My previous recommendation, for a qualifying examination for congressional members, doesn’t seem to have gained much traction. I’m baffled by this. It was to have been an exam for all entering members of Congress (and presently sitting members at first) to determine whether they are able to grasp basic realities of the physical world, and understand what democracy is. I am not certain of the reason for this examination’s failure to be promptly adopted, but I suspect it has something to do with certain Republicans’ inability to grasp the meaning of the term “reality” itself. We know this because these same people continually say things for public consumption that clearly fall in the realm of the impossible. They fail the most elementary tests of understanding reality.
Another possibility is that those in the Republican Party who actually know how to think, are simply too embarrassed by these continual inanities, and don’t want to do anything that might draw more attention to them than there is already.
Certain Republicans make frequent
statements that clearly fail
the most elementary tests of reality.
So, rather than a qualifying exam, I now propose that each political party appoint a standing committee to examine the public statements of its own members for the purpose of determining whether their statements meet the test of objective reality.
Public shaming is not the purpose of these committees. Findings of misleading statements, factually incorrect statements, or false understanding of objective reality would be conveyed privately to the person who misspoke. That way, he would be put on notice that sympathetic compatriots are concerned that his statements have strayed into the realm of fantasy. The speaker could then correct misstatements in a future appearance. Not to do so, or continuing embrace of the fantasy world, would be cause for being purposely marginalized, with active party support of an opponent in the next primary election.
Concern about false statements
would be conveyed privately.
At first, these committees would find their assignments overwhelming. Dealing with just one person, Michelle Bachman, for example, would have required nearly full time attention of the entire committee, because an endless stream of stupidities and impossibilities come from her mouth daily. However, if a Republican Reality Committee had been able to address these amazing statements early on, she might have realized that temperance and some attention to reality was in her own best interests. Barring that, she could have been summoned to appear before the committee and informed that continuing stupidities would earn the enmity and active opposition of her own political party.
Correction of half a dozen Republican dwellers in fairyland would not only put the entire party on notice, but it would have a salutary effect on relationships with Democrats. This, combined with civilized requests for documents with supporting data within the Congressional process itself, would lift political debate out of the gutter of intransigence into a realm of mutual respect and striving for actions that would benefit all people.
Respectful correction from one’s own party, I believe, would be more effective in bringing about behavioral change than identical actions from the opposition party.