Sarah C. Hayden

October 17, 2014

For the People: Constituents, Communication, and Congress

Television programs regarding law and government often portray political professions in a very glamorous and dramatic manner; for example, “House of Cards” shows us the desire for power, the political corruption, and the ruthless manipulation that are apparently present in our government. These shows, however, lack an accurate representation of the reality of public office - they offer little or no representation of the constituents that these politicians are serving. Over the course of my summer internship for a Congressman, my preconceptions of government jobs were smashed as I got an in-depth look at the realities of Congress, its functions, and its purpose. I was able to communicate with constituents and help them with cases regarding SSDI, SNAP, and Veterans benefits, as well as issues involving immigration, Medicaid, and unemployment. I was able to overcome various communication barriers to understand these individuals and aid them with their cases. Although the situation is not as glamorous as TV makes it out to be, it is much more rewarding for the community and for the political leaders involved.