The Confessions of Congressman X

Column by Alex R. Knight III.

Exclusive to STR

A very slim volume was published in late May, which, although it may hold few new revelations for the long initiated, is nevertheless a grimly fascinating window view into the mind of a modern American bureaucrat: At once and at times fraught with sociopathy . . . and yet filled with a kind of jaded cynicism that belies pangs of bitter conscience, intertwined with a kind of scornful resignation. The picture that emerges is one of a conflicted, psychologically disturbed creature – both frightening, and violently reprehensible.

The mere 65 page volume in large type (I refer here to the print edition, in any case) comprises perhaps an hour’s read, compiled from notes taken by the close confidant of a Democratic congressman who has obviously chosen anonymity. These notes were reputedly later approved and slightly edited by their subject, and then made public for all the world to see. This series of opinions, insights, and observations says nothing whatever of a positive nature about politics, elections, the legislative process, or government in general. They in fact describe a world of hubris, favor-currying, bribery, self-centeredness, manipulation, deceit, and total arrogance. A world where campaign fundraising for re-election is paramount above all else, and kowtowing to whomever that money is coming from supercedes everything.

In fact, the first 30 or so pages deal almost exclusively with such considerations. The title of the first section is one that all voluntaryists can appreciate, “Voters Are Incredibly Ignorant.” At page 3, the congressman states, “Voters claim they want substance and detailed position papers, but what they really crave are cutesy cat videos, celebrity gossip, top 10 lists, reality TV shows, tabloid tripe, and the next fucking Twitter message.” He continues in this vulgar vein on the next page: “It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.”

He hurls invectives at the data that members of Congress are ostensibly supposed to rely upon when crafting and passing law after law after law: “Even our government agencies have become Pinocchios. Misinformation is taken for granted. Prejudicial statistics, selectively chosen data, slanted surveys, purposeful omission of key facts, rigged numbers, outright lies. You just don’t know who or what to believe anymore” (p. 32).

On pages 55-56, in a section titled, “We’re Terrible Custodians of the People’s Money,” he continues in this vein: “The federal government’s a sprawling mess. No one can possibly comprehend everything it’s up to. Government agencies pretty much do what they want, viewing us elected legislators as little more than temporary nuisances. Here today, gone tomorrow.

“With little congressional monitoring, regulatory agencies seem to operate on their own beliefs. Interpreting the laws we pass but never follow through to conclusion.

“In a sensible world we would regularly revisit laws and regulations to see if they’ve had the intended consequences. Times change, and some may need to be fine-tuned or taken off the books. But who has the time?

“The more laws we pass and fail to follow through on, the more common sense we seem to suck out of life.”

At page 42, “X” openly admits what most Americans already know: “We pass laws, then figure out ways to exempt ourselves from the effects of those laws. We do the same thing with tax policies. Rules don’t apply to us, just the rubes we represent. And we wonder why they’re pissed.”

Interestingly enough, “X” tries throughout this short narrative to characterize himself as a “classic 1970s moderate”; a well-intentioned enough champion of the downtrodden, tragically hamstrung by and caught up in the wastefulness and corruption of political culture. He goes so far as to say, at pages 50-51: “Look. Just as the GOP can’t hope to survive as the party of no government, no taxes, no tolerance . . . we can’t expect to survive as the party of government-dependent souls who simply want more for nothing.”

Hell, isn’t that last the very definition of politicians and the bureaucrat class? Well-monied non-producers? And as for his description of the GOP . . . well, would that all Republicans were to become Voluntaryists!

In the final segment, “I’m Not Hopeful About the Future,” at page 61 he opines, “The political system’s broken. And nobody knows what to do about it. People are too busy. Too self-absorbed. Too apathetic. Too stupid. Or maybe they’ve just plain given up on changing the status quo. I hear the anger, but it isn’t being translated into momentous action.”

Of course, the good congressman’s definition of “action” all falls within the governmental and political paradigm. And nothing gets more status-quo than that. Who’s too stupid, X?

If nothing more, this book paints a truthfully grim picture of reality for anyone still blind to it. It is a highly recommendable dose of hardcore Wake-Up Call for any of your statist acquaintances who still feel as though voting or campaigning is a viable remedy for what is clearly a collapsing, dying, and discredited system. And while the “solutions” Congressman X proposes at closing are just more of the same tired old statist “reform” nonsense, these confessions – such as they are – when combined with an additional education in Voluntaryism, can serve as sorely needed medicine for the average political thinker in today’s outrageously taxed, regulated, tyrannized, and government-choked society.

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Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 153

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales.  He has also written and published poetry, non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues.  He currently lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University.  Alex's Amazon page can be found here, and his work may also be found at both Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.  His MeWe group can be found here.


Samarami's picture
    '...“It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.”...'

Governmentalists always write with the mindset that this thing has really gotten out of hand; but that the state will be okay and serve a socially useful purpose if the people will just get honest and forthright people elected to man the ship. But a state is necessary -- "we've" just gotta elect the right people.

The hardware department at Wal Mart is my part-time "job" a few evenings per week. I work, not because I need employment, but because it forces me out of the house and on the bicycle in order to remain healthy, responsible, and mentally alert. 14 miles round-trip, hot, cold, rain, ice, sleet or snow. I've been car-free since my Dad died in 2008.

Last Monday, July 4th, much of the evening was devoted to moving shoppers out of the south section of the parking lot (adjacent to a city park) to other sections in order to make way for a big fireworks display at 10pm, to be conducted for the hoi polloi -- launched from our parking lot. I got on my bike to ride home at around 10:10; biked alongside the ear-splitting rockets and through a crowd of the "self-absorbed sheep" described above, lined up on a hillside along the route I take home.

I thought while I watched this crazy-making: how can sane individuals be convinced to go out, sit in chigger-infested grass, "ooohh" and "aaahh" over the aggrandizement of previous murderous wars, terminated (I presume) by a playing of a star-finangled banner of some sort. Sane people can't.

Which is eerie when you give it just a little thought.

Here I was, an 81 year-old veteran of the enslavement by murderous lunatics (draftee), biking AWAY from the traumatization -- a derangement the hordes were celebrating. Some of you old-timers will understand -- it never goes away. Even after well over 60 years I can't tolerate sudden explosions. Yet the self-absorbed sheep are trained to cheer them on.

The late Delmar England had it absolutely right: insanity is the social norm.


Jim Davies's picture

Excellent review, intriguing book. Who, who is Congressman X?
If (s)he is truly a sitting Dem, does he plan to get re-elected? - if so, he is seriously conflicted. If not, he's on a short list and his ID should not be too hard to spot. In any case, without re-election ambitions, why hide his identity?
Or if not, then who?  Pretty well anyone can call himself Congressman X, as a nom de plume. For example, Ron Paul. For example, any of dozens of talented libertarian authors including scores of Root Strikers. For example, Alex Knight...

Alex R. Knight III's picture

Insanity is indeed the social norm, it seems...especially in light of recent events, Sam.  England was spot-on.
I have contemplated the idea that "X" is a total phantom; a fiction created in the interest of stirring the Beltway hornet's nest while at the same time further rousing the public's ire.  Who knows?  We live in a time, as "X" himself alludes to, of nearly universal deceit (apologies to Orwell).

Paul's picture

It's pretty normal for the ruling class to sneer at the peons. That helps them convince themselves that they are needed by the peons to survive - ignoring for the moment that the enstupidization of the peons has always been an important ruling class project.