Poor Robert Byrd from my home state of West Virginia is being exploited.Liberals are afraid of losing his safe vote. They do not trust the voters of West Virginia once he is allowed to retire. So they flog the aging lion to action, who seemingly has no friends to warn him of his condition, instead of encouraging him to retire to a dignified senior statesman role.He is still useful to them so they use him. Doesn’t anybody care for him enough to tell him that he can no longer make a coherent argument? Doesn’t he have family who can warn him that he is helping his foes more than his friends?Traditionalists believe in life. We believe in the dignity of each human being. Even if a human cannot help us, or society, they must be treated with dignity. We are horrified when even criminals are mistreated. This is why we believe that Terri Schiavo must be allowed to live with dignity.The left, however, seems to favor killing those who inconvenience them, the very young or the very sick, while exploiting those who can still help them. This is the sad fate of the senior Senator from West Virginia.Traditionalists believe that the old have a wisdom that the young would do well to hear. However, no person is immortal. The very old, and Robert Byrd is very old, lose physical energy. I do not agree with Byrd’s politics and never found him compelling. Safe to say nobody in my family ever voted for him. (My grandfather once told me, “Never buy a Ford, vote for a Democrat, or leave the faith.” I am not sure of the exact order of importance.) However, he has been in political office since 1948. He has a deep institutional memory of the Senate.Instead of being allowed to share those memories and whatever wisdom might come with them, because he is still useful to them as a vote and someone who can say what those with a political future (or what they think is a political future) cannot say. As a result, they prop him up and keep him going and make him look foolish.They use him for their own ends.Zel Miller is a very wise man. He is always worth hearing and his opinions are often of more value than less experienced persons. However, Miller saw the wisdom in harboring his energy and retiring. He left the younger man’s world of the Senate and moved to a different role.I find this sad, though I suppose he must participate in having his vote decided by the twenty-somethings who run his office and really act as the representatives of the people of West Virginia.As a traditional Christian, I would see Bobby Byrd live in dignity. Of course, nobody should force Byrd to retire. Many seniors still have the energy to do highly rigorous jobs, Byrd is just not one of them. That is not my decision to make. . . and old fools should be allowed to go on being fools since the rest of us dare not regulate folly. There must be someone that can help Byrd watch a tape of himself on the floor of the Senate and see that his time for platform oratory is past. Can’t someone in his family end the self-inflicted exploitation of Robert Byrd?
Essay / Politics