was the book on target, it motivated me to reach out to Golden and ask him how we're going to gather up the troops and march forward with the revolution! The meet-up location is unlockcongress.com, and I've already signed up. I recommend the same for anyone who'd like to see our dysfunctional government make a comeback.
If you are interested in politics and concerned about dysfunction in Washington you MUST read this book. In understandable prose and illuminating examples you will learn exactly how we have gone astray. And most importantly, you will be provided with solutions and directions to facilitate reforms.We have heard about the problems: the influence of money, the filibuster and the gerrymandering of voting districts to name a few. If you want to understand how these arose and how they influence the outcomes, read this book. If you want to understand what we as a nation have the right to expect from our elected officials, and why, read this book. If you want to understand how congress is failing us, read this book. This is not a book about ideology. It's nonpartisan. You will learn that no matter where you stand on the political spectrum, you are getting a raw deal. And you will learn there are ways to make it right.
I had watched Michael Golden's interview on Politics Tonight and then pre-ordered Unlock Congress. It arrived early and I read it in two days! I'm interested in politics but I'm not always able to follow the inside details of what drives so much of the dysfunction. But Golden's book laid out the problems and solutions in a way that not only kept me interested - it also made it easy to understand the causes of what's clogging up the government. The football analogy that compared Tom Landry's defensive system to the defective system in Congress was a brilliant way to wade into the substance without making your eyes glaze over! I loved the book, and I learned a ton.
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