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Sunday , December 11 2016
Congress in session

These establishment congressmen repeat themselves more than anyone; Do you know them?

Do you ever think that your favorite or not-so-favorite politicos sound like a broken record?

Sometimes, as in the case of Marco Rubio in his worst debate performance ever, it’s a mini-stump speech which you can agonizingly re-watch here:

Even Triumph the Insult Comic Dog could memorize Ted Cruz’s talk after only following him for a few primary stops:

But how much do politicians ACTUALLY say the same things over and over again?

In honor of Freedom Day which was co-founded by Frayda Levy and celebrates the meaning of freedom and its relevance in modern society, Quorum, a data analytic startup in Washington, DC analyzed just how much certain words were used by politicians and by whom they were used.

Quorum analyzed every press release, floor statement, tweet, and Facebook post from all 535 members of the 114th Congress looking for the use of the following words:

  • Freedom
  • Liberty
  • Justice
  • Equality
  • Constitution
  • Bill of Rights
  • Civil Rights
  • Fairness
  • Capitalism
  • Socialism

Here’s how the top 5 ranked:

  1. Justice – 12,919 mentions
  2. Fairness – 12,460 mentions
  3. Freedom – 12,059 mentions
  4. Equality – 10,410 mentions
  5. Constitution – 10,297 mentions

Quorum noted that there is a trend between keyword usage and members’ committee assignments. For instance, “justice” is the most mentioned word, and of the top five, three senators serve on the Senate Committee of the Judiciary. I have also noted that people mention things they are against almost as much as people who love those things. Take “socialism,” which you probably already guessed was mentioned by Bernie the most. As you’ll see below, the top 5 members who used it included Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Marco Rubio

 

Top 5 Members Mentioning Justice – 1 2,919 mentions

  1. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) – 256 mentions
  2. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) – 241 mentions
  3. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) – 240 mentions
  4. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) – 227 mentions
  5. Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) – 184 mentions

Top 5 Members Mentioning Fairness – 12,460

  1. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) – 119 mentions
  2. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) – 111 mentions
  3. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN5) – 107 mentions
  4. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) – 99 mentions
  5. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – 96 mentions

Top 5 Members Mentioning Freedom – 12,059

  1. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL27) – 166 mentions
  2. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) – 126 mentions
  3. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) – 123 mentions
  4. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) – 110 mentions
  5. Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC9) – 106 mentions

Top 5 Members Mentioning Equality – 10,410 mentions

  1. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD5) – 169 mentions
  2. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY13) – 124 mentions
  3. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – 122 mentions
  4. Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA17) – 118 mentions
  5. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) – 113 mentions

Top 5 Members Mentioning Constitution – 10,297 mentions

  1. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – 124 mentions
  2. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) – 114 mentions
  3. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) – 90 mentions
  4. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) – 89 mentions
  5. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX1) – 81 mentions

Top 5 Members Mentioning Socialism – 8,989 mentions

  1. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) – 137 mentions
  2. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) – 131 mentions
  3. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI1) – 108 mentions
  4. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) – 93 mentions
  5. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX3) – 90 mentions

Top 5 Members Mentioning Capitalism – 4,718 mentions

  1. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY20) – 101 mentions
  2. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) – 100 mentions
  3. Del. Eleanor Norton (D-DC) – 96 mentions
  4. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX2) – 68 mentions
  5. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) – 52 mentions

Top 5 Members Mentioning Liberty – 4,340 mentions

  1. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) – 95 mentions
  2. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – 61 mentions
  3. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA6) – 53 mentions
  4. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH9) – 49 mentions
  5. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) – 45 mentions

Top 5 Members Mentioning Civil Rights – 3,450 mentions

  1. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN9) – 66 mentions
  2. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) – 60 mentions
  3. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD5) – 59 mentions
  4. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL7) – 58 mentions
  5. Del. Eleanor Norton (D-DC) – 57 mentions

Top 5 Members Mentioning Bill of Rights – 819 mentions

  1. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL6) – 20 mentions
  2. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) – 19 mentions
  3. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) – 18 mentions
  4. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) – 14 mentions
  5. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) – 11 mentions

So what does this all mean? Politicians like to say the same things all the time, whether or not they mean them. And in the cases of words like capitalism and socialism, people who don’t like the ideas speak about the topics just as much as those who love them.

In the end, it’s all just a bunch of rhetoric, albeit a large pile of the exact same rhetoric, and as any wise person who uses time-honored idioms would say, ‘actions speak louder than words.’

For more information on Freedom Day, which will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 13, go to http://constitutioncenter.org/debate/freedom-day/

And you can follow Tim on Twitter at @timrunshismouth

About Tim Young

Tim Young is a political comedian who has been featured everywhere from Fox News' Red Eye to CNN to Huffington Post. You can find him on his website www.TimYoung.com and follow him on Twitter at @TimRunsHisMouth

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