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Inspire me on Valentine’s day

February 14, 2008

It’s Valentine’s Day, a holiday which has little to do with Congress. To be honest, I’m finding it hard to find much to love about Congress right now. I’ve worked across the street from it for over 7 months, and in that time I’ve become a curious hybrid of insider and outsider. I’m certainly not on the inside of the institution, since I work on FCNL’s outgoing message about happenings on the hill. But I am a close observer of what goes on in those chambers.

What I see right now isn’t lovable or inspiring. This could perhaps be fatigue. Fatigue from seeing Jim and Alicia and even myself trying to find an optimistic angle with which to cover the bad job Congress is doing. (I guess it’s not all bad — the House does some good things, not that they get signed into law) I suppose it’s a feeling of inertia. A feeling that nothing can be pushed through the huge bureaucratic monster that is the federal government. My reaction to an event my boyfriend told me about, a talk to be given by Rep. Rangel on International Trade Policy, was to shrug. What could he possibly say? Nothing will change.

How to combat this malaise? I’m looking for a way. The presidential campaign might serve as an outlet — some new blood in the white house. I also turn to new and different sources of inspiration, like the Hungarian film festival currently at the National Gallery of Art. These films are not apolitical (the last one I saw contained oddly flip references to Auschwitz and the ’56 revolution) but they are far from the daily grind of hearing about what Congress can’t get done.

I suppose what I need is a recounting of what inspires those of you who don’t work on the hill to act. Why do you keep writing letters to Congress? This girl, who spends her days helping FCNL convince you all to take action, needs some inspiration herself. So give me your ideas, your motivations, your thoughts, on believing in our governing bodies and taking action to change them. Thanks in advance.

(If this doesn’t get any comments I guess I’ll just have to take a long, contemplative walk, followed by a long, contemplative bath.)

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