Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Citizen of a Political No-Man's Land

The more involved I am in the political scene, the less I identify with partisan politics.

So it was a strange feeling today when I ran into a friend who was giddy-excited over the results of yesterday's elections. She gushed her sense of relief that nearly all of "her" candidates won, and the key candidate we had mutually hoped to lose actually did. I wasn't quite sure how to emotionally process what was coming across to me. I wasn't sad about the election results. But I couldn't get that excited over them, either. I suppose it is because elections don't change the direction of the country. Oh, elections have consequences, I do know that old saying is true. But the truth is, we won't know what those consequences are until those who have been elected start acting in office. Will my new Congressman respond personally to my letters? Will we see him in the district more than the outgoing one? Will he introduce legislation that I want to see introduced? Toward whom will he gravitate? Will he turn out to be power hungry and forget that his role is to represent, not engineer?

I don't know. I'll have to wait and see.

A few days ago I read a blog post by that I appreciated quite a bit, entitled What Will The Election Change? It included this gem:
We don't like talking about political personalities. They pretty much all stink.
And we think partisan politics is even worse. Parties are palliative to thought. They're toxic to discourse. They provide social proof that cognitive dissonance is just dandy, while logic and consistency are dangerously radical.
I'll admit that until just before the election, I was getting ready to throw in the towel on my "public" political involvement, to the extent that I lead a local Tea Party offshoot group. But DownsizeDC once again has re-encouraged me to consider that the important part of the political process is not who gets elected, but moving enough citizens to exert enough pressure on those who are elected -- whoever they are-- to consider the issues, to put forth the legislation, to open the dialogue and debate, so that laws can be passed that change the way things happen in Washington. Simple, common sense measures that would drastically change the way politics works, like the One Subject at a Time Act (where bills about health care can't change the statutes covering education loans) and the Read the Bills Act (so we don't have to pass bills to find out what is in them).

So, keep your excitement over the Republicans taking over. I would like common sense to take over. When I see that happening, I'll throw a party.

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