As I watched the State of the Union address delivered by President Obama Tuesday night, I noticed something that, I thought, was really interesting. This observation might be the most important issue in our country that absolutely nobody talks about, and it’s likely at the center of most of the political movements we’ve seen in this country over the past few years. This observation has nothing to do with party lines – in fact, it might be the most bi-partisan thing about Congress. What I noticed was that our Senators and our Congressmen are old as fuck.
I don’t mean old, like athlete-old, or too-old-for-this-club old – I mean serious fucking geriatrics. Did you know that (according to Wikipedia) the average age in the House of Representatives is fifty-eight years old? Or that the median age of the U.S. Senate is sixty-two?* John McCain is actually senile, and he’s a U.S. Senator. There are three Senators and one Congressman who are older than my 86-year-old grandfather.
*Wikipedia didn’t have the mean, just the median, and apparently no mode, and I wasn’t going to add up and divide the age of each of our U.S. Senators. I’m a loser, but I don’t have that much time on my hands.
It’s not that I have anything against old people – Golden Girls fucks my shit up, every time – it just seems curious to me that a bunch of people who (if they were in the real world) should be set to retire are making decisions that don’t affect them, but the generations after them – namely my generation. If you were buying a car that you would have to drive for the next decade, would you let your grandfather choose it for you? No – because you’d be stuck driving a Chevy Fucking Malibu for the next ten years. So why are these assholes deciding our futures?
The issue I have with this is that people, at that age, care about two things: 1) their estate, or their money; and 2) not dying. That’s it. Do your parents or grandparents give a shit about climate change or renewable energy? If they actually do, they’re the exception – and you likely listen to a lot of Phish and smoke a lot of weed. Do we really think that Orrin Hatch or Herb Kohl give a shit about what they do to the environment? Of course not – they don’t have to deal with the consequences.*
*I imagine voting in Congress is a lot like a trip to Vegas, or Cancun. The reason why so much crazy shit happens there is because you never have to see those people again. So you do whatever the fuck you want because you don’t ever have to deal with the consequences of your actions. These Congressmen don’t give a shit about what they’re voting on; as long as the lobbyists are paying them, they’d vote for anything – they don’t have to live to see whatever the fuck they did.
This isn’t to say that they’re all bad – Bernie Sanders is 70 years old, and Al Franken is 60, and they’re two of the best Senators we have. This also isn’t to say that being younger is better – Rand Paul is 49, and Paul Ryan is 42, and they’re both batshit crazy. But what I am trying to say is that it’s clear that there is a misrepresentation of the younger segment of our population – the segment of our population who is most affected by their decisions.