Madeline Crabb
The importance of dress codes and standards
By Madeline Crabb
September 20, 2023

Over the weekend, Senator Chuck Schumer quietly announced a lowering of dress code for the U.S. Senate chamber. While you might think this is not a big deal, common sense tells us that a lowering of standards does not lead to improvement in, just further deterioration of, existing conditions. So then, what are the ramifications of this decision?

This situation is seemingly minor in comparison to all the problems government officials are dealing with, like our national debt rising $1 trillion in just three months. Remember, the government caused most of our problems. But ask yourself if your bank was consistently shorting your account, adding unwarranted charges, or denying service to you, and you went to see a bank executive to inquire about the problems, who would you expect to see: adults dressed in appropriate business attire, or adults dressed like adolescents on their way to a sports bar? (i.e., dressed like bums) FYI…If my bank executive looked like the latter, my business would be at once pulled from that bank! Why? Because their lax attitude about their own appearance shows a corresponding laxness in their seriousness, judgment, and total lack of respect for their customers.

Similarly, our federal government is consistently shorting our accounts, adding unwarranted charges, and denying service to us. When we seek to petition them, we need to know they respect us and take their jobs seriously, and the first indicator we have is how they present themselves to us—in this case, not to their customers, but to their bosses. We the People employ our representatives.

Now for those of you who are not acquainted with the Pennsylvania junior senator, John Fetterman, he is the main person for which the Senate dress code was lowered. This guy has said that appearance should not matter, that people should not care if he looks like a “slob”. He does look like a slob, and it does matter to us. Moreover, from recent quick takes from media sources questioning him as he walks through senate corridors, his attitude is slovenly as well. Quite frankly, he consistently responds as if he is giving the proverbial middle finger to American citizens.

Obviously, Pennsylvania citizens hired him, and they should be the most outraged. If he is really their choice, which I question because of voting “irregularities” that seem to be the well-established norm in that state, then they should be the first to be appalled at his disgraceful attitude towards his job.

Since the U.S. Senate is supposedly one of the most prestigious institutions in our nation (choke), the entire world is watching the decisions that are made there. And yet, here at home, Congress has only a 19 percent approval rating! (A bit high?) And yet, Schumer lowers the standard of dress? Why not give American citizens more proof for their disapproval?!

In essence, as the idiom goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Now, there are probably other senators who complain about having to wear business attire on the floor of the senate. Clue: It’s part of the job. Yes, there are often votes called late into the evening when people have been in their offices working in less severe clothing. But regularly allowing sweatshirts and gym shorts anywhere in the building is simply not acceptable. By the way, all the administrative staff still must adhere to strict business attire.

While Fetterman perhaps is not a “squeaky wheel”, not necessarily complaining about a dress code, he simply ignores the code and gives the middle finger to the rest of the senators, respect for tradition, decorum, the American people, and the world audience. Supposedly the rules are for the chambers, but then, this carries over to press conferences where Fetterman stands among dignified-looking gentlemen/ladies in his bar attire which negates anything being said by the group. It all looks like a huge mocking joke. And guess what? The joke is on us, and all for one guy’s comfort.

While I am blessed to write from the comfort of my home and could dress in comfort clothes, I instead dress as though I am going to an office to work. First, this is part of my ministry to the Lord, and I wish to show respect for this important task, which includes dressing appropriately, which in turn affects my attitude. I want to put on the mind of Christ (Php. 2:5) when teaching, informing, exhorting. Second, it is important to have respect for readers of these columns, and for my publisher, Renew America. Therefore, I wish to do even this as unto the Lord (Col. 3:23).

This is not a blog or social media posting of random emotional thoughts off the top of my head, but a serious column discussing serious matters affecting our nation’s fate. We are no longer one nation under God, choosing instead to do what seems right in our own eyes, like the ancient Israelites (Is. 5:21). Fetterman is doing just that, and the whole senate body must go along with it. While God gives us the freedom to choose our ways, there are always consequences. Therefore, we should be careful about our choices.

