Letter: Engineers needed in congress

Our political system is flawed. I know it. You know it. We all know it. And there are a lot of theories as to why; none of which, I feel, actually strike the heart of the matter. Probably because the people suggesting the theories don’t want to point the finger at themselves.

The heart of the problem with our political system is the fact we let politicians run it. Let’s look just for a second at only Congress. Congress has 541 elected officials from 50 states. In their biographies only 127 of them were able to list a previous profession other than previous political work; including but not limited to doctors, ordained ministers, policemen, three physicists, six accountants, an astronaut, a former NFL football player, two vintners, a cosmetic sales woman, a mountain guide, a ski instructor, a furniture salesman, a shellfish specialist, and a riverboat captain.

That means that in Congress, for every three people with a previous career outside of politics there are more than 17 who have only ever worked in public service.

There is a distinct reason for this. There are many habits members of Congress have that would get them fired from other jobs. A potential list of complaints an employer could have: poor time management skills, doesn’t work well with others, frequently late to work, frequently neglects to come to work or call-In, cannot stay within budget, hypocritical and egotistical.

But their bosses say nothing. We say nothing. We continually support and elect those who have been born into a life of privilege, whose parents pay for their entire education, who have never held a nine-to-five working job, who have never had to struggle to pay their bills; in short, who know nothing of the real world. And we support them. Why? Because they have common values with us?

Plenty of people have common values; it’s not like it’s a rare thing. Being in politics should not be a career and people who treat it as such are not people we want doing it.

We need more butchers and bakers and candlestick makers. We need more policemen and physicists, shellfish specialists and riverboat captains. There are currently six engineers in Congress. If we as a society are committed to fixing the structure of this country we’re going to need a few more engineers.