We don't mean the sanitized version of touring a state or congressional district. We don't mean the kind where officials simply "fly over" an area or sit in the back seat of a vehicle and converse on a cell phone while en route to a meeting or town hall gathering. There is enough of that already.
We mean the kind where they land or get out of a vehicle and actually talk to everyday citizens. This includes people who don't even know who their voices in Washington are.
It is evident from what's going on or not going on in this nation that members of Congress are not getting a full view of life in America today. How can they possibly do that when the extent of their knowledge is what they see from miles above in the sky or the few fleeting glimpses they happen to catch through tinted glass windows from a vehicle's back seat?
Land the plane. Roll down the window. Better yet, get out and mingle.
Everyone in Congress seems to be quick to fly off to a foreign land and take long ground tours of the countryside. They even stop for impromptu conversations, or so they say, with everyday citizens when in foreign nations. Oddly enough, few seem to be willing to do that here, in their state or district. It should be noted that not everyone in Congress has to travel overseas once or twice a year for a personalized view of problems in the Middle East, yet many do. Can't the first 100 members of Congress to visit report back to the rest? Moreover, doesn't the State Department pay its employees big bucks to do just that for Congress and the nation?
Next time the urge to get out of Washington and travel hits, come home. Members of Congress do not have to fly to the Middle East, to Europe or to one of those troubled tropical islands in the Pacific to find problems in urgent need of attention.