Every two years the “throw the bums out” band starts again its mournful dirge. It matters not whether Democrats or Republicans are in control of the government, people get out of sorts, get cranky and get fed up. With the healthcare reform debate and last night’s passage of the bill by the House, the rumbling is louder than in recent memory. Even so, every two years there are national elections that rarely change the makeup of the houses of congress and never make a change in the end result of unqualified people who view themselves differently than they view their constituency.
I doubt this year will be any different and here’s why:
1. Too many people are convinced that only Democratic and Republican candidates are viable and will not admit that both parties are the problem. Democrats and Republicans do not want what is best for America-they want what will keep their party in power, no more and no less. Both parties ignore the wishes of their constituents when those wishes go contrary to the needs of the party.
Republicans are all up in arms about President Obama’s use of Executive Orders, or at least his threatened use. They get all up in arms about recess appointments when a Democrat is doing the appointing, but seem to find every available excuse when a Republican does the same thing. Democrats are sanctimonious toward a Democratic president’s Supreme Court nominee, but have positively demonized those recommended by Republicans.
2. People have short memories when it comes to politicians. Unless someone is accused of pedophilia a month before the election or has amassed a long record of stupid voting, Americans seem to be willing to send people of all extremes to Washington. South Carolinians were still sending Strom Thurmond to the Senate when his staffers were having to prop him up on the chamber while Georgians sent Cynthia “The Capitol Cops Are Racists” McKinney more than once.
People will just refuse to vote rather than join a movement. Remember: Nowhere in America can you vote against a candidate. You have to vote “For” someone so abstaining may be a protest, but it does not effect change. Just getting mad does not change anything and most people will not stay mad until November. There have been notable exceptions (Republican sweep in the Clinton mid-term), but on the whole it’s a back and forth, not a slaughter.
3. Alternative efforts like the Tea Party movement are too easily vilified by the media. On Saturday protesters at the Capitol hurled the “n-word” at Georgia House member, John Lewis, a veteran of the Civil Rights movement who was nearly beaten to death in the 1960s. I have no idea who did the yelling or whether they were actually a part of the Tea Party movement, but it really does not matter. They were tagged as “Tea Party” by the media, true or not, lazy journalism or not.
4. Alternative efforts like the Tea Party movement are too easily hijacked by, or at least attractive to crazies. While I respect and support the concerns that everyone has about the intrusive nature of the government, most Americans a put-off by crazies. Unfortunately, whether it’s the Ron Paul presidential campaign or that lunatic David Dukes from Louisiana, when people start talking about shutting down the IRS or sending illegals back across the border in a shipping container, people are attracted to the movement that are scary to mainstream Americans no matter how mad they are at the government.
When groups of people who are so far out they have to drive for two days just to get back to the fringe appear at meet-ups that’s the last you see of Biff Magoo and his penny loafers. Mr. Kakhi Pants doesn’t to be seen around Wild Bill who might be riding around with a thousand .223 rounds in his trunk.
While I am not overly optimistic that this passion for change will bear fruit, it can against all odds.
The primary thing that needs to change is the attitude of mainstream Americans, middle-right through middle-left. Those people have to admit that our two party system is a party for no one except those it benefits the most: those on the Hill, special interests, lobbyists, business, those receiving subsidies, etc. Those people must be willing to have a strategy or create on that actually inspires their own peers, who make up the majority of every single election.
Another thing that needs to happen is that people who are not willing to run for office have to be willing to be drafted. Votes aren’t the only thing that need to be changed, the entire culture of Washington elitism needs to be removed and that does not happen when one group of elitists is replaced by another group of elitists. Arcane rules that allow ear marks and totally unrelated amendments, adding millions and billions of dollars to bills can be voted out of existence. Time consuming procedures can be removed, the cottage law making industry can be voted out of existence and representatives can spend more time at home than in D.C.
If there is someone reading this who wants to prove me wrong, I welcome it. Just remember, Republicans nor Democrats are the answer; they are the problem.
While you are figuring out how to prove me wrong, check out GOOOH. At least they have a plan.