Ingenius Incompetence

Does our Congress really want to solve problems?

There was a key block of legislators in the mid-1960s who really wanted to dramatically advance social justice in the United States. They wanted black kids and white kids to attend the same schools, and they wanted the schools to be better. They wanted equal voting rights and equal rights to public accommodations and a guarantee of health security for the poor and the elderly. They though it was obscene for extreme poverty to flourish in the wealthiest country on earth. Lyndon Johnson’s leadership was important to making that happen as was, obviously, the role of social movement leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. But LBJ and MLK didn’t bewitch the congress into having those priorities. A critical mass of key members really wanted to solve these problems.

Today’s stasis and decline is no great mystery.