In a couple of weeks, the nation will be exactly one year from the 2022 General Election. Yes, we feel like this is a long way out there but the party troops have been organizing for months. Trump republicans are locked in to win their primaries and have spent a fortune in state promotions. Most elected representatives and senators are from guaranteed republican states.
The Constitution mandates 435 House members distributed according to population. Currently 220 are democrat, 212 are republican and there are 3 vacancies. Looking at state representation, 22 states are democratic and 28 are republican – including 23 republican states where the Governor, legislature and courts are all republican. Ironically, just 19 percent of the nation’s population lives in these red states.
Both parties have split in two; the republicans have become enchanted by authoritarian capitalism while the democrats have championed a socialist revolution reminiscent of the 1960s. Add to this the results of the 2020 census which moved several representative seats toward the south and west. [Based on population shifts recorded in the 2020 Census, there were six US states that gained congressional House seats: Texas (2), Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Florida, and North Carolina; and seven states that lost seats: New York, Illinois, California, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.]
This noisy imbalance, in a nation based on one person, one vote has reached a painful cacophony – which falls upon the citizenry like bird droppings (Mariner loves to mix metaphors). At a time when the planet is racing into a totally new reality, the world’s most profound democracy is dropping bird poop.
Another issue is the age of the legislators who stopped experiencing new insights in the 1990s. Below is an excerpt from an HBO interview with republican senator Bill Cassidy. The interviewer is Mike Allen:
“1 big thing: Senator backs senility test
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.
- Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 … Speaker Pelosi, 81 … Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 … and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.
Cassidy, a gastroenterologist, told me during our wide-ranging interview in Chalmette, La., that in your 80s, you begin a “rapid decline.”
- Noting he wasn’t talking about specific people, Cassidy said: “It’s usually noticeable. So anybody in a position of responsibility who may potentially be on that slope, that is of concern. And I’m saying this as a doctor.”
- “I’m told that there have been senators in the past who, at the end of their Senate terms were senile,” Cassidy added. “I’m told that was true of senators of both parties.”
Cassidy said it’d be reasonable for Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, and executive branch leaders to submit to an annual evaluation in which they would have to establish cognitive sharpness.
- “We each have a sacred responsibility to the people of the United States,” Cassidy said. “It is not about me. It is about my ability to serve the people.”
Mariner has great expectations for the 2022 election. Don’t you?