Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mid-Term Elections

What has struck me most about mid-term elections is how predictably cyclical they have become. Invariably, when our nation decides that a sitting president deserves a second term they will vote in an oppositional legislative branch two years later. This happened to Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama.

The speeches are the same. The newly-empowered party will announce the mid-term victories as a repudiation of both the sitting president’s policies and party by the American people. This momentum will last for a few years until the pendulum of popular opinion swings back the other direction and we decide that we were better off with whatever we had before. The minority party will then be dissected by political commentators as “out of touch” until the majority party makes enough mistakes to disgust a sizable portion of the electorate.

Even as partisan as our world has become, it still seems as though we are scared of letting either party hold the reigns for too long. Perhaps we theorize that a lengthy Republican rule would lead to compulsory gun ownership and pre-marital abstinence while a lengthy Democratic regime would transform the populace into lazy pot-heads who exist on government subsidies. The truth is that many people find moderates to be attractive candidates because we don’t like extremes.

We find the idea of “convenience” late-term abortions repulsive, but aren’t heartless enough to pretend that a mother of two choosing between cancer treatment for herself and the life of her fetus fall into the same category.

We support the idea of gun-ownership, but don’t believe the second amendment allows Uncle Cooter to purchase anti-aircraft rockets at a flea market.

We yearn for peace, but are not naive enough to believe all manifestations of tyranny can be stopped by economic sanctions and symbolic resolutions.

We believe that there should be consequences for your actions, but find it untenable when those consequences are proportional to your socioeconomic class.

We agree that our immigration system is broken, but haven’t forgotten that much of our nation’s strength derives from cultural and ethnic diversity of its people.

We want our government to provide the services it is tasked with (infrastructure, defense, and regulation) but we are tired of seeing our tax dollars squandered away on Congressional pet-projects and studies on hamster migration.

Even my own state ratified a paradoxical mix of moral imperatives. We further restricted abortions while expanding the availability of gambling and alcohol. One might even argue that making it more convenient to procure wine and less convenient to deal with unwanted pregnancy borders on entrapment.

The fact that all of these measures enjoyed popular support on the same ballot was somewhat bewildering to me. Voters wish to see more libations and roulette wheels but less abortion clinics. I say that not because they are necessarily related, but because such a mixture would be unthinkable as a single candidate’s platform.

Can you imagine running as the staunchly “pro-life, pro-liquor, and pro-let it ride” nominee? It would be excruciating just to decide where to hold you rallies. You would probably offend half your supporters just by showing up to events. There you are, apologizing to the Nevada gaming commission because the altar-call ran long at the Southern Baptist pro-life conference. Thus is the life of a politician I guess. I am still trying to find a representative willing to deport Honey Boo-Boo as a cultural-terrorist. 

1 comment:

  1. I hold all the views you mentioned but I'm not running for office. I absolutely see the humor in the seeming dichotomy. However, being pro life for babies and pro choice on things that only affect an individual, shouldn't really be that hard for people to understand. People won't agree but they should be able to grasp understanding. Good post, it made me laugh, but I hope this gives people understanding too.


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