It was William F. Buckley Jr. who said he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the Boston telephone directory than by the 2,000 people on the faculty at Harvard. In that spirit:
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 43% believe a group of people randomly selected from the phone book would do a better job than the current Congress. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree with that assessment, while another 19% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
I think that's another way to say, "The fact that they want the job proves that they shouldn't have it." People chosen from the phone book (or by some other other randomizing method) would be forced to learn how Congress works and then would go about getting stuff done. People who actually run for the office start with a polarized attitude, which they apply chiefly to getting re-elected. The original idea in this country was that our national leaders would be ordinary people with real lives who do government service for a brief time, then return to their normal lives. Randomly selecting people from the phone book would be closer to that ideal than what we have now.