by Joe Scarry
Can we envision a circumstance in which members of Congress lose their seats because of their failures on issues of war and peace?
If the crisis created by Barack Obama’s threat to attack Syria has taught us anything, it is the urgency of having a Congress that controls the power to go to war, and absolute necessity that Congress refuses to go to war without the consent of the people.
I got a close-up of this as I observed the impact of constituent communications on members of the Illinois congressional delegation. It was a real wake-up call for me: there are members of Congress who understand that they represent their constituents, and members who don’t.
2014 is a midterm election year. There will be an election for every seat in the House of Representatives. So again I ask: Can we envision a circumstance in which members of Congress lose their seats because of their failures on issues of war and peace?
As someone who has been working day after day to raise the issue of drone warfare, and has experienced frustration over how difficult it is to get the public to pay attention to the problem, I was startled by how engaged and effective the general public was over the threat of war against Syria.“We can make ourselves heard!” I realized.
Isn’t now a moment when, instead of falling back into our existing habits of trying to change America’s war-making ways, we should put our recent experience under a microscope? And ask what we can learn from this experience? Can we make 2014 the year that we sort the wheat from the chaff in Congress? And get the control over war and peace back into our own hands?