By: Michael Parrish
MIKE PARRISH IS A CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST, A POLITICAL ENTHUSIAST AND AN INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE FOR THE US SENATE SEAT FOR ALABAMA IN 2020.
Are you familiar with the term “lemon lot”? It’s a reference to used car lots. A “lemon” is a used car that doesn’t quite live up to the sales pitch. Often, it falls quite short and leaves the new owner with a payment AND still uncertain of how reliable the vehicle may be.
Does this remind you of our current political situation?
Think about it, what does your preferred political team promise? How does that compare with what they deliver? Does Red Team (Republicans) put action towards fiscal responsiblity? Does Blue Team (Democrats) put action towards improving the lives of minorities? If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll have to admit that they fall short of the sales pitch. In this regard, they are very like the used car salesmen mentioned above.
So, if we’ve come to expect disappointment why do we continue on? It’s a complex question but the various aspects all point back to one common thread.. fear. Fear of not winning an election. Fear of seeing the other team win. But most importantly, the current state of politics has put us of a mind to believe that if one candidate wins or another candidate doesn’t then the world as we know it will end.
Sound like a bit of a stretch? Not if you look at it objectively. Currently, Red Team tells it’s faithful that if we don’t beat those other guys we’ll end up like Venezuela or Cuba. Blue Team tells it’s faithful that if we don’t beat those guys minorities will end up back in chains. Neither of these are a reasonable assumption but they serve their purpose and that purpose is to create an aura of fear in which terrified voters don’t dare stray from the pack for fear of being eaten up by the other evil team. This is the substance of the vast majority of campaigning.
And what do they offer as candidates? Do you recall the last time you heard a truly original idea for fixing the nation’s woes? It’s rare. Most candidates just offer a re-hashing of the same old ideas with slightly altered details. Medicare for all.. but paid for through different taxation. Improving education.. by offering up pretty much the same common core. It’s like they’re offering you the same cake with a different topper and calling it a masterpiece. What’s more, if these same old ideas haven’t been able to generate enough support in the past what’s to make us think that they could implement their plans even if they DID follow through with their campaign pitches? It’s truly an exemplification of “insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different outcome”.
As I see it, our current situation has devolved into what I like to call “the politics of opposition”. Our candidates no longer run on personal merit or ideas, but instead on their opposition to the other team. They run on the idea that the other half of the political spectrum has to be “beaten” at the polls. And we get what we vote for. Continuous struggle and gridlock in our government. Abject fear when a president who isn’t on our team makes a cabinet selection or a judicial appointment. And this only further feeds into that opposition and broadens the division amongst the people.
But how do we overcome this?
Simple. We THINK. Listen to your chosen candidate and ask yourself, “what are they REALLY offering”. Ask yourself, “how many times have I heard that promise and how many times has it been delivered on”. Look at the results of those policies where they ar enacted and ask yourself if that’s really what you want for the economy or community. But most importantly, you have to ask yourself if that’s your only option or can there be another way?
Each election has candidates that you have never heard of. This not only includes independent and third party candidates but also Red Team and Blue Team candidates that don’t have money or political favor. Seek them out. Really check into what they believe in and what they offer. You can still vote your conscience and still not be forced to vote for whatever candidate the party pushes on you. The fact of the matter is that the major parties will not change their ways unless they get a clear message and there’s no clearer message than dissent at the polls. Our nation was founded on protesting overbearing masters.. are we living up to that?
Or, you can go back to the same lemon lot. Buy into the same old sales pitch. Just don’t be surprised when the engine starts knocking.. again.