The Washington Post

Term limits, marijuana and dynamite: How Americans say they would fix Congress

The solution to Congressional gridlock? (David McNew/Reuters)

Gallup recently posed an open-ended question to its respondents: "What is the most important thing you would recommend be done to fix Congress?" Some variation of "fire them all" was the most popular response, which is hilarious and tragic considering the incumbency advantage appears to be just as strong as ever this year.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 12.50.47 PM

Fourteen percent of respondents formed a "can't we all just get along" caucus, saying that bipartisan cooperation is the key to fixing Washington. Term limits were another popular solution, favored by 11 percent of Americans. But a full 10 percent of responses that didn't fit anywhere else were packed into a mysterious "other" category - what could they be?

Fortunately for us, Gallup recently posted a document with the full verbatim responses of all 500 people who were asked this question. And it turns out Americans have plenty of creative, outside-the-box solutions to solve the nation's political woes. Some of the best ones are below.

The Dickensian Solution

"Make sure all of them were poor at one time."

The Pineapple Express

"Cheaper health insurance, legalize marijuana."

The Paulian Fix

"Get rid of the federal reserve."

Pay for Performance

"Their pay should reflect their ability to do their job."

Incarcerate for Success

"Lock them in a room together until they get along."


"Nothing I can think of. "

Problem? What Problem?

"Re-elect everyone."

Universal Daycare

"Stop acting like two-year-olds"

Life's a Beach

"More vacation time"

Life is Suffering

"Training in mindfulness, meditation, greater compassion, and psychological flexibility, so workable compromises can be reached with greater ease and efficiency. "

The Voice of Reason

"They need to make better decisions."

The Gunslinger


The Anarchist

"Well-placed dynamite"

The Revolutionary


The Totalitarian

"Eliminate them all."




Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.



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Emily Badger · July 21, 2014

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