Facing the final chapter of one’s life is never easy, and finding quality end-of-life care can often be overwhelmingly difficult for any individual or their loved ones to navigate.
That’s why there’s the United States Capitol.
At the Capitol, we’re more than just the central hub of the federal legislative process and an enduring symbol of American democracy—we’re a haven where elderly members of Congress can find compassion and encouragement as they prepare to transition to the other side.
We believe that every individual elected democratically (or by gerrymandering, or any other tool of voter suppression) deserves to spend their final days surrounded by people who value their dignity, or at least pretend to, and who do not even blink when an elderly colleague falls asleep during a joint session, proposes legislation to ban “Tic Tac,” fractures a rib while walking up a step, or appears to forget which political party they belong to.
We pride ourselves on insuring that our elderly peers experience on-the-job comfort and respect, way past the point when they should be working, by providing around-the-clock care, mostly in the form of interns who run all of their errands: from dog-walking and picking up dry cleaning to pureeing their paninis and cleaning up after them when they have an “accident” on live TV (which has actually happened, Google it).
Additionally, at the United States Capitol, we have legions of low-paid aides who are here to help any congressperson maintain a façade of executive functioning by whispering which way to vote in the ear they can still hear out of, and by fielding phone calls from concerned constituents who are standing in two feet of water and frustrated by their delegate’s abysmal voting record on crises that said delegate won’t even be alive to experience, such as a full climate apocalypse.
Our five hundred and thirty-five members of Congress (by the time you read this, it will probably be five hundred and thirty-four) and staff strive to meet the needs of every elderly congressperson in office, as long as those needs align with our own. We also work closely with Capitol physicians to insure that—in the event of a medical emergency, like a hypothetical thirty-second-long mini stroke during an on-air press conference—our P.R.-trained health-care professionals can be on CBS News that night to assure anyone watching at home that whatever momentary lapse of consciousness they think they saw was actually just the eighty-one-year-old Senate Minority Leader experiencing a little bout of stage fright.
We invite you to tour this national monument/trusted palliative-care facility that has been carefully designed to offer a warm, old-timey atmosphere, in which elderly residents who came of age before antibiotics can relax and feel at ease, unless they’re being asked to speak to a reporter, or students, or being forced to evacuate after thousands of armed conspiracy theorists on meth breech the building’s perimeter during a deadly attempted coup that anyone with Internet access could have anticipated.
So many of our most senior members of Congress have dedicated their lives to the betterment of our nation, or to the craven pursuit of power, and now, as they take their last breaths, it is our privilege at the United States Capitol to support them in their final moments by pretending that they are totally fine (and by calling anyone who disagrees with us sexist and/or ageist). For more information, visit USA.gov.
Source: The New Yorker