There is a growing movement for the U.S. Congress to look much like America. The argument goes that a representative government should resemble its constituents which would be better able to incorporate their perspectives when passing laws.
In the early years of American democracy, the halls of government were populated by White Christian men. Over time, women and Blacks were given the right to vote and ultimately began running for and winning seats in government.
The tapestry of America can be seen in a picture of the 117th Congress.
In addition to outward appearance is the lived realities of people’s experiences, feelings and emotional state.
There are Americans who are mentally unstable. Who are racists and misogynists. Who are psychopaths, anti-Semites and abusers. These individuals are represented by members of Congress and are also members of Congress. It was true when America was only governed by White Christian men and is true now with people with a spectrum of backgrounds.
America’s government looks and thinks more like swaths of America.
Some of today’s notable anti-Semites in Washington, D.C. are Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). While the passions of Jew haters have representation in government, are there enough people to properly represent Americans’ animosity towards Jews?
According to the Anti-Defamation League 2015 poll, 10% of Americans hold anti-Semitic beliefs. With 100 senators and 435 members of the House, the right number of anti-Semites in government should be 53 politicians. The three infamous anti-Semites may stand out because they have to pull above their weight. Americans may crave more voices disparaging Jews. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) seemingly know as much, and are leaning in to be carried by the tailwinds of hate.
A Congress that speaks and votes like the worst parts of America thinks, is being showcased by Representatives Omar, Tlaib and Greene today. They are a mirror of the ugliest parts of our society. That frame will only widen and darken should we fail to collectively change course.
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