Is it really an accomplishment?

8 Jun
U.S. Congressman Dingell

U.S. Congressman Dingell

I know that there has been a lot of news about Rep. John Dingell’s (D-MI) distinction as the longest-serving congressman in the history of the United States.  However, I would counter that it is just a number.  He said it best himself: “It ain’t how long it is how well…My time just means I’ve collected a check from the government, but the question is what I’ve done with that time.” (The Atlantic).

However, I wonder how many other people might have been better.  Because of the power of incumbency, many people might have been scared off to run against.  Those people might have introduced some defining legislation, become a leader in a new movement, or added that bit of gusto that is sorely needed in the House.

I’m not saying that he was either a bad or good representative.  But I wonder who missed their chance to make a difference because we were more comfortable with the status quo?


2 Responses to “Is it really an accomplishment?”

  1. realtalkrealdebate June 8, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    Great question. Last year I brought up a similar question in how we should elect officials (no more electoral college only popular vote) and I also advocated setting term limits for senators and congressmen/women.

    • ronarruejo June 9, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      I definitely agree with setting term limits. I personally like relatively higher term limits than what most people propose (somewhere between 8-10 for the House and 3-4 in the Senate) to at least remove the extremes, but not necessarily those who serve for a long time.

      In regards to the electoral college, I personally like it for a variety of reasons. I won’t be able to fully explain my reasons here, but I’ve been planning for a while to post something about it in the near future. (The book “The Case for the Electoral College” by Tara Ross really enlightened me on the subject.) However, I do realize why a vast majority of people do not like it.

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