Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Citizens should act as ‘human resources department’ for Republican and Democrat parties

What comes to mind when we here, in the People’s Republic of Amherst, think of the Democratic Party? The working class, the champions of immigrants, gay rights, minorities, the freedom to have an abortion and universal healthcare: the dream of Massachusetts’ late and beloved “Liberal Lion,” Ted Kennedy. They’re a bunch of down-to-earth, regular Joes – not like those filthy rich Republicans, who give tax breaks to their friends on Wall Street.

We tend not to think of the Democratic Party (and equally the Republican Party), however, as a business with an enormous amount of market share in the United States. And despite the recent setbacks the left-of-center corporation has suffered, its top executives are faring well.

Massachusetts’ very own John Kerry, for example, is one of the six richest U.S. senators (all Democrats, in case you were wondering) in the chamber. In 2008, his personal worth was estimated at $150-$250 million. Teddy was no pauper either.

Hillary Clinton, the company’s head of international relations sits upon a handsome sum as does its CEO, Barack Obama.

Here’s the bottom line: about half of the current 100 members of the U.S. Senate are millionaires, and the average net worth is $8.9 million. The House of Representatives hasn’t taken a vow of poverty either. Granted, not all of them are Democrats. The Republican Party INC is weathering the Great Recession also, anticipating major gains in the fourth fiscal quarter 2010.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R) was hammered in the press for wearing tens of thousands of dollars worth of clothing while on the campaign trail in 2008. Do you recall any fanfare regarding Hillary Clinton’s (D) wardrobe? I dare say her pants suits weren’t bought at the Good Will. Or what about Democrat Senator Chris Dodd who received discounted home mortgage rates from sub-prime giant Countrywide Financial Co. in exchange for hundreds of millions in government bailout loans? Countrywide, by the way, has a history of disproportionately selling very expensive (sub-prime) loans to blacks and Latinos. Due to negative impact on the company’s image, Democrat Party LLC will not be renewing Mr. Dodd’s contract when it expires early next year.

I could fill up an entire issue of the Collegian with anecdotes of travesties and hypocrisy committed by Democrats and Republicans alike. Each time a Republican steps on a caterpillar a Democrat steps on a Ladybug. And that’s my point. But we get excited about Democrats here in Mass. because they pay lip service to gays, abortion rights and the fake “green” movement (more on that in another column).

I realize the Bay State has a history of Republican governors. Arguably, they were all lame ducks pitted against the overwhelming Democrat majorities in both the house and senate. And as for Scott Brown, well, his opponent pronounced “police” as “bo-leeze.” Brown is also proving to be more of a moderate Republican than a polarizing conservative. But I’m getting off topic.

There was a time in this country when our legislators and local elected officials were blue collar Americans. They were barbers, farmers, tradesmen and small business owners. Admittedly, there was virtually no female or minority representation. Now, there’s virtually no working or middle class representation.

So what is so appealing about this not-so-blue-collar breed?

Why do we keep sending the same old apathetic faces back to Washington literally decade after decade? John Kerry, Barney Frank and Bill Delahunt – the latter of whom has been collecting a pension of nearly $5,000 per month since he “retired” from his position as Norfolk County District Attorney in 1997. This is, of course, in addition to the $175,000 annual salary he currently makes as a U.S. congressman. What a man of the people! I can’t say I was crestfallen when he announced last week he is not seeking reelection. I won’t even mention all the cash his family members, excuse me, I mean consultants, have received via his campaign fund.

Forgive me if it appears I’m picking on Bill. He’s in both plentiful and shameful company in Mass. We often don’t hear or read about these shady elements of politics, focusing instead, on social issues.

Well it’s time to dig a little deeper, as the saying goes. I challenge all of you die-hard democrats out there to do some research. Read columnist and talk radio host Howie Carr of the Boston Herald. Every week he and his colleagues at the newspaper expose Mass. politicians and bureaucrats (more often than not democrats) of swindling millions from taxpayers through lucrative salaries and robust pensions. But we give them free passes because they vote “yes” to installing solar panels and erecting wind farms.

As the electorate, we’ve got to act as the human resources department for the Republican and Democrat parties: two large businesses that have monopolized this country. It’s our job to vet resumés, check references, and not be disillusioned by pretty cover letters.

Shane Cronin is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected].

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