Years ago, we could count on Americans to be a respectful, yet passionate people, especially when it came to the machinations of the nation’s novel, liberty-forward government.
After all, you need to be passionate and powerful if you’re going to tell the world that you have a right to pursue happiness. Don’t let us forget, that was a very, very unique concept in the 1770’s, when work was done from dawn to dusk, and no job was finished until it was finished.
Nowadays, we put off reading large legislation before voting on it, and taking more vacation as a public servant than as a member of the public. Even all the way back in 2014, things were fairly cushy for these elected officials.
But if you’re an ordinary American worker with two weeks of vacation and federal holidays off, you’re likely clocking in around 240 days a year at the office.
Of course, when lawmakers are on recess, it’s often considered a “work week” in their districts –- but they’re not getting much legislating done away from the nation’s capital. And though lawmakers often participate in constituent meetings and fundraisers, they’re not actually required to work at all. In fact, the summer break is mandated by law, though members could postpone or abridge it if they really wanted to.
But they’re still paid for the days they’re in recess –- and with a taxpayer-funded base salary of $174,000 a year, that amounts to about $16,000 for the summer break alone. And party leaders make even more.
Of course, those who built this nation had no time for breaks or recess. Instead, they plowed forward, practicing as much as they were politicking, and maintaining an authoritative air of class in the process.
We think that the modern world could learn a lesson from some of these legendary legislators, and that is why we are presenting to you the eight most pertinent of George Washington’s rules for civility, as interpreted for the present day and our modern President.