I see it every day. A politician does something stupid. CNN, Fox News or one of my many friends post something about it on Facebook. Cue the comments from people of every political stripe about politicians and corruption and "Faux News" (even when the thread has NOTHING to do with a Republican or Fox News). I usually post something glib, reminding people that nobody voted themselves into office.
Even if you're the Duggars, of 19 Kids and Counting
fame, and have approximately 11 "guaranteed [family] votes", there is not an elected official out there who voted themselves into office. Not one. That's just a fact!
You don't have to like it. In fact, most don't. But, at some point, you have to realize that you're either part of the problem, or you're part of the solution.
Do you vote informed? In other words, do you just search for the "D" or the "R" next to a candidate's name and fill in the oval, complete the arrow, pull the lever or touch the screen? If you answered "yes", you're not alone. Millions do it. It needs to stop.
We are the biggest part of the problem.
Not a single person in office, whether they got there via fraudulent votes or not, got there by themselves. (As an aside, if you think voter fraud isn't an issue, especially if your party tells you it's not, I have news for you') You and I and millions like us vote them in. Good, bad, fabulous or how-the-hell-are-you-still-in-office
?, we vote them in. We very often vote them
BACK IN. Repeatedly.
I was listening to Dr. Ben Carson recently and he brought up an idea that I think is brilliant. Remove the labels from the ballot.
I know. I just heard the audible gasp! Wait? But how-? Wha-?
How would you know who to vote for? You'd actually have to go read their website. Read and study their record. See if they're telling you the truth
. Educate YOURSELF.
You'd have to rely on yourself instead of commercials or your usual sources. You'd have to go read a candidate's voter record and see for yourself how they voted on that bill regarding education, clean water, subsidies, the DOD, the budget, energy or your pet cause.
You might realize you've been lied to.
Politicians, like most of us, like to put their best foot forward in 30 second sound bites and ads. "I did this, that or the other for you, my beloved constituents." Puh-leez! And if you don't like that that they voted for [fill in the blank], they can explain that'
Then they BS us because they know we don't like change and will most likely eat what they feed us, and vote for them, again.
Breathe. It's never going to happen because it would do two things.
First, it would force a lazy public to pay attention, read, ask questions and maybe, just maybe, realize that just because your mama says you should vote one way, and you love your mama, she might be wrong because the guy she told you to vote for, yeah, he actually voted against your pet issue. Oh the horror!
Actually, it happens more often than you think.
Secondly, it would force us out of our political comfort zones. OK, it would do three things. And third, it would force politicians to be honest. Want to leave a politician or their staff speechless. Use the "sign the blank piece of paper" trick. It works every time. Unless the person is very budget savvy, it works.
So I bet you're wondering why I'm bringing this up. Honestly, I'm fed up with both sides. I'm not interested in Republicans or Democrats. I'm interested in common sense. I'm interested in logic, in rational behavior.
If you don't have $10, you can't spend $10. Period. At least not at your micro economic level. Most people write down what they have and how they need or plan to spend it. It's called budgeting.
As opposed to the government method of budgeting, which involves printing a load of BS words on a ream or 3 of paper and "delivering" it amid fanfare, the author having no clue what's in it, except for whatever talking points they've been given. Hello? Am I the only one having a "What the HELL?!" moment?
We won't put up with our friends and family lying to us about breaking a lamp or forgetting to mention that small detail but our politicians lie to us about big things, like healthcare, all the time, and we eat it like birthday cake on our birthday. What's up with that? Think about that!
Let me tell you a story. Back when Obamacare was legislation, when then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was telling us we had to pass it before we could see what was in it (what a RESPONSIBLE [read: desperate!] thing to do, Nancy!), I was involved with refining via citizen suggestion two other GOP-sponsored bills, both of which were patient-centered bills, both of which covered pre-existing conditions, both of which removed the cap on expenses, both of which offered catastrophic care policies, both of which offered a new, better way to execute medical treatment in this country, fixing the problems, leaving the rest alone. So I'm talking to one of my friends about it, telling her about what I'm involved with and she thinks it's really cool. Until I tell her it's GOP-sponsored. She can't support it because it would be "going against the president" and she can't do that! It was a great idea and made sense right up until that moment. We do that with so many issues and people in this country.
So what if we didn't? What if we took away the labels and concentrated on the issues? What if we eschewed parties and voted for what we believe in and if the person we thought was on our side because of that letter next to their name wasn't, we made another choice? What if?