In slightly more than one month, we will see a tremendous turnover of our elite employees. Some pundits are suggesting that there may well be a change of guard in congress approaching 25% of the total elected. For some of those people, losing their exalted positions might produce a psychological trauma akin to our warriors returning to civilization from the battlefield. Known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or simply PTSD, the affect can be near caustic.
We must be compassionate and respect the feelings of the displaced elected elite this fall. We, of course, should be caring for them with every election. However, this turnover, we will be replacing a much larger number of well entrenched, long term, spenders of OPM (other people’s money). Some have had access to the public trough for decades. They may be so used to accessing what they consider unlimited funds for personal use that the trauma could be devastating to some. Keep vigilant eyes on politicians returning to your home state. Washington acceptable behavior might be carried over to normal society. Things to look for might be excessive drinking (perhaps driving afterward), unreasonably extensive use of credit cards (including over-limit spending), and extreme arrogance and contempt for anyone outside the immediate circle and transition support team.
No longer will these displaced Americans have the opportunity to charge a $70 lunch of fresh lobster at the capital cafeteria to the taxpayers; they’ll have to pay for it themselves. This will be the end of their ability and opportunity to submit an expense report for an eighty thousand dollar three day junket to Disney World for them self, twenty plus friends, relatives, and children.
While holding office they’ve been able to submit a three or four page report to justify reimbursement. The report might be titled something like: “An Observation of the Inter-Personal Relationships between People from around the United States and Other Countries of the World”. After rambling on for two to three pages about how Goofy and Mickey make the children of all countries laugh and how the excitement of the theme park actually calms adult nerves and allows acceptance of long lines and lengthy waits the report might concluded with “the study group consensually agreed that Disney World truly is the happiest place on earth”.
Unquestionably, many will remain on public payrolls in lesser capacities. Nevertheless, many may be unable to make the adjustments and may even recognize the nationwide devastation in which they have participated. Extreme depression could result. In any case, recognize that this might be a life-changing experience and try to understand. We must be compassionate and respect their defeat without laughing giddily.