Opinion | Scott M. Estill: Old and stupid
What is old today often depends upon who you talk to. Football fans just witnessed the oldest current player in the NFL last four plays before his season ended with a torn Achilles (Aaron Rodgers, age 39) and watched arguably the greatest quarterback of all time retire at age 45 (Tom Brady). For most professional sports today, 40 seems to be the magic age at which few professional athletes continue to compete. There are only four baseball players and three NHL skaters in their 40s, while some guy named LeBron will turn 39 in December to take the old man title for the NBA. While I would not encourage anyone to challenge 60-year-old Michael Jordan to a game of hoops, it is apparent that every athlete realizes at some point that their time to shine has passed. At a minimum, they cannot compete according to their own often-high standards and thus choose retirement.
Unlike these professional athletes, our current crop of so-called leaders in Washington has no such standards. If the U.S. Senate seems to be a geriatric ward these days, it’s because it is. While the median age of an American is 38.9 years, it is 65.3 for a current U.S. Senator. There are eight current senators who were alive when Hitler was in power in Nazi Germany.
Each party has three members of the 80-year-plus club. With the current elder and ill-looking (to be kind) Democratic Sen. Feinstein planning to retire soon, it looks like someone new will be in her seat in 2025 when she is 92 years old. Three months younger, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley will be 95 when his seat opens up in 2028. He’s not sure if he will seek reelection or call it good. My congratulations to current Sen. Mitt Romney on his announcement that he will not seek reelection, indicating that he’d be in his mid-80s if he were to complete another term. It’s just too bad that he didn’t go on the record for the real reason he is retiring: He is tired of babysitting stupidity.
Speaking of stupidity, when will our neighbors in our bordering 3rd congressional district wake up and call out their representative for what she is: stupid. Stupid in the sense that she is the dictionary definition: “lacking in common sense, perception or normal intelligence.” This is not a political observation, as I would not make this claim against any other one of Colorado’s representatives in Congress. I find many votes on numerous bills to be baffling and absurd, but I do not find the person casting the vote themselves to be stupid. There are enough memes and cartoons to outline her stupid quotes over the previous few years to fill multiple social media pages.
Not surprisingly, she is her own worst enemy yet again. While attending a recent performance of the musical “Beetlejuice” in Denver, she managed to get herself and her companion ejected from the performance. For what you may ask? Vaping. Seems like a very Colorado activity these days. Apparently, the theater has a policy against vaping or smoking during the performance, which although authoritarian may make some public health sense, especially at a show with children present. Of course, the vaping story was denied until video evidence demonstrated otherwise.
If the vaping was not enough, she was also caught on security video with apparently fondling her companion, who graciously returned the favor. It must be remembered that the suggested age for the performance is 10 and over. While children watching drag performances equates to “child abuse” according to our Congresswoman (Do children go to drag performances in the real world?), was her public conduct acceptable, or did it also rise to the level of child abuse? Perhaps the rules of law and/or social courtesy simply do not apply to this high-ranking Republican?
Some may say this is all just a one-time night of rude behavior coupled with some very poor and immature choices. Forgetting the inappropriate sexual groping at a children’s performance (it’s “Beetlejuice” — wholesome family entertainment, or so the marketing goes), it was the vaping that was most impressive. The person who registered the complaint was a pregnant woman seated directly behind our esteemed congresswoman. Apparently both women had a difference of opinion on the health benefits of second-hand vape smoke, with our elected official calling the unidentified woman a “sad and miserable person” to her face upon departing. She also made sure that the security officers were left with a one-finger salute as she walked out of the theater. This is all on video and would be very funny if it was not so inherently sad.
But then again, quite frankly, who among ourselves can say with all honesty that we also have neither vaped nor groped at a “Beetlejuice” performance?
You 3rd District Republicans have elected candidates who have done a fine job representing your district’s interests without being a national embarrassment. And while it seems to be a somewhat solid Republican district (see Mr. McInnis and Mr. Tipton over 11 prior combined terms), you have elected Democrats in the past as well (see Mr. Nighthorse Campbell, who didn’t switch parties until he was in the Senate, and Mr. Salazar over six combined terms). It’s time to say enough is enough. If the Republican party throughout the 3rd district doesn’t see the liability in its current torchbearer in Congress, the Democratic party will take care of the problem for them in 2024.
Scott M. Estill’s column “Challenges, Choices, Changes” publishes biweekly on Thursdays in the Summit Daily News. Estill is an attorney, author, and public speaker who lives in Dillon when not traveling or attending to legal matters in Denver. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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