The sad fact is that politicians spend the majority of their time and effort fighting a partisan war, while our country weakens.  With yet another threatened government shutdown, I had had enough.  I purchased a year’s subscription to The Congressional Record, the codification of everything that happens on the House and Senate floors—their entire, annual “work product.”

I began folding.  I folded each page into a paper airplane. I folded on trains, on planes, in doctors’ waiting rooms, everywhere.  Strangers asked to help; family and friends pitched in.  I striped half the paper airplanes red, the other half blue.

In September of 2016, I installed in American University’s Katzen Museum 10,752 paper airplanes, representing an entire year of Congress’ efforts. The planes rose from opposing bins in squadron-like formation. Those few that “crossed the political divide” gained the color purple—the color of reason in politics.

We can criticize Congress—and I do—but American voters have to take responsibility for the people we send to Washington, DC.  We have no right to complain about politics if we keep casting our votes for rabid politicians.

To see if your Congressional representatives—in both the House and Senate—are wasting our time and tax dollars, check out the Lugar Center’s Bipartisan Index, where Congressmen and Senators receive scores on cooperative legislative efforts.


The good news is that representatives under the age of 45 are displaying greater bipartisanship.  So, there is hope if we vote young and vote purple.