Voting for party primary runoffs are happening next week (in Texas). I am now reminded of that nearly everyday. If it’s not the constant chatter on Facebook, emails, and blogs (and look what I’m doing with this post), it is now the messages left on my home answering machine.
Get this: I have my seated County Judge calling me to influence (I guess because she thinks I’m too stupid to know otherwise) my vote a certain direction…for the Probate Judge of all things. She promises if I vote correctly, her candidate of choice for Probate Judge will make a big impact in my life (probate judges do probates, guardianships, mental health cases, and real estate disputes – hmmm). And she endorsed her candidate after first slinging a few mud balls at his opponent. My County Judge hasn’t a clue that I personally have taken the time to meet the candidate she’s “instructing” me on and can (and will) make up my own voter’s mind.
This only shows to go ya, politics has gotten way out of control. Republicans have the “you’ve got to see it my way or you’re just stupid” political approach, the Democrats play the nauseous “poor poor pitiful us how can you not see it our way you fool” pity card. And only to top all that, voting and voters have lost control. The national political mess is now reaching way down to the local level with my Probate Judge election.
Time and time again, I’m seeing political blame pointed at the accused bad guys and the evil people. Voters have been dumbed down by all the political rhetoric to the point we seemingly believe whatever they say we can suck through the straw of the popular smoothie drink of politics. Rarely do voters concede the democratic process will work if voting smarts are exercised; rarely do voters have an independent thought if they have sided with political extremism. Political extremists cannot be swayed, nor will they sway anyone’s opinion in their favor because of the extremism. Voters have to understand the political opportunities and vote accordingly. It is the middle-of-the-roader, the independent-minded and thinker-voters that hopefully will vote for someone, not against someone.
At the national level, the political quagmire is Congress. It’s not so much a controversial president or his administration as it is Congress holding the future of the U.S. in their selfish hands.
It is Congress that passes legislation (Obamacare for example), they approve a national budget (how many trillions of dollars?), they appropriate money or not to programs wanted by the President (wars, their own salaries, social security, elitist health insurance, national debt), they raise our taxes (to offset some of the costs for the legislation they pass), they pass mandates without the funding particulars worked out (a Ponzi scheme in any other arena), they approve or disapprove Presidential appointments (the Cabinet and the Supreme and Federal Judges). Need I go on?
Now politically, I’m sharp enough to know the President certainly tries to influence, intimidate, or bully Congress to get things done. But if you don’t know it, then think it through…it comes down to the President merely signs the legislation. Remember it was him using 12 pens to sign, in front of the TV cameras, the healthcare law passed by who? Certainly not passed by the President, but Congress!
Replacing Congress over the next 4 years will do more for this country’s future, that is if they have the courage to stand with their constituents, than having your least favorite person wearing a presidential name tag.
But success is only achieved if the voting population loses its mental laziness. We have become blamers and whiners, and lost our leadership. We have surrendered our self-governing right for the sake of entitlement attitudes. Read the blogs, tweets, and statuses: it’s mostly about who did what that someone said was wrong. So then it is mindlessly repeated and, as my good friend Jeff says, the old childhood telephone game is now in full play – the story changes a bit each time it is passed to the next kid.
I know it is popular and fad-ish to blame everything on the President whether he had responsibility or not. Kind of like this latest attitude of mine: I’m blaming the President for the leak in my roof and for all those darn weeds taking over my yard.
Let’s not think we can fix a leaky roof by simply painting over the water stains on the inside ceiling. And let’s not think by identifying the weeds using a different name will turn them into a desirable flower even though they remain uninvited to my front lawn. Voters have to think…not let someone else do that for us. We need to quit blaming and whining about the way things are and do something positive that changes political attitudes by voting with conviction as our Constitution intended.
All this political bantering, I am reminded of a quote by one of my favorite mentors of life. Mark Twain said this: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Maybe we should all heed that advice as the political lean of this country sways back and forth, left and right.
OK, so now I’ve got a County Judge to call. I haven’t spoke to her in over a year. She obviously needs to be reminded of my independent thought and ability to vote my conscience without any of her help, but thanks anyway (and she will be asked if she really should be running our County and not the Probate Judge’s campaign).