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VanceMack

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OK...so Im not sure but I think this is the right forum for this topic...since we have elections ongoing.

Most Americans look forward to reaching a retirement age and living the good life. John McCain is 73, very wealthy, and looking to win a job that will put him in office for another 6 years. Robert Byrd was 91. Robert Hall, Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel...these people are all older than dirt and they spend literally 10s of millions of dollars to earn a job that pays $165k a year.

So why do they do it? What does that say about them/ And why do we keep sending them back?
 

liblady

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OK...so Im not sure but I think this is the right forum for this topic...since we have elections ongoing.

Most Americans look forward to reaching a retirement age and living the good life. John McCain is 73, very wealthy, and looking to win a job that will put him in office for another 6 years. Robert Byrd was 91. Robert Hall, Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel...these people are all older than dirt and they spend literally 10s of millions of dollars to earn a job that pays $165k a year.

So why do they do it? What does that say about them/ And why do we keep sending them back?
what a good question. i suspect they don't much like their "real" lives. they crave the power and recognition they receive when holding office.
 

MaggieD

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OK...so Im not sure but I think this is the right forum for this topic...since we have elections ongoing.

Most Americans look forward to reaching a retirement age and living the good life. John McCain is 73, very wealthy, and looking to win a job that will put him in office for another 6 years. Robert Byrd was 91. Robert Hall, Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel...these people are all older than dirt and they spend literally 10s of millions of dollars to earn a job that pays $165k a year.

So why do they do it? What does that say about them/ And why do we keep sending them back?
"Power is a seductive mistress," accounts for why they do it and what it says about them.

We keep sending them back because incumbants have such a tremendous advantage over those who are not. We keep voting for them because they can spend the most money to get their name in front of us -- because we most often vote straight party tickets -- because, most times, an imcumbant's party will support them as well -- because we recognize their names. That, of course, is why we need term limits.
 

Goobieman

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So why do they do it? What does that say about them/ And why do we keep sending them back?
They like what they do and they want to do what they can to make as much 'difference' as they can.

Why do we keep sending them?
Well, some people like them and what they want to do, some people don't like the other guy, some people vote for the D/R because they are a D/R and some people are simply apathetic.
 

VanceMack

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Good responses...so...is there a chicken and egg point for them? Where they honest people really believing they could make a difference and then become overwhelmed by the power concept or where they always power driven?

Its a universal concept...I think it transcends party lines. I dont think one side does it because they are honest and honrable, the other because they are naturally corrupt.

I agree about term limits...just dont know how that would be enacted. its interesting we only allow a president to be elected for two terms to avoid the 'king' making concept...but not our congressmen. Do you think we didnt build in term limits because the framers of the constitution simply couldnt fofresee someone WANTING to stay in that long? Or because even then they were protecting their jobs? And is it a 'bad' thing tha they are so firmly entrenched for so long?
 

Goobieman

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Good responses...so...is there a chicken and egg point for them? Where they honest people really believing they could make a difference and then become overwhelmed by the power concept or where they always power driven?
That depends. Certian ideologies revolve around the accumulation of the political power necessary to move that ideology forward. The subscribers of those ideologies are, indeed, power-driven.
 

liblady

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Good responses...so...is there a chicken and egg point for them? Where they honest people really believing they could make a difference and then become overwhelmed by the power concept or where they always power driven?

Its a universal concept...I think it transcends party lines. I dont think one side does it because they are honest and honrable, the other because they are naturally corrupt.

I agree about term limits...just dont know how that would be enacted. its interesting we only allow a president to be elected for two terms to avoid the 'king' making concept...but not our congressmen. Do you think we didnt build in term limits because the framers of the constitution simply couldnt fofresee someone WANTING to stay in that long? Or because even then they were protecting their jobs? And is it a 'bad' thing tha they are so firmly entrenched for so long?
seems to me serving in congress USED to be a chance to serve your country before resuming your regular civilian jobs. now, it's a career. that said, if all we ever had were freshmen congress people, nothing would ever be accomplished. i'm fine w/o term limits.
 

Barbbtx

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what a good question. i suspect they don't much like their "real" lives. they crave the power and recognition they receive when holding office.
I sadly agree. I wish I could say it's because they want to continue being of service to the people.
 

VanceMack

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That depends. Certian ideologies revolve around the accumulation of the political power necessary to move that ideology forward. The subscribers of those ideologies are, indeed, power-driven.
We always had 'statesmen'...so i wonder if it has devolved to what we have now or if it has always been the way it is...power driven corrupt politicians.

