The writer, of White Oak, Texas, is a former member of the U.S. House from southwest Iowa.

Stop it, children; just stop it! No, those remarks are not aimed at a group of kindergartners acting up on the playground.

They are aimed directly at the members of Congress who are hell-bent on destroying each other rather than do the job they were hired to do. Listening to what is coming out of Washington, D.C., it sounds more like a bunch of spoiled children in a sandbox fighting over a toy than a group of mature adults elected to do some of the most important work in the world.

The language is juvenile, there is no humanity, there is no professionalism, honesty is nonexistent and respect for the institution of Congress is nowhere to be seen. It has become a place where “winning” means destroying the person you do not agree with. No debate, no compromise, just my way or the highway.

In 1985, along with 434 others, I raised my right hand and took the following oath;

“I, Jim Ross Lightfoot, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

The same scene is replayed every two years with the swearing-in of the new House of Representatives. With the new Muslim members elected, modifications to the oath have been made to accommodate their different religious beliefs.

Hatred seems to be the word of the day. Do it my way or you will be impeached. It doesn’t matter what you think. You are lying. I don’t believe you. You are not fit to hold office. So goes the language we are hearing. These are not my words; they are in the news stories and on C-SPAN.

In case members of Congress have forgotten, they were elected to represent the folks back home and work to make the federal government responsive to the legitimate needs and wishes of the electorate. The goal is to put the country first, period.

It is fair to compare the federal government to a giant corporation. The president is the CEO, and the Congress is the board of directors. Board members are elected by the stockholders.

The board must remain sensitive to the stockholders, as they are also the source of all the revenue it takes to operate the corporation.

A good board has strict oversight of the corporation (government bureaucracy), supervising the way they spend revenue (tax dollars), cut waste, fraud and abuse out of the corporation (bureaucracy, again) and must be as efficient as possible.

A good board has the confidence of the stockholders, advises the CEO well and keeps the trains running on time,

Instead, we now have lifetime professional politicians who are more worried about votes to protect their lifestyle and destroying the opposition rather than legitimate debate and compromise. There is little, if any, oversight on the government. Our tax dollars are being spent like running water. Illegal immigrants are pouring into the country, and those already here are receiving millions of tax dollars in the form of health care, housing and food assistance. Our infrastructure is falling apart, and veterans are going without adequate and appropriate health care.

So to members of Congress acting like spoiled children, not doing the job you were elected to do, rapidly becoming the laughingstock of the world, wasting trillions of dollars and taking no responsibility for your immature behavior: Just stop it.

The stockholders are fed up with your lack of class, lack of respect and selfish agendas.

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