While I was campaigning informally throughout the 33rd Congressional District, I remember running into all sorts of people. Young people loved hearing about Bloomfield. Three younger people told me outright that no one should be in office for more than three terms.
Henry Waxman has been in office for 38 years, and he has now entered his twentieth term. Peter Stark lost his seat, granted, but the college of California Congressmen still has two from the class of '74: George Miller and Henry Waxman.
Seniority in office is a two-edged sword.
One gentleman I met in Torrance, a businessman who was nearing retirement, told me that he was an independent.
He asked me a number of penetrating questions about Bloomfield. Did he support TARP? How does he feel about green technology?
When he asked about the social issues, I told him that he was pro-choice and pro gay marriage. He approved of the liberal social views.
Some of his questions I could not answer. Like a growing number of concerned voters, candidates talk about cutting spending and eliminating loopholes, but they never offer anything specific. He resented the lack of information on this matter.
Then the topic switched to healthcare. Instead of a question, he fired off a demand:
"What kind of healthcare plans does he support? I want the same plan as Congressmen in Washington."
He sounded like a big baby that time. The government is not Santa Claus. This independent reminded me of the socialist I spoke with in Santa Monica during the summer. "I love Waxman! I get free health care." There is no such thing as a free lunch, but this older gentleman refused to count the cost beyond the stipend that the received from the state.
These two men, both in retirement age, sounded like little children depending on the state, or who at least expected the state to have its hand out.
"I want that!" should not be in the a citizen's vocabulary toward the government. The federal government is not Santa Claus, Mommy, the Nanny State, or any other dynamic beyond an institution instituted to protect the rights of men.
What more could anyone want?