Time To Raise The Bar

The qualifications for becoming a U.S. senator are:

  • Must be at least 30 years of age
  • Must be a U.S. citizen for at least 9 years
  • Must reside in the state he/she would represent

The qualifications for becoming a U.S. representative are:

  • Must be at least 25 years of age
  • Must be a U.S. citizen for at least 7 years
  • Must reside in the state he/she would represent

You will notice there are no educational requirements, no IQ requirements, no need to prove competency or fitness for office.  Founding Father James Madison of Virginia wrote that …

“Under these reasonable limitations, the door of this part of the federal government is open to merit of every description, whether native or adoptive, whether young or old, and without regard to poverty or wealth, or to any particular profession of religious faith.”

Perhaps, knowing what we know today, we would write that a bit differently …

“Under these skimpy limitations, the door of this part of the federal government is open to every man or woman with or without intellect, with or without conscience, and with sufficient wealth to live in a manner far above those people he represents such that he or she will never understand their needs.”

Today, there are 249 Republicans in Congress, and of those, only 26 … barely 10% … are willing to acknowledge the proven fact that Joe Biden won the November election.  On Wednesday, Trump posted a 46-minute video Wednesday evening in which he wrongly claimed he had defeated Biden and leveled wild and unsubstantiated allegations of “corrupt forces” who stole the outcome from the sitting president.  The next day, The Washington Post surveyed all 249 Republicans in the House and Senate, and here are the results …

WaPo-chart

Click here for a full listing of how each senator or representative responded.

The silence is deafening, don’t you think?  The two who claim that Donald Trump actually won the election are Mo Brooks  from Alabama and Louie Gohmert  from Texas, both of whom have been on my radar in the past for their abominable actions as representatives in Congress.

In 1787, when the requirements for office were first written, few people had college educations, few had experience in government, so it made sense to set a low bar for those seeking office.  The goal was to elect people who cared about the country, who would work to make our government one that was “by the people, of the people, and for the people.”  But times have changed … dramatically!  The goal is still the same, but the means of achieving the goal have become far more complex than they were 233 years ago.  We have failed to keep up with the times in many ways, and today the requirements for office in both the executive and legislative branches are pitifully inadequate.

That so few members of the Republican Party are willing to put the best interests of the country ahead of their own is simply unconscionable and in my book is grounds for impeachment.  They certainly have the right to their own personal beliefs, but they have an obligation to uphold their oath of office, which they have long since abandoned.

The damage that is being done to our country by their refusal to accept the results of this election will last for decades.  In essence, they are saying that our election process is null and void, that you cannot trust it, and that our votes do not matter.  WHY are they doing this?  For their own self-interest.  Except for the nutcases like Brooks and Gohmert – both of whom should have been impeached long ago – the majority of those who are silent on the outcome of the election are afraid … afraid of Donald Trump.

Only a handful support Trump’s goal of overturning the election results, of silencing our voices, but the silence of the 200+ who refuse to admit Biden’s victory are complicit by their silence.  I’ve heard people say that the Democrats refused to accept Trump’s election in 2016, but the morning after media outlets called Trump the winner, Hillary Clinton conceded and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer spoke by phone with Trump. Schumer issued a statement shortly thereafter congratulating the president-elect and calling for Americans to “come together.”  A stark contrast to the GOP response today!

Largely because of the refusal to publicly acknowledge the election results, some 77% of the republican voters now believe that the election was ‘rigged’, was ‘stolen’ from Donald Trump, and that Joe Biden is not the legitimate winner.  We don’t know yet what results this will have on our society, but an intelligent person can guess.  Violence in the streets?  A refusal to abide by anything Biden says?  Increased racial violence?  Or worse?

ryan-mcconnellThere will be no dearth of long-term effects, as well.  The people of this nation, led by the assholes in Congress, are destroying themselves.  When asked about the election results, if he accepted Joe Biden as the President-elect, Mitch McConnell replied …

“The future will take care of itself.”

How profound … NOT!  McConnell is only the lead jackass, and the rest of the braying donkeys are following his lead.  Where they are leading this nation is not a good place.  Government exists for the people … all the people.  The majority of the people spoke loud and clear on November 3rd … we are tired of an autocrat calling the shots, disregarding our very lives, and we want a return to a government that works for us … ALL of us, not only those who are wealthy or powerful.  We expect our elected senators and representatives to REPRESENT us, not to disregard our voices and pander to a madman who is destroying this nation.

