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DAVIS: Stop the Insanity

April 18, 2014

Political pundits and candidates have often spoken of the "definition of insanity" as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." Mostly, the words are used to place an opponent in an unfavorable light. However, I feel it is a better description to what we are as voters.
We fall for the same tired slogans. We believe a candidate is going to "fight for us" or "protect seniors" or "stand for veterans." Each time we believe and each time we are let down.
So why do these slogans keep popping up? That's easy. We believe them and elections are won because we believe them. Ergo, we are guilty of the political definition of insanity.
These intentionally deceptive nuggets are so effective at reaching the targeted objectives that the candidates often believe they can actually do what they promise. I guess that's another example of insanity.
Don't get me wrong. There are many excellent people out there asking for your vote who can actually do what they say. The problem is, they are drowned out by the onslaught of talking points and marching orders from the central party office sent down to local levels in order to present a unified message to the entire country.
The problem is, much of the message this election cycle will involve policy that has nothing to do with a particular office, its responsibilities or function.
Obamacare, like it or hate it, is the club that candidates will use to bludgeon each other into oblivion and then stand proudly as the victor.
We, as voters, must ascertain the relevance of such an argument between candidates.
Does pointing out the fact that, as a Democrat, a candidate belongs to the party that passed a law to see what's in it, that killed job growth and drove up the cost of health care, have anything to do with the position of, say, mayor?
Does pointing out the fact that, as a Republican, a candidate belongs to the party of "no," has waged a war on women and is responsible for gridlock in Washington mark a candidate as unqualified for the position of, say, county judge?
The answer is a resounding, "Not only no, but….."
But enough voters will follow lock step and vote along the lines of the wider view, not the particular job view, to elect the candidate of the moment.
Pay attention to the messages being sent out by candidates. Regardless of the race and even in those that are non-partisan, it's easy to determine party affiliation in the messages sent out.
When the elections are over, the next level of insanity will be reached. We will complain about the winning candidate and his or her inability to follow through on all the campaign promises that persuaded our vote.
Perhaps this is where we can end the insanity. Stop complaining. We get the government we deserve. Next time, vote with rational thought, not like a lemming.
Things will be different the next election cycle. Right?

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