Are America’s best days behind us? And if so, what can we do about it?
For years, Americans have been losing faith in our institutions, and many are asking questions like this about our country’s future.
No national institution is suffering a crisis of trust more than Congress. Public confidence in Congress hovers slightly above 10%, down 30 points since 1986.
Americans know that extreme partisanship has corroded our national legislature. A recent poll found that nearly nine out of ten Americans view hyper-partisanship in Congress as an impediment to the country’s ability to operate effectively.
Congress is clearly broken and is not going to be fixed unless something changes. The root of the problem is a partisanship that dominates the thinking and behavior of the members. Congress needs something new and unconventional, like a Special Forces unit that breaks with old ways to forge creative, cross-partisan solutions.
That’s why we’re part of a new organization called With Honor. It draws from one of the only institutions that the majority of Americans still trust, the U.S. military. With Honor provides strategic support to a new generation of younger veterans running for Congress – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – who pledge to govern based on principles not politics.
We believe increasing next-generation veteran representation in Congress is an urgent mission and strong antidote for our country’s broken politics. Why?
For much of the second half of the 20th Century, more than half of Congress had served in the military. Today, veteran representation in Congress is near a historic low at 19%. As the number of veterans in Congress has dropped, the amount of debilitating partisanship has risen exponentially.