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"Combative Congress" -
Unraveling the Paradox
of American Politics

Discover the unique book that enlightens and entertains. From the high school student to the retired engineer—find out why our Congress struggles, and envision how we can fix it. Dive into a concise, nonpartisan exploration enriched with humor, stunning photographs, and insightful graphics.
Transform your understanding of American politics. Keep the republic Benjamin Franklin entrusted to us.


03about the Book

Combative Congress

Are you frustrated with the state of American politics? Do you feel Congress is more of a battleground than a legislative body? Tom Mast’s “Combative Congress” is the eye-opening read you’ve been waiting for.

Mast, a retired mechanical engineer turned political analyst, takes you on a nonpartisan journey into the heart of the U.S. Congress. He dissects the root causes of its dysfunction, from electoral systems that favor a two-party duopoly to the gridlock that paralyzes decision-making. But Mast doesn’t just diagnose the problems; he offers actionable solutions that citizens like you can take to heal the democratic process.

This book is more than just an analysis; it’s a call to action. Mast equips you with the tools you need to understand the issues deeply and advocate for meaningful change. With compelling data, insightful graphics, and a treasure trove of further reading, “Combative Congress” is your handbook for navigating the complex world of American politics.

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Note: This website Introduction is a fraction of the book, so it does not contain most of the analysis, determination of root causes dysfunction, and the solutions.

National constitutions have lasted an average of only 17 years since 1789. Our republic’s Constitution has lasted over 230 years! However, it is no secret that a huge percentage of the populace is increasingly worried that we have lost the ability and fortitude to formulate and implement solutions to serious problems. A symptom of this is gridlock, but attacking symptoms is futile; one must dig down to the root causes to solve problems.

In 2014, about 95% of incumbent congressional candidates were returned to office, but the approval rate for Congress was around 14%. How in the world can that be? The simple answer is that we have broken electoral systems.

So, we have a problem. What do we do about it? We citizens need to be problem solvers and stimulate change! Congress must reclaim some of its prestige and powers to balance our federal government better. What are the root causes and solutions for our combative Congress?

This book’s mission is to answer that question!

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
— Albert Einstein.


Tom Mast

Tom Mast lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Eddie of many years – many decades in fact.  They adore their two sons and five grandchildren.  Tom grew up in Lubbock and Midland, Texas, received a BS degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas and an MS from Stanford, served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and Spain, and then returned to graduate from the Harvard Business School.  He spent his career in manufacturing and engineering management and has traveled widely.  In recent years, he has been active in several non-profit organizations. He has long been interested in our country’s polarization, the causes of the duopoly in our Congress, and the improvements we can encourage.

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Readers’ Reviews