There are a lot of people in the country who have a horrible taste left in their mouth about the thought of a Trump (I could have inserted Clinton here just as easily) presidency, and frankly with good reason. He is kind of gross on a lot of fronts and an affront to the grand lie we always try talking ourselves out of; that we are reasoning beings.
It’s pretty clear that when 300M+ Americans have two choices that include Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump there is room for improvement. And pretty much everybody agrees with that. Unfortunately pretty much everyone has taken a detour because of a weird little thing that happens in our brain after an election, especially one where there was a legitimate upset, something nobody could have reasonably thought would be the final outcome.
I often say “success in politics is not the same as successful politics” because, well…it’s just axiomatic. And as true as it is, it’s also just as ignored. I blame sports.
In sport the “best” is necessarily determined by the outcome. To over simplify a bit; the objective of a game is to physically outperform an opponent. If your team wins that, in fact, defines who is better physically. The proof is in the pudding as it were.
In politics the machinations of an election (the game) are not operating in such a way that it churns out the best person
for the office they are running for. It means they are the best at getting the most votes…and how on earth does that align with the best interest of a constituency? It doesn’t, not in any way whatsoever, at least not necessarily. Anecdotally the only people I’ve ever heard say that elections are the best tool to prepare candidates for office are elected officials. Understandable, but…yea right!
Everyone blames politicians for their woes. This 2016 election was a movement against the “establishment” politicians but just look at what it takes to “win.” It takes an ability to cover and contort facts coupled with maybe an ability to raise more money. That’s who is winning American elections. Is it any wonder we’re getting people elected who we will later blame for not doing what is best for the country, State or municipality? Of course it’s not, we continue to blame the politicians and we continue to let ourselves be convinced that a win is proof that your candidate was the right choice. Post election the sins are forgiven and we’re asked to just “give ’em a chance.”
Hugo Chavez won his country’s popularity contest. Hooray hoorah! He also destroyed the lives of his countrymen all whilst they operated under the guise of his “win” as proof he was right. Nothing could have been further from the truth, clearly.
It is time we actually change the political process; Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Repeal the 17th Amendment
- Stop subsidizing political parties (both of them) by paying for the ‘elections’ they use to determine who they want to run in general elections. (Rank Choice Voting)
- Stop the protectionist practices of state statute protecting political parties.
At some point the “winner” needs to be ‘We the People’ not the elected officials.