The Combative Congress book

2023 Approval

Gallup 2023


Number of Parties by Country

Ben Franklin, who on leaving the Constitutional Convention of 1787, supposedly told a curious passerby that the Framers had “produced a republic, if you can keep it.””

— Benjamin Franklin

AUSTIN, TX, UNITED STATES, April 30, 2024 / — Solve American Gridlock LLC ( of Austin, Texas has published Combative Congress, Your Power! Your Voice! Its purpose is to provide better understanding of the complex electoral systems and encourage changes leading to better problem solving in Congress.

It begins with some important definitions and soon describes the U.S. history of political parties, noting that key founders of America had a deep distrust of parties. The history section places emphasis on the past few decades, describing the developing inability of the two parties to work well together to solve major problems.

The book concludes with three root causes: closed party primaries, single-member (safe) districts for the House of Representatives, and non-proportional voting methods. It suggests the improvements needed.

These impediments are shown to be the primary reasons why it is extremely difficult for new parties to form and prosper. They are diagnosed to be electoral methods embedded into state and federal laws and party rules. The book argues that an important one is the mandate written into federal law in 1967 requiring every state to have single-member districts for the House of Representatives; this law has led to aggressive gerrymandering and thereby safe districts that return over 80% of Representatives back to Congress every two years.

This book analyzes why Congress has only two parties and proposes needed changes in our electoral systems that will open competition to additional parties and a much more civil and productive Congress. Other important countries have an average of 3.9 parties.

Combative Congress addresses a serious and complex topic in ways that make reading it pleasant. This nonpartisan book is unique in that its appeal stretches from a high school student to a professor, from a young woman to a retired chemical engineer, and more. It was written to be concise and readable in less than three hours with some humor; it has 33 color graphs and photographs to implant images of concepts in the reader’s mind; and it has short chapters and good references.

National constitutions have lasted an average of only 17 years since 1789. America’s Constitution has lasted over 230 years! The book points out the need for continued vigilance.

In 2014, about 94% (,_2014) of incumbent congressional candidates were returned to office, but the approval rate for Congress was around 15% ( How in the world can that be? The answer is that we have broken electoral systems.

Solve American Gridlock LLC’s primary focus is educating citizens about improvements that can be made in the methods used to elect members of Congress.

Tom Mast is the founder of Solve American Gridlock and lives in Austin, Texas. He is a retired engineer with degrees from The University of Texas, Stanford, and the Harvard Business School. He served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, spent his career in manufacturing and engineering management, and has long been interested in our country’s polarization, the duopoly in our Congress and its causes, and what improvements we must encourage.

“- 30 -“

Thomas Rush Mast
[email protected]

Originally published at

Previous articleManchin Announces $5M to Rebuild Power Lines and Increase Grid Reliability
Next articleMuñoz Trucking, Inc. Partners With Optimal Dynamics to Drive Efficiency and Profitability