October 14, 2010
With the mid-term elections fast approaching, I thought this would be a good time to give my views on the state of the political landscape.
Let me start by saying publically what I have been telling friends all year—if you are an incumbent, you will not be getting my vote!
Politicians from both parties have made a mockery of our political process. I was taught as a child that in a democracy—the majority rules. But, no one notified our U.S. Senate because in order to get anything passed, you now need 60 votes (to end a filibuster).
I totally disagree with many things Obama and the Democratic congress have passed or attempted to pass, but if they get a majority (not a super majority) of the votes—they deserve to win. This includes judicial and other presidential appointments. Elections have consequences and to the victor goes the spoils.
I am not a supporter of using parliamentary tactics to obstruct the legislative process. I believe in taking your case directly to the American people and letting them have their say.
Political consultants have an axiom: “the masses are asses.” They will never admit this publically, but privately, that’s how they view voters.
Republicans tell voters, vote for me and I will repeal Obamacare. Well, that may sound nice, but next time you hear that from a candidate, I want you to ask a simple question. Ask him to tell you specifically how he will accomplish this. What Republicans won’t tell you is, even if legislation to repeal Obamacare passes both houses of congress, president Obama surely would veto the measure. So, when the Republicans don’t deliver on this promise there will be a voter backlash that will manifest itself during the 2012 elections. Republicans are setting themselves up for failure on this and a whole range of issues they won’t be able to deliver on.
Democrats, Obama specifically, tell voters Republicans drove the car in the ditch and now want the keys to car back. This is a statement of fact. But, let’s look a little deeper. When a person gets a divorce and then remarries, the last thing the new spouse wants to hear is what the previous spouse did to mess up the marriage. The new spouse is only concerned about making this marriage work. Obama needs to stop injecting Bush’s name when talking about the state of the economy. Obama wanted the job so he should fix the problem and stop blaming Bush. Democrats control the levers of power; therefore, they will get the credit or the blame come November.
Obama was elected, not to continue to give history lessons about how the country arrived at the position it’s currently is in; but rather to solve the problem. Obama and the Democrats have controlled the government for 2 years. One could argue that they have stopped the bleeding, but the wounds are not any better.
So, to both parties, give us a little truth in advertising. There are no easy answers to the problems facing this country. You can not reduce the deficit without cutting spending in entitlement programs (social security, medicare, etc.), reducing defense spending, or increasing taxes (or some type of combination).
If Republicans want to continue to cut taxes, how will they pay for it? What programs are they going to reduce to pay for them? If Democrats want to continue to create government programs, how will they pay for this expansion of government? What taxes are they going to raise or what programs will they cut to off set the spending?
To continue to borrow money for tax cuts or the creation of new programs is totally irresponsible. But politicians only do to us what we allow them to get away with.
We voters have become lazy and want to be told sweet nothings when the reality is that our country is in bad shape; and both parties are to blame. Voters get what they deserve. So, we must be what we are looking for. It’s not enough to vote and then to disengage. Once we vote, accountability begins. We are obligated to hold elected officials accountable for the votes they make. This is the ultimate free market exercise.
So, as you listen to candidates from both parties promise you the world; be mindful that with every choice, there is a consequence. The consequence of voting for more of the same is to get more of the same. Therefore, I will not be voting for any incumbents. This, my friend, is truth in advertising.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (www.excellstyle.com) & U.S. Africa Magazine (www.usafricaonline.com).