The Growing Number Of Members Of Congress Retiring A Bad Sign

It seems like every day, we hear the news of another one or two Congressmen or Senators deciding to retire at the end of this Congress, in larger numbers than ever before.

The announced retirements are from both parties, and include members who have often served for many terms, and in many cases state the reason for leaving as wanting to spend more time with their families.

This is a cover for the reality that serving in public office is becoming a more undesirable position as the years pass. The stress level from being a public servant elected by the people is such that after some time in office, the feeling develops that it just is not worth it to deal with the constant pressures that present themselves in the modern era, with the constant public scrutiny and ideological attacks from the left and the right, that over time wear down even the strongest personalities, and makes them decide that their commitment to serve has become faced with the reality of a barrage of constant criticism which can sour anyone, no matter how idealistic he or she may have once been.

Think about it: What other profession requires as much constant scrutiny and second guessing as being a politician? And despite the fact that politicians make four to five times the average salary of a typical American, they can all earn a lot more compensation in other fields, with far less scrutiny on a daily basis, and much less criticism.

So while certainly the American people have the right to attack and criticize their politicians, in the process they may very well be causing the most talented and committed to quit, leaving us with self servers who just want to advance their career, have no idealism or true commitment, and are likely to produce far worse results in their performance than we now are complaining about.

So expecting too much from politicians may lead to greater mediocrity in the long run. Is that what we want? 🙁