I plan to write a letter to the major newspapers in my state to voice my objection to the lack of conscience being exhibited by my elected officials.  I don’t know if it will do any good, but I have to try.  Meanwhile, I think it is time to revise the eligibility requirements for members of Congress, and while we’re at it, for the president … it’s time we raise the bar, for right now the bar is lying on the ground.

25 thoughts on “Time To Raise The Bar

  1. So to be a little contrarian, members of Congress (96 percent I believe) have at least a bachelor’s degree, and a solid majority have a degree beyond a bachelor’s. To have something like a law degree, you usually aren’t a dummy. I don’t think the issue is intelligence–it is using it for the greater good of the people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right, but some are still fools. I might disagree about the law degree … when you think that such people as Kellyanne Conway and Laura Ingraham both have law degrees 😉 But, perhaps you’re right and it is more an issue of conscience than of intelligence. Then again, degrees can be purchased, and education does not necessarily indicate intellect. Sigh. Perhaps just a psychological exam would be a better indicator of fitness for office.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We must also assure that foreign money isn’t paying for any part of the process of governing this country.
    It is widely known that “someone” (or several someones) was paying Trump’s Deutch Bank loans.
    This is the main reason Trump is fighting the election results. He was promised another 4 years, but foreign entities couldn’t pull it off. They obviously did for McConnell, Collins and Graham (Also fondly called Lady G). The fact that Putin & his buddies were able to pull that off just has Trump that much more crazy.
    In the end, the Trumpsters are 19% of Americans. Hopefully, more of them will wake up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The foreign involvement was proven in the investigation by Robert Mueller and his team, but nobody in our government seems to care. It doesn’t seem to be high on anybody’s priority list. I hadn’t heard Graham called ‘Lady G’, but that’s funny! Suits him, too. Unfortunately, it seems that the ‘Trumpsters’ comprise closer to half the people in this country, and they should have woken long before now, leading me to think they never will. Still, I hope …

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  3. Education, experience, and psychological health should be priorities in a role with such substantial impact. The silence , you are highlighting, is astounding and disheartening. It would feel good to have faith in our elected officials again, as apposed to spending every day bracing oneself for the terrifying, absurd, and unknown. As always, Thank you for your considerable insight.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are absolutely right! The Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United v FEC case that ruled corporations can make almost unlimited contributions to political campaigns, changed the entire landscape. Now, a corporation can donate millions, and naturally expect something in return … something that is NOT in the best interests of the nation as a whole. Yes, raising the bar will require many things, not the least of which is the revamping of campaign finance rules.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I see the problem as being somewhat circular. Yes, as you wrote, “Largely because of the refusal to publicly acknowledge the election results, some 77% of the republican voters now believe that the election was ‘rigged’, was ‘stolen’ from Donald Trump, and that Joe Biden is not the legitimate winner.” I agree, but I see that refusal from elected Republicans as, largely, driven by their fear of the group I was so tied to for decades–white evangelicals. Far too many of these folks will never admit to the defeat of their messiah. How could a man who–to them–is demon-inspired or even an actual demon defeat God’s Chosen One?
    I can never return to conservative evangelicalism; the movement is now corrupt to the core.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Well, I agree that white evangelicals are a large part of the problem, but even their numbers aren’t great enough to cause all the chaos and turmoil we see today. They are but one part of the problem … I think a lack of education is another part, and racism is the third major component. How do we go about either convincing these people to study the facts, to open their eyes, and to put their hatred and prejudices aside? Until we figure out how to do that, we will never be able to work together to solve problems.

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  5. It’s simply jaw-dropping how much power Trump has over these nincompoops! Good grief! They’re grown men and women and yet they act like scared children in a home where they have been beaten into submission.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yes, it is. They are scared … scared they may not win their next election, or that Trump will come back in 2024 and bury them alive. They have forgotten their oath of office, forgotten that they are employees of We the People, and in truth, half the people of this nation have forgotten that, too! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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  6. Jill, as noted, GOP Congressman Denver Riggleman, who is a former national security staff member, noted the silent many Republicans in Congress are being “unethical.” Last night, Riggleman equated the Trump efforts as akin to a search for Big Foot. Right now, the outgoing president continues ti be the greatest threat to our national security as he perpetrates this fraud on the American people. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • The more I hear from Riggleman, the more I like him! Yes, Trump is indeed the greatest threat to our national security, and I won’t breathe easy until Joe Biden is sleeping in the White House and Trump is not!

      Like

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