Dear Dr. Boli: How does a citizen defer his interests and the interests of his group in order to actualize the Common Good? —Sincerely, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Jim Clyburn, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Rep. Fred Upton, Rep. Dave Camp, Sen. Patty Murray, Sen. Max Baucus, Sen. John Kerry, Sen John Kyl, Sen. Rob Portman, Sen. Pat Toomey.

Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen: Your error, if Dr. Boli may be permitted to be candid with such distinguished correspondents, is in assuming that there is such a thing as a “common good” this side of the celestial Jerusalem. We must pursue the economic prosperity of our country, says one; the love of money is the root of all evil, says another. A rising tide lifts all boats, says one; the poor get poorer while the rich get richer, says another. We cannot even agree on what constitutes “good,” so how can we expect to hold it in common?

Fortunately, where theory fails, practical observation comes through with the goods. History shows us that our country’s most prosperous periods have been the times of complete political gridlock, when nothing can be done in Washington because no agreement can be reached. In these short but golden intervals of inactivity when the process of government simply breaks down, the average citizen prospers. The best way to promote the greatest good of the greatest number, therefore, is to use vilification and slander to stir up perpetual antipathy between parties whose practical beliefs show few discernible differences. This procedure, whether by plan or by instinct, you have already put into practice with commendable enthusiasm, and Dr. Boli has every confidence that the country will soon enter another golden age of contentment and prosperity.

Have you tried and failed to understand American politics? Misinformation is what you need.