National Lame Duck Day

National Lame Duck Day

Although we’ve all heard the term Lame Duck used, it is not always clear what its original meaning means. Lame Duck refers to an elected official who has lost responsibility for his constituents. This is usually because he is leaving office and reelection is unlikely.

National Lame Duck Day is celebrated by the ratification the 20th Amendment of the United States. This amendment was added to reduce the time the President, Senators and Representatives spend in office following an election. Even if the representative is not reelected, or is not eligible for reelection again, they are no longer required to consider the wishes of their constituents.

Although this is only a small portion of the time, it has led to important decisions. What are some examples? What are the results?

The origin of the term? A Lame-Duck was a term used to describe stock brokers who failed to pay their debts and had poor investments in the 1700s. Later it was expanded to include unethical businessmen who would become bankrupt and still be able to operate their businesses even though they didn’t have the money to pay suppliers or employees. This term is now used to refer to the above-mentioned representatives, as well as to sessions in which the participants are not obligated to the elected officials.

National Lame Duck Day can be celebrated by looking into the past of people you support politically and finding out how accountable they are to their constituents. Are they able to vote with their conscience, and have they done what they were elected to do? It’s especially important to watch the time immediately following a reelection or when they have made a decision to retire. This is when they will be most transparent. They are more likely to stick to their principles in this period than if they abandon their professed principles later.


Jun 02 2024


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