Another Congressman is retiring and laments the acrimony in the House today relative to some idealized past.
Dingell told the Detroit News he finds "serving in the House to be obnoxious" and that "it's become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets." In his prepared "State of the District" remarks, Dingell said he was hopeful the "fever" that has come over Congress will break.
First, governing in our federalist republic has never been pretty, and that's a feature not a bug. Getting things done through the political process is intentionally meant to be difficult in order to preserve stability and reduce uncertainty.
Second, what many people like Dingell who argue that Washington has become more divisive lately (and North Carolina is little different) likely won't consider is something Frédéric Bastiat wrote about more than 150 years ago in The Law.
This unavoidable phenomenon, combined with the lamentable inclination that, as we have observed, exists in the heart of man, explains the almost universal perversion of the law. It is understandable how, instead of restraining injustice, the law becomes its instrument, indeed its most invincible instrument. It is understandable that, in proportion to the power of the legislator, and for his profit, the law destroys, in varying degree, among the rest of mankind, the rights of the person by way of slavery, liberty by way of oppression, property by way of plunder.
It is in the nature of men to react against the iniquity of which they are the victims. When, therefore, plunder is organized by the law for the profit of the classes who make it, all the plundered classes seek, by peaceful or revolutionary means, to enter into the making of the laws. These classes, according to the degree of enlightenment they have achieved, can propose two different ends to themselves when they thus seek to attain their political rights: either they may wish to bring legal plunder to an end, or they may aim at getting their share of it.
Woe to the nations in which the masses are dominated by this last thought when they, in their turn, seize the power to make the law!
Bastiat goes on:
No society can exist if respect for the law does not to some extent prevail; but the surest way to have the laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality are in contradiction, the citizen finds himself in the cruel dilemma of either losing his moral sense or of losing respect for the law, two evils of which one is as great as the other, and between which it is difficult to choose.