We Should Have Known, by Will Saunders
I have often noticed a very disturbing pattern among politicians. Seldom do they do the right thing merely because it’s the right thing to do. It often ends up being a choice based on partisan loyalties. More about this in a minute. The catalyst that has gotten my ire up relates to the confirmation process of Betsy DeVos. Honestly, I hope nobody is really surprised she was confirmed as Secretary of Education. It seemed clear from the beginning that she was going to get that job. Teachers, administrators, and even students have spoken out against her, but their voices fell on deaf ears.
Despite her obviously lack of experience education policy and no knowledge in basic issues impacting teachers and students, she was still confirmed. Did you see her confirmation hearing? She was clueless about practically everything they asked her. I understand that no person is 100% an expert on a given topic, even someone who may have credentials and competencies in a given area. But they ought to have at a bare minimum a good working knowledge on the topic and articulable ideas to justify her selection. But noooo. That wasn’t the case. She didn’t have any discernible knowledge, but the senate confirmed her anyway.
We’ll see the same with the pick for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions; Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court; or Ben Carson as head of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). That latter one is another highly contentious, oddball choice. As a skillful neurosurgeon with an extensive medical background and many years working in the health industry, it would be a little more palatable if he were the pick for Health and Human Services secretary. Not that I think he’d be a good choice for that post either; but that would have made more logical sense than HUD.
So, back to the point of this post. What it seems to boil down to is partisan politics. Again! It usually does. From my vantage point, something is either right or it’s wrong. But in the real world, it’s either right or wrong depending on how liberal or conservative you might be. That’s why I wouldn’t make a good politician. Of course those 50 senators who voted to confirm DeVos (if not all, certainly most) know she was a poor choice. But they gave her the job anyway. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! If you want to know why, just do some research about how much money DeVos and her family gave to the republicans and to the republican PACs. It’s always going to be all about the Benjamins no matter how much we think it’s a purely democratic process.
On November 8, 2018, 34 of the 50 Senate seats will be up for grabs, as will all 435 House seats. It’s time for some new people to take over. After a while, I believe the system corrupts them. That’s why I am a strong advocate for term limits. Just like with the office of the president, two terms should be the limit for all political offices, because as a society we get comfortable with our political leaders and a lot of voters don’t feel inclined to vote them out. Approximately 69% of the Members of Congress have been in office for more than a decade, and many have been there for 20-30 years. My numbers are a rough estimate, so don’t come back and tell me my number is off. The point is, that’s too long. They need to go before they get too deep in the pockets of the lobbyists.
Let me say this: I pity the next administration. They will have a catastrophe to clean up. The United States of America is going to be run in the ground, I am sorry to say.