What too few in Washington appreciate—and what the new Republican Congress must if we hope to succeed—is that the American people’s current distrust of their public institutions is totally justified. There’s no misunderstanding. Americans are fed up with Washington, and they have every right to be. The exploitative status quo in Washington has corrupted Americans’ economy and their government, and made its entrenched defenders rich in the process.
This situation was created by both parties, but repairing it is now going to fall to the Republican Party. It’s our job to win back the public’s trust. And that can’t be done simply by passing more bills, or even better bills. The only way to gain trust is to be trustworthy. I think that means we have to invite the people back into the process, to give the bills we do pass the moral legitimacy Congress alone no longer confers.