Anyone have any examples of truly 'good' congressmen (women) from their states that rise above this stuff?

Liblady...I agree about the term limits thing...Im very much on the fence. I wonder if there would be a way that they could cap terms at say, 12 years...6 elections for a representative and 2 for a senator. I wonder if they did if it would influence the type of people that would run for office.
 

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I'm against term limits. What we need is competent voters to vote the bad seeds out of office and bring in new ones.

I'd like to see Supreme Court justices be elected rather than appointed and have to run again after so many years as opposed to now where we're stuck with them for a life time and the people have no say.
 

VanceMack

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I'm against term limits. What we need is competent voters to vote the bad seeds out of office and bring in new ones.

I'd like to see Supreme Court justices be elected rather than appointed and have to run again after so many years as opposed to now where we're stuck with them for a life time and the people have no say.
Man...dare to dream. I absolutely agree...I just dont know how to make THAT happen. But it would make a HUGE difference.

I agree with the problems you point to with the supreme court but i worry that tying them to elections would make them even more political. I think the INTENT of a lifetime appointment was to AVOID the political ideologues and protect the constitution...the ultimate non political check and balance. So is the supreme court a better reflection on what we have become as a society?

I absolutely think your idea is right for federal judges. Again though...as long as people vote straight party ticket...well...we are still just as screwed.
 

Johnny

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True. That was the intent of the Supreme Court. If you have a congress of good honest constitutionalists then the current system works like a charm.

When you have a congress like we have today it's a failure.
 

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OK...so Im not sure but I think this is the right forum for this topic...since we have elections ongoing.

Most Americans look forward to reaching a retirement age and living the good life. John McCain is 73, very wealthy, and looking to win a job that will put him in office for another 6 years. Robert Byrd was 91. Robert Hall, Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel...these people are all older than dirt and they spend literally 10s of millions of dollars to earn a job that pays $165k a year.

So why do they do it? What does that say about them/ And why do we keep sending them back?
Active people need to stay involved even after they pass 65. Once retired, they lose their relevance, business identity, and the association with their peers.

ricksfolly
 

VanceMack

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Active people need to stay involved even after they pass 65. Once retired, they lose their relevance, business identity, and the association with their peers.

ricksfolly
Im full on supportive of folks staying involved...it just seems an inordinate number (percentage) of congressmen hang on until death. I suspect it becomes more about personal power than drive to represent 'the people'.
 

liblady

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Active people need to stay involved even after they pass 65. Once retired, they lose their relevance, business identity, and the association with their peers.

ricksfolly
well, i'll be sailing. plenty involved. my identity isn't tied to my job.
 

Crunch

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OK...so Im not sure but I think this is the right forum for this topic...since we have elections ongoing.

Most Americans look forward to reaching a retirement age and living the good life. John McCain is 73, very wealthy, and looking to win a job that will put him in office for another 6 years. Robert Byrd was 91. Robert Hall, Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel...these people are all older than dirt and they spend literally 10s of millions of dollars to earn a job that pays $165k a year.

So why do they do it? What does that say about them/ And why do we keep sending them back?
Megalomania is a word defined as: [1]

1.A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
2.An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions.
The word megalomania is derived from the Greek words "μεγαλο": megalo-, meaning large, and "μανία": mania, meaning madness, frenzy. The first attested use of the word "megalomania" is in 1890 as a translation of the French word "mégalomanie".

Megalomania is not a symptom or a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)[2] or the ICD. However, grandiosity and delusions of grandeur have similar meanings to megalomania and are used in the DSM and ICD as possible symptoms of several mental conditions.
Megalomania - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That about sums it up.
 

Crunch

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seems to me serving in congress USED to be a chance to serve your country before resuming your regular civilian jobs. now, it's a career. that said, if all we ever had were freshmen congress people, nothing would ever be accomplished. i'm fine w/o term limits.
Great argument for term limits.
 

RightinNYC

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ain't nothin but a heartache.
 

ricksfolly

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what a good question. i suspect they don't much like their "real" lives. they crave the power and recognition they receive when holding office.
They all have power and recognition or they wouldn't be there. Whether they like their home life or not is immaterial, as long as it doesn't interfere with their work.

What really keeps them active in congress is the day by day conflicts with the other party, beating the other guy, getting in the last gotcha.

ricksfolly
 
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