Sadly I have to admit my recent trip to Washington D.C. did not restore my faith in government -at all. Don’t get me wrong I’d never been to the capitol before so it was great seeing the monuments and all the grand buildings & institutions we’ve heard about all our lives. But I admit I have a somewhat jaded or jaundiced view of politics, politicians and generally the people who populate the Washington D.C. area. I mean why is it the zip code with the highest per capita income? Because they live off the largess of the reluctant taxpayer!
First thing I notice after spotting the Washington Monument on our taxi ride in from the airport which I acknowledge was so cool, is the license place for the District of Columbia. It says “Taxation without representation”. And I thought wait a minute what makes them think they have any less representation than any of us rubes. I’ve tried to call my representatives in Washington. I’ve written them and emailed them more than once. Fugetaboutit as they say in Jersey. It doesn’t happen. Write a letter and you’re lucky if you even remember what you wrote about when you get the vague “thank you for you input and concern” letter back. Send an email and you get an auto reply, again vague and useless. And where’s the representation when they pass monster bills and budgets they don’t even read?? Call them and more often than not you get some flunky answering the phone who’ll tell you they haven’t taken a stand on the issue or they’re not sure yet which way they’ll vote on it. Ha, representation. Cry me a river.
We did get to tour the Capitol and I was pleased to see that in the Visitor Center they have a statue of King Kamehameha (a smaller replica of those which stand in front of Ioloni Palace in Honolulu and in Kapa’au where he was born on the Big Island), which stood out very nicely. They apparently even drape it with fresh flower leis on King Kamehameha Day!
I also learned that the Capitol dome is made out of cast iron.
The original dome was made out of wood sheathed on the outside by a layer of copper. It burned down in 1851 and cast iron was chosen as a replacement because it wouldn’t catch fire and it was cheaper, lighter, and less time-consuming to work with, than marble or other stonework.
We had a tour arranged by Tulsi Gabbard, our representative. She of course was not there so one of her staff escorted us via underground tunnel from her office to the Capitol building. You see they, Senators and Congressmen & women don’t like to rub elbows with us guys, or to have to deal with the mostly lousy Washington D.C. weather (either too hot & muggy, or freezing cold), so they get from their offices by underground tunnels & “members only” elevators. I won’t lie, it was impressive. The rotunda is beautiful and ornate beyond belief as it should be in the greatest country in the world. We even got to sit in the Senate gallery while they were in session -and see the bastards up close! Of course this came after strict instructions about accepted behavior (nothing other than sitting there like bumps on a log) -no talking, facial expressions, outbursts, applause or anything else is to be tolerated. I did find it surprising that they still begin each day of business with an opening prayer. But the Senators are so catered to, they don’t even have to open the doors to the Senate chamber to let themselves in! Pages, who are in their junior year of high school, station themselves inside the doors and whisk them open for the approaching Senator so they don’t have to lower themselves to such a plebeian task. I tell you these people are pampered and they expect to be. It’s downright sickening and already knowing how they govern (all for their own power & financial gain) it did not restore my already tainted view of the body politic.
Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)
~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures.