It’s a simple question. Do you like your elected representatives? Do you like your Governor, your Senators, your House Representative, your president? (Yes, I said YOUR president.)
I bet you say you don’t. If you are an average person and not a crackpot or a whackjob, I mean. I bet you constantly complain how you distrust government, how they’re all crooks, how we need new leaders and why we need term limits (no, we don’t). Americans are fickle and will turn on a dime when the government sends out stimulus checks, but historically Congressional approval ratings have been dismal, like this recent January when it had tumbled to 18%. Obviously not popular, right? Or, are they?
In the November 2020 elections nationwide… federal, state, and local… 93% of incumbents nationwide won their re-election bids. What the deuce? How can this be? We don’t like our leaders. Well, I have some ideas… and almost nobody ever agrees with me when I tell them this because it challenges them and their convictions directly… and they go something like this…
- Gerrymandering: Essentially where your representatives choose you, based on where you live and who you are likely to vote for. Even people who live in gerrymandered districts disapprove of their representatives, in general. This is the only point in here that is controlled by the government and not the voters… but even then it doesn’t explain how or why local elections follow the same predictable path.
- Ignorance: Increasingly willful ignorance. No one discusses issues anymore, it’s all name calling and yelling. Let’s face it, if you read social media and the conversations taking place, you realize a great many people simply cannot understand the nuances and ramifications of politics. They spout what their emotions tell them and what others they like say.
- Selfishness: They give us what we want. We say we hate spending, but programs and jobs, often government-induced jobs, get votes. Democrats never cared about deficit spending, and even Republicans abandoned fiscal responsibility decades ago because they figured out the voters didn’t care as much about it as they say they do. In other words, they “bring home the bacon”, or they buy us and our votes. We now have so much in a historically opulent lifestyle that we’re afraid of losing it.
- Selfishness, Pt 2: Voting an incumbent out just might require… voting for the other party. gasp!!! (In all seriousness, especially in today’s political environment, this could be tough., regardless which side you’re on.)
- Laziness: Term limits are a very popular idea, but there’s a disconnect here. We want these people out, but we’re not willing to do it ourselves, we want it to be a default so we don’t have to think or be pro-active. This results from ignorance and selfishness above.
- This last point is what people so vehemently disagree with and refuse to admit or consider… for all the bitching and moaning and whining and crying we do about out leaders… we actually approve and get what we want. Yes, I said we like them. Re-read the things I said above… we hate them and see them as greedy (which is true), they don’t really care about us, but they do know that keeping us “fat and happy” keeps them fat and happy, just on a bigger scale. As long as we have our cushy lifestyles and our boats and our vacations we’ll keep voting them in. Don’t want to upset the apple cart.
So what can we do about this? Or, should we do anything about this? I mean, we could just keep going as we are, let the status quo do its thing. That would be the convenient way out. Whining is free. So, if we are truly serious about changing our representation here’s what we have to do…
- D.R.I.P: Don’t Reelect Incumbent Politicians. Any of them. Now, at a 90%+ reelection rate they know they can safely ignore us. But if we could get the reelection rate down to just 50%, let them know their cushy job isn’t guaranteed, they’d sit up and pay attention. They would at least throw us more bones. Since we, and not corporations, are the ones who actually vote the balance of power would shift.
You up for it?