I learned this week that a seventeen-term US Representative from Texas—the oldest living member of Congress, was turfed out of his seat. I was horrified.
I am not horrified that a millionaire Tea Party candidate with beliefs that most certainly clash vehemently with my own won the primary, and, in a gerrymandered, middle-class, Caucasian district in a restricted-voting state like Texas, will more-than-likely go to the Capitol next year to vote on a straight party line and may or may not grandstand while doing it.
I am horrified that a ninety-one-year-old white man has been sitting in that seat since I was four. I’m upset that, when this man was my age, segregation was legal, and there was no such thing as Medicare. Women had the right to vote for only five years before this man was born. He has been a politician for sixty-four years. During his political career, he has been a CEO and a bank chairman and a corporate lawyer and We the People of the United States have the audacity to call him a “representative.”
He is not unique. Our government is made up of entrenched millionaires being fed by millionaires, regardless of whether an (R) or a (D) follows their name.
I am exhausted and cynical and, as long as someone like Ralph Hall’s primary challenger can spend $400,000—money that would take the average American about eight years to earn—of his own money to get himself elected, I have no hope of it getting better.