Doing the same thing and expecting change

I find it interesting that there seems to be a disconnect in people’s minds when it comes to government and the election process. Being somewhat apolitical, I rarely think about these things, but around election time, it’s difficult to ignore. As the number of fear-based ads designed to stampede us into voting the way the people funding the ads want increase, it gets really interesting. If I ask my republicrat or demopublican friends how they feel about government, invariably they say they have been quite unhappy with it for a very long time. Here is where it gets interesting. If you ask them how they are going to vote, they look at you as if you were crazy and say with their respective parties.

They never seem to question the fact they have been voting this way for a very long time, getting results they really don’t like. One would think there would be some alarm bells going off about this behavior, but somehow it goes unnoticed. Perhaps it’s time to question this idea of party and the lockstep compliance this affiliation asks of us. People I talk with really want things to improve, yet they continue to vote in the same two-party pattern that keeps providing the exact same results. The parties happily pour millions of dollars into the scare campaigns designed to keep them voting in this cognitively dissonant manner. Never mind that the exact same sources fund both sides, assuring that no substantive change ever happens.

What can we do about this? Something/anything different, obviously. Just looking at who we have been electing can give us some clues. Somehow, these same guys keep getting elected. One way I see to make things change is by voting for women whenever possible. This alone could help shift the old balance that has kept government so pathetic for so long. Government seems stuffed full of well-fed business types and ex-lawyers, predominantly male. This invariably takes government in a certain direction. Women aren’t perfect but they do usually have different more nurturing priorities.

Anything we can do really that gets the same old paternalistic mindset out of the process. There are a lot of new faces in this election. Shouldn’t we give them a shot at changing things? Or perhaps vote the straight party ticket and have no chance for any meaningful change. You’re in charge.

Don Hoover,