Looking For a Place to Spend Your Golden Years? Try the U.S. Senate.

From a Washington Post column by Alexandra Petri headlined “Looking for a place to spend your golden years? Try the U.S. Senate.”:

Worried about finding a reliable senior community for your loved ones — or even yourself? A place where you can focus on things you love, discover new hobbies, make friends and keep leading a vibrant life in your golden years? Do you long for a beautiful facility where trusted staff will take you from activity to activity yet you can retain your independence — even sporting a little “I” after your name to let everyone know just how independent you are?

Consider … retiring to the United States Senate.

The world’s greatest deliberative body might seem a counterintuitive place to retire, but consider all the things that make it an appealing place to grow old.

Here at the Senate, there’s no shame in being senior! Indeed, our senior members are the most important. We make a point of it: We have a minimum age but no maximum. Our members’ average age is 64.3 — more than 25 years older than the U.S. median age!

Worried that you will slow things down or that your absence could grind things to a halt? Don’t be. Go as fast or as slow as you’d like — the Senate will be there, waiting. That is how the system is designed.

There’s so much to do here for members of all ages! We have a gym, a library and groups called committees for members who share a common interest — Appropriations, Budget, Judiciary, Foreign Relations and more. We also have a floor for votes! You can pass real, binding legislation! Laws that people have to live by — even decades into the future!

Want to learn more about technology? Hold a hearing! Worried you don’t understand the latest technology? Simply ban it!

Our historic facility boasts marble hallways and manicured grounds. We don’t offer golf on-site, but it is very easy to have a lobbyist take you!

There’s a constant stream of visitors, so you’ll never be bored. Tourists. Activists. Student groups. They’ll ask questions about the past, about their future. Feel free to answer as brusquely as you’d like — or not at all. This isn’t about them. It’s about you. Remember, the less you think about the consequences your presence here has for other people, the more worry-free your tenure can be!

Here, activities include running (only every six years), voting, fundraising (this can be as onerous as you make it), making phone calls and dodging reporter questions, calls to resign.

To enter, you’ll have to pick a team, but don’t worry: The longer you stay, the less it will matter. You’ll start to feel a bond with your fellow members that transcends any so-called party allegiance.

And in the Senate, there is no such thing as too old! Strom Thurmond stayed nearly until he died, at age 100. You, too, can stay that long — or even longer.

No worries, either, about overstaying your welcome. Jane Mayer of the New Yorker wrote that, “Strom Thurmond, of South Carolina, and Robert Byrd, of West Virginia, were widely known by the end of their careers to be non-compos mentis.” Your constituents might mind, but the Senate will gladly accommodate you.

What if you reach a point when it becomes difficult to function? Simply assume that will not be a problem!

In the Senate, we believe that you’re never too seasoned to participate! What’s more, we insist on it — from approving judicial nominees (some for life!) to shaping legislation that will determine how much carbon dioxide our nation releases for the next few decades! Don’t worry if you’re not knowledgeable about some issues; just mess around. The next generation will sort things out!

Don’t wait! Save your seat in the Senate today!

Some fine print: Yes, you are technically representing a state full of people and making policy decisions for the country as a whole. The ramifications of these policy decisions will last for years, maybe generations. If you enter with strong principles and a clear sense of mission, it is still possible that simply by remaining in the Senate you can jeopardize everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

But don’t let these details stand in the way of a wonderful Senate retirement. Be like Strom Thurmond! That’s a sentence everybody loves to hear.

And, if the Senate’s not for you, consider … retiring to the White House!

Alexandra Petri is a Washington Post columnist offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.

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