The 2 Teachers this semester are trying to pass through their state legislature SUFFRAGE @ 17. Like many states around the country, the 2 Teachers would like Illinois to allow 17 years olds to vote in primary elections if those voters will be 18 years old for the general election. In other words, young citizens who will be 18 on election day should be allowed to select their candidates like everybody else even if they are only 17 on the day of the primary.
What do you think? Willing to join our coalition?
Would it be too much to ask of our elected legislators to grow up?
The shameful immaturity of our Congress to face the real and imposing challenges of the times is appalling. Worse then their inactivity is Congress’ inability to at least tell the truth. Partisan bickering, name-calling and factionalism looks more like a clique in the schoolyard then what they actually are – elected representatives in the United States Congress.
And now we have the 113th Congress promising it will be different this time. Members of the new Congress have raised their right hands and pledged to live up to their charge. They promise to change.
Sounds a whole lot like the Jennifer Garner character Jenna in the 2004 romantic comedy “13 Going on 30.” Covered in “magic wishing dust” Jenna wanted so badly to be grown up. As you recall her wish kind of becomes a reality. Jenna wakes up to a life of a thirty year old, even a thirty-year-old body, yet she still thinks and acts like a teenager.
The comedic elements of the film reveal the awkwardness of the real world when confronted by pre-teen sensibilities. Dancing to “Thriller” at an adult soiree like one would at a middle school slumber party still brings a smile. Yet in a more serious moment Jenna realizes that poor decisions she made in her past resulted in real harm, especially to people she really loved.
Today’s United States Congress shows no sign of such maturity despite its real world appearance. The 113th Congress reflects America more then ever. Our new Congress has a record number of women and Latinos. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, is the first black Senator from the South since Reconstruction. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, is the first openly gay Senator. Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii is the first Hindu member of Congress.
Nevertheless, Congress has never been held is less regard. They do not seem to care since over 90% of incumbents win reelection. The issues this Congress faces, however, are daunting. High unemployment continues to sap economic recovery. Record unemployment reduces tax revenue and thus results in unsustainable budget deficits. Entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare are heading toward certain insolvency. Investment in education shows weak returns, as more and more American youth appear unable to compete in the global marketplace.
The 113th Congress has its plate full. Will they wake up to the reality of the times and respond like maturing adults or resort to adolescent games and shenanigans? In the movie “13 Going on 30” Jenna was given a second chance and chose to reunite with her childhood best friend Matty who she had mistreated. Jenna was given an opportunity to make things right.
Many in the 113th Congress have been given another chance. Will they make things right? Let us hope there might be a little “magic wishing dust” around to encourage our legislators to act appropriately for a change.
Is it too much to ask for them to act . . . “Big”? Let us hope this Congress acts fittingly and spends less time toying around with our future.
Enter here the most convincing empirical evidence that best explains the winner in the 2012 presidential election. What numbers best tell the story? In addition, what anecdotal evidence have you found that best explains the 2012 winner? What will the narrative be four years from now as we look back at the 2012 presidential election?
Enter here your predictions for the 2012 presidential election. Who is going to win in the Electoral College? What will the Electoral College vote total be [there are a total of 538 votes]? How many total popular votes will be cast? How will the critical bellwether states go [Virginia, NC, Ohio, WI, FL, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Iowa]? What will the voter turnout be?
For the really ambitious - will the Republicans hold onto the House majority? Win back the Senate majority?