There's a saying in the biggest retirement community in the U.S. called The Villages in Florida that for years, all potential buyers ask their realtor (and perhaps elsewhere in the country but I only speak from experience): When is the best time to buy a house here? The answer is always the same: today. And the realtors are right since it's mostly been shielded from the recession and home prices have risen.
There is no better day than today to start anew. But this diary isn’t about real estate. It’s about the future of our great country and today, like everyday, seems the day to discuss the future of America.
Every election cycle, we have a Ground Hog Day type discussion about who should get elected to represent We the People and every year we always seem to be treading water at best and taking it on at worst, given the stubbornness of incumbents to run again. It's always one step forward and two steps back, if we're lucky these days.
Given the forward-looking energy of the RS Gathering, which sadly I didn't get to attend, perhaps we should evaluate the why of the political landscape that has gotten us to this precipice. One that is precarious at best that barely keeps this country afloat. Face it, we didn't get here overnight albeit the speed of destruction has accelerated exponentially in the last 5 years.
I asked myself, how did we get here?* Well for all the lawmakers that have been in Congress for more than a couple of terms, they have some answering to do in my not so humble opinion. They have royally messed up our country along with a few presidents along the way. But up until this present one, most presidents upheld and abided by the laws Congress passed with a bit of pastel digressions along the way. Others that didn't were voted out, forced to resign or impeached by a Congress that knew full well that it's an equal branch...ah, but that's another topic another day.
It can not be said that Congress is a revolving door thus policies are apt to change every two to six years since most of the body is the same old, same old dinosaurs. And when I say old, I mean really old...like Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Don't get me wrong that old is bad if they have their facilities about them. However being wheeled into session or barely able to speak and drooling food all over might be a sign...just saying John Dingell.
While I appreciate wisdom that comes with age, mostly my context of old is due to growing moss for being in Congress too many years and not being able to relate to everyday Americans anymore. Tell-tale signs are when they try so eloquently to claim they're all for us but they fail miserably when they vote themselves a carve-out for whatever law they passed but then seems too gross for even them to abide by. Oh the joys of being an elite.
Let's look at the evidence (Wikipedia is the source):
As of August 8, 2013, 1 senator is in her 80s, 21 are in their 70s, 37 are in their 60s, 29 are in their 50s, and 12 are in their 40s.
32 Senators have served for a decade or more
The medianage of currently serving Senators is 62 years, 57 days.
The median age of taking office for currently serving Senators is 50 years, 315 days.
In the House as of January 3, 2013, nine members were in their 80s, 32 members in their 70s, 137 in their 60s, 141 members in their 50s, 82 members in their 40s and 3 members in their 30s.
Please, self-retire and pass the baton to the next generation! Many of you have served and then some and it's time to let others that aspire to right this ship of wrongs that you have helped create! This goes for all of you that think Congress is a vocation but treat it as a vacation for 30+ years, or more than a couple of terms.
Go spend time with your family since it's hard to imagine you need the money. Get over your power trip and your selfishness and let the next generation try their ideas since it's obvious yours aren't working. Whatever change you aimed to effect when you got elected 35 years ago has been accomplished. We thank you and it's now time to move on. The status quo is not working. Quit being so darned selfish and remember the adage that everyone is replaceable.
Personally I like gridlock on most bills since they have become overbearing on our lives and none seem to target the real problems facing us. Yet for all the talk about compromise, it's no wonder when too many are set in their ways due to the mantra, "because that's the way we've always done it". Businesses fail for being stuck in a rut and that's exactly what's happened to our country because of the old-timers in Congress.
And if you're a really smart and loyal Republican, you should mentor an up-and-comer in your district or state and coach them on how to win a race, back them with all you've got, and then gracefully retire with dignity.
Being elected to Congress was never meant to be a lifetime endeavor. Please, let others that represent their generation have a chance at steering our country back to the great shining city on the hill. That's what you wanted way back when and that's what we desire now.**
* H/T Talking Heads (how apropos!)
** We'll gladly help you retire and we promise it won't be as graceful if you do it on your own.
Oh, and the top picture is the only one I could find with some relation to the topic except one on Flickr that was a dinosaur with McCain's head. It was pretty funny but I didn't want this post to be about just one dinosaur but all of them, Left or Right.