What’s funny about this election is that most of what was historic about it was predicted so much in advance that when the actual event happened you could actually feel let down. I mean, here I was expecting Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to lose Nevada, only come to find out he didn’t. And all that talk about the possible Senate takeover, was that just to hype us up?
An Election of Firsts
This was a strange election for me because of the number of firsts.
- First time at a new polling place since we moved.
- First time bringing all four kids to vote.
- First time that we’ve had over 200 Republicans in the House.
- First time that I actually felt like I should vote my conscience instead of voting for the person with the best chance of winning.
That’s right, that last one’s been a long time in coming.
I used to believe that I should vote for the person with the best chance of winning that held closest to my views. The problem is that I’m not sure that’s how we’re supposed to vote.
This goes back to one of my pet peeves about elections: People that aren’t informed about who they’re voting for just voting a party line.
Now I know, people usually know who they want to vote for because of their party line—it’s some kind of default for most people. The thing is, when someone isn’t engaged with what is going on is given a ballot, they actually hurt those people that are involved.
But if I pick someone that doesn’t truly represent me, or represent me best, aren’t I doing much the same thing? Aren’t I supposed to be voting for my representative?
Too Much Like a Game
To me, the whole system has become too much like a game with teams. To many, I don’t think it really matters any more who wins as long as “my team wins.” We aren’t as interested in getting the best person for the job as we are making sure that the person who has the job is the right color (blue or red) and has the right letter after their name.
I think that means that we have pretty cheap politics.
When we stop seeing the people, when we stop listening to the issues, when we’re willing to go as low as possible and do anything to win—when winning is more important than truly representing the people that you claim to want to serve—we’ve gone too far.
And Does it Really Matter?
This is the other thing I’m beginning to wonder. No party, since I’ve been alive, has actually cut the federal debt. President Clinton had a projected budget surplus (that I’m not sure ever materialized), but no one has actually delivered on the promise of less government.
Everyone’s been all about less taxes and more government.
I’m tired of all the spending and creating a generation of dependents. It will break the country, just as it broke all of Europe and the U.S.S.R. before it. It does nothing but feed the monster that is the Federal Government.
I have little hope that the current group of Congressmen will be any different than those before. Sure, they’ll make some signs of doing something to halt spending—so instead of increasing spending by 10% they’ll increase it by 5% and say they cut spending1. But what can they do when they don’t have the Senate or the Presidency.
And would the people actually support them restructuring Social Security and Medicare—the two biggest expenses to the Federal Government, of which both will go insolvent without an uptick in the economy? Would our elected representatives have the guts to “go there”?
I’m sorry to say, I don’t think so.
- The sick part is, they don’t think that we see through this.