Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Embarrassed By the Infantile Behaviors of Congressional Members

Embarrassed By the Infantile Behaviors of Congressional Members

According to Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution, there are few requirements for eligibility to serve as a member of Congress.

To qualify for the House of Representatives, one must be:
·      25 years of age;
·      a US citizen for a minimum of 7 years;
·      a resident of the state at the time of election.
To qualify for the Senate, one must be:
·      at least 30 years old;
·      a US Citizen for a minimum of 9 years;
·      a resident of the state at the time of election.
While the Constitution requires a certain level of adult maturity for persons to serve in Congress, our elected officials certainly do not behave with the maturity required of their positions or seem to appreciate that they serve at the will of the people for the people who elected them. Instead, inflated egos and self interests have created the quagmire that has caused the American government to be compared to those of Italy and Greece.
It has been decades since I was truly embarrassed by our government. During the Carter administration when I traveled in Europe, if somebody guessed I was from Canada, I didn’t correct him or her.  It was that bad. But this situation is worse because the entire government has been hijacked by partisan cater-walling, special interest influence peddling, ideological demagoguery, mean spiritedness, and a refusal to compromise for the good of the nation. The people do not represent my interests – only their own. I am embarrassed by the inability of these adult children to play well together in the same sandbox.
How can this collective or representatives of the people look in the mirror in the morning knowing they have refused to pass a budget since 2010. If any business acted in such an irresponsible way, the board of directors would fire the management team.  If Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan could reach a compromise, then this group has no excuse.
Perhaps if the states enforced the residency requirements more stringently, there would either be a change of personnel or a greater understanding by the politician of his or her constituency. In my book, a pair of shoes left in the state does not qualify. Members of Congress should be required to own or lease an actual residence in the district they represent for their entire tenure in Washington.  Their kids should go to school in the states they represent. They should be required to pay state income taxes and property taxes and personal property taxes in the state they represent. Their cars should be registered in the state they represent. There should be no federal pensions for elected officials. Most of the people they represent have no defined pensions any longer. And if the government shuts down because of Congressional ineptitude, they should be the first to sacrifice their salaries and benefits. Yes, this morass and these morons embarrass me.

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