Around the world, American government is already being mocked for our so-called leadership and their choices. Puppet O’Biden makes outrageous comments and jokes in profoundly serious situations around the world as if he is oblivious to his surroundings or subject matter. Of course, O’Biden is oblivious and yet, we just pretend everything is okay as he continues to embarrass the United States. As if not caring, these politicians do even more stupid things.

Fetterman and O’Biden make a great duo for stand-up comedy if we were filming Saturday Night Live (back when it was funny) or Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In. But this is serious business calling for serious representation. Sadly, We the People have few representatives who are committed to doing the right thing for us, or at least, not embarrassing us as they take us down further into decline, eventually into oblivion. Did you say it cannot happen here? Uh huh…and women can be men, and men can be women—even having babies? And Supreme Court justices cannot define what it means to be a woman? None of this could ever happen here either, right?

Commenting on the Schumer decision about dress codes, a CNN reporter remarked that America has been getting increasingly casual in the recent past. He suggested that citizens do not mind T-shirts and shorts in Congress, that even he sometimes goes to work at CNN without a tie. Not wearing a tie in the Senate at 10pm for a vote is different than T-shirts, hoodies, and shorts! And just who are those that do not mind such clothing? That would be the increasing number of young, dumbed down, lazy, entitled youth/adolescents who no longer want to work. You do not have to dress in anything else when you live jobless in your parents’ basement well into your thirties.

Government education has dumbed down or brainwashed at least four generations of children. It is common to find high school graduates running cash registers who cannot count change back to customers without the register telling them the answer. IQs are declining, accompanied by the loss of critical thinking skills. Could this be affecting even our so-called representatives in Congress? Of course, there is the decline that comes with advanced age—far too many of such people are still holding on to their seats, voted in by a populace whose IQs drop on average about three points per decade.

In a Stanford-published article, Idiocracy: is the decline in human intelligence undermining democracy? it is reported that a decline of just seven IQ points translates the average citizen to the intelligence level of the average juvenile delinquent, and that this decline is being accompanied by increased rates of murder, rape, and violent assault—as well as a lack of forethought at the ballot box…Idiocracy was just supposed to be a movie, not a documentary!

So then, understanding the ramifications of each decision made, whether individual or corporate, it is clear the Schumer decision to lower standards of dress is important. Just as Casual Fridays started with great intentions, it deteriorated into an uncontrollable situation decades later. I predicted that once this decision was made that employers would lose all control over the situation. In my early days in the workforce employees would be sent home to change clothes if they came to work inappropriately dressed. Now the employees are more likely to sue their employers if challenged on their dress.

Obviously, one cannot send home a senator, but we could hope these senators would respect their employers—the American citizens—and the government they stand for. Then they should have enough respect for themselves to make the right choices. But then, far too many are so self-absorbed they cannot see past their own noses. As North Dakota Senator Ken Cramer said in response to Schumer’s decision, “When you aim low, you can always get there.” This is why dress codes and standards are important.

The Bible says that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). In a book I wrote years ago I warned about how our appearance, speech, and behavior reflect what is in our heart. The heart drives everything.

Perhaps we should share our thoughts with our own senators/congressmen? Then may we all examine our own hearts. The Bible states that we are epistles being read and known by all men (2 Cor. 3:2) This was written about Christians, but it also applies to non-Christians, with just a different message being read—one of whom we serve. Behavior, attitude, speech, appearance all tells a story. What story do you want to tell? To anyone willing to hear….

© Madeline Crabb


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Madeline Crabb

Madeline Crabb is a Christian, a Constitutional Conservative, and a patriot. Holding a degree in journalism and public relations, and training from the Leadership Institute, she has been a columnist since 2000, and has written for various Christian newspapers around the country. As a “watchwoman” on the wall (Is.62:67), Madeline calls all citizens to awaken, arise, and act in restoring one nation under God.


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