Politics is a messy business. By its very nature, it involves getting people to do what they otherwise would not, whether by compromise, or force. Either way, a lot of people end up feeling like they were not listened to. On the other hand, when a decision must be made, there is simply no way to make a decision for everyone, unless the result was unanimous. When that happens, we typically don’t need politics at all.
Unfortunately, there are some quirks to politics in America that make it seem that our so-called leaders are more out of touch with the people they purport to represent than they should be. The end result is that most all of America hates Congress as an institution, while none of the members of Congress seem to think that means them.
What My Vote Means
The first glitch in American politics stems from the two-party system. In most elections, beyond the occasional novelty or two each cycle, the only candidates that can actually win are a Republican and a Democrat. The difficulty here is that politicians assume that every vote for them is a wholesale, blanket endorsement of ALL their stated positions and values. In reality, that is seldom the case.
In Colorado in particular, it isn’t difficult to find to imagine citizens who have passionate views that cross political borders. A person who loves the outdoors might have several rifles and be a Republican on gun control issues, but at the same time, not want the national forests and park lands his grandfather taught him to fish on to be carved up by logging companies and oil drilling. However, when it comes time to vote, he has to pick an R or a D, and R will think he got permission to send Exxon into the mountains to do what it wills, while the D would think that more restrictive gun laws have been endorsed.
Like most Americans, I vote FOR someone far less often than I vote AGAINST someone else. It seems harder to find candidates who carefully study the issues rather than candidates that just rubber stamp whatever their party leaders say in Washington. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, loyalty to party is not freedom, and it is not America. That’s the kind of crap they do in China and before it, the Soviet Union.
Congress Is Hated
The truth is that no matter who wins, it’s entirely possible that half the people voted against them. Rather than respect that and try and find solutions that could gather 60% or even 70% support, politicians cling to that slim portion of the population that actually voted for them like Golumn and his ring. Nothing else but it matters.
Finally, the really hard reality is that given the option, voters would have voted overwhelmingly across the country to purge the entire Congress. If that had been a checkbox on the ballot, I guarantee the landslide would have been total. But, instead, they’ll all got back to acting like THEY know what is best, and that they have the full support of the people.
It would be funny, if it weren’t so sad.