Editor’s Note: This is not a political site anymore, it is a club where we speak civilly and think hard. Please be mindful of same in your comments to this post.
If you are not new to the site, forgive my repeating the story, but if you are new, here’s what happened. About a decade ago I suffered a depressive episode with suicidal ideation. (I am FINE now, but that was a journey for sure.) During the episode I spent almost all of the time looking like Nick Nolte’s mug shot, strung out hair, bleary, with the inability to care about any of the higher levels of humanity. Dignity. Work. Love. Family. Spirituality. Culture. Science. Fair play. Lifting others.
In a depressive episode, the biggest loss is that of hope. There is none, and the only reason you inhale is because your body does that automatically anyway.
And you dress like S. Because you don’t care. You live without purpose and the idea of covering up your instability with a dignified wardrobe is too hypocritical, even your your own addled mind.
Perhaps that is where the Senate is. Perhaps there is a collective self-awareness whispering to them that it is just too much to dress like the job they are supposed to be doing instead of the one they actually are.
Much attention about the Senate Dress Code is directed at Senator John Fetterman, who also suffered a depressive episode. I am not sure that is coincidence. At any rate, politics aside, POLITICS ASIDE PLEASE, I guess what I would ask Mr. Fetterman and now the entire Senate is “Why?” Every morning you dress to express something. Maybe it is expressing yourself. Maybe it is expressing your profession. Maybe you are expressing a belief. Maybe you are expressing that you want sex. But you are expressing something.
What is Mr. Fetterman trying to express? What is the Senate trying to express? Authenticity? A blue collar everyman relatability? An I’m-one-of-you-so-vote-for-me-premise, an I-have-the-same-problems-you-do ethos? That doesn’t sell, and it isn’t what a country wants from its leaders. Mr. Fetterman et al, we don’t want you to be one of us, we want you to lead and be smart and spend time changing what needs changing and keeping what needs keeping, and figuring that out in collaboration with the higher goal of making life better in our country.
A hoodie and athleisure on the floor is a sign you are contemporary and it isn’t a middle finger to the establishment. It is a sign that, for whatever reason, hopelessness, your own agenda or condition – for whatever reason you have stopped caring as much as you did.
Which is a sign that this job is not for you anymore.