324 Congress Members Who Should Permanently Quarantine, by David Swanson

324 Congress Members Who Should Permanently Quarantine, by David Swanson

Screenshot by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

Updated: Added a “Take Action” July 23, 2020

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy, July 21, 2020
July 22, 2020

The U.S. House of Misrepresentatives on Tuesday voted 324 to 93 (with 13 not voting) to defeat a proposal to move a mere 10% of military spending to human, environmental, and health needs. The 324 people who voted the wrong way on this really should never show their faces in public again. Our society ought to shame them so deeply that they pick up and move to a country with healthcare and retirement and clean energy and a decent education system where they can discover what they’ve been depriving the United States of, as well as discover what they’ve been inflicting on the world. Certainly, nobody should ever vote to elect any of them again.

Data For Progress, for quite a while, seemed like it would be a progressive-except-for-peace (PEP) group, but to its enormous credit, it finally did a poll on military spending. And guess what it found? By 56% to 27% U.S. voters favored what the House just voted down. If told that some of the money would go to the Centers for Disease Control, the public support was 57% to 25%. These were predictable numbers, in line with similar polls for decades. In fact, support for moving funds out of the military has often been stronger. And these results were not achieved by progressive wording of the question asked. The polling question called the aggressive, counterproductive military machine “defense” and claimed that we were living in a time of “relative peace.” (Maybe they meant you’re not likely to be fighting your relatives?)

If you’re wondering how your so-called Representative voted, check out the roll call. Or use this cheat sheet:

0 Republicans voted yes, 185 voted no, and 13 didn’t vote.

1 Independent voted yes. [Correction: Libertarian]

92 Democrats voted yes, while 139 voted no.

We need to thank the 93 people who got the easiest question in the history of the Congress correct, and we need to spank the others. RootsAction.org is setting up a page to allow you to do whichever is merited based on your address.

We also need to recognize two things.

1) The Republican Party is a disaster.

2) The Democratic Party is a disaster.

You’re unlikely to hear this news from Republican-aligned media outlets, or Democratic-aligned media outlets, or any corporate media outlets striving to align with both of those parties even while pretending that the two parties are severely at odds with each other.

A significant majority of federal discretionary spending goes to militarism. This is most of what Congress does. And the two parties are aligned on the question of dumping endless funds into the war machine.

Among voters who identify as Democrats you get 70% wanting to defund the Pentagon, whereas among Republicans you get 50%. But among elected officials who identify as Democrats you get 40% voting to defund the Pentagon and among Republicans 0%. This would seem to suggest that in relative terms of misrepresenting constituents, the Democrats are not as awful as the Republicans. Actually I don’t think that can be disputed, but I also think it can very easily be overstated.

The 40% of Democrats in the House who voted the right way were allowed to do so without great pressure from their party bosses precisely because the vote was expected to easily fail. The fraction of that group that would have stood by their vote had it been the single decisive vote and cast against the wishes of the “leader,” is probably extremely small. The number of Congress Members publicly advocating for urging their colleagues to vote the right way was small. The number of House Democrats signed onto a resolution in support of moving a really significant amount of funding out of the military is not 92. It’s 20.

We should especially thank those 20, even while building an independent movement to transform most of the Congress.


David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include Curing Exceptionalism: What’s wrong with how we think about the United States? What can we do about it? (2018) and War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Support David’s work.

Updated: July 23, 2020

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From the archives:

The U.S. Ruling Class Will Never Allow America’s Wars To End + Neoliberalism Is Going To Keep Us In A Perpetual Health Crisis, by Rainer Shea

Christian Sorensen: Military Contract Literacy

The Top Driving Force Behind Wars Is The War Industry, by David Swanson

Martin Sheen: What Weapon Currently Kills The Most In Wars Around The World?

House Compromises Away Peace, Senate Stands By War by David Swanson + Take Action!

6 thoughts on “324 Congress Members Who Should Permanently Quarantine, by David Swanson

  1. Pingback: Why the US is Doomed, by Finian Cunningham – Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: David Swanson, Alice Slater and Bruce Gagnon: Obstacles to Nuclear Abolition – Dandelion Salad

  3. I’m appalled..I didn’t know this. I do now, and every American who cares should be on top of what’s happening here as our country’s infastructure is failing as with our world standing

  4. Please correct this. Justin Amash is a Libertarian Congressman who voted in favor of this. He is not an Independent. The distinction is important.

    • Thanks for the correction, Eveline.

      From Wikipedia: “Originally a member of the Republican Party, Amash became an independent in July 2019 before joining the Libertarian Party in April 2020, becoming the first Libertarian Party member to serve in Congress. In July 2020, Amash announced that he would not run for reelection to Congress.”

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