Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Observations

Every election, people complain that money has too much influence on politics, and then they spend even more on the next election.

Every election, people say the electoral college should be abolished and we should have direct elections, and then no one does anything about it.

Every election, Republican and Democratic candidates claim to be independent of their parties, but they never run as independents.

Every election, voters complain that the filibuster and other Senate procedural rules stifle debate, and then they reelect Senators who continue to follow the same rules.

Every election, people tell the pollsters that they want change, and then they reelect nearly all the incumbents.

Every election, whichever party is in the minority in its state legislature or in the U.S. House of Representatives complains that the Speaker of the House has too much power to suppress legislation that is proposed by members of their minority, and then if they gain a majority, they elect a Speaker to wield as much power as possible to suppress legislation that is proposed by members of the other party, which is now in the minority.

Every election, TV commentators complain that the rules for televised debates are too restrictive, and every year they televise the same types of debates.

Every election, some politician gets caught on tape saying something offensive, and the next election politicians try harder to keep audio and video recorders out of their events and to catch their opponents on tape saying something offensive.

Every election, candidates spend months bragging about themselves, and if they win, they tell us how humble they are.

Every election, candidates promise to run positive and clean campaigns. Then they attack their opponents and complain that their opponents' retaliatory attacks are dirty politics.

Every election, candidates say they want to represent all their constituents but put most of their effort into getting members of targeted ethnic, sex, religious, and other demographic groups to support them.

Every election, in their victory speeches, winning candidates thank the volunteers who tirelessly walked door-to-door and made phone calls for them. These candidates never thank the smaller group of lobbyists, party bosses, and large donors who were essential to their campaigns. Those thank-yous are made off-camera.

Every election, losing candidates promise to continue to work in their communities on the issues that the people who supported them think are important. Do they?

Every election, news commentators spend more time predicting which candidates will win than talking about the issues. Then the commentators complain that the candidates aren't talking about the issues.

Every election, people who know nothing about how government runs say we should elect them because they know how business runs.

Every election, exhausted volunteers swear they will never work on another campaign. Every year, they are the first to get involved.

Every election, people ignore what the candidates are saying, then the day before the election they ask a friend who is involved in politics who they should vote for.

Every election, people who have never worked on a campaign show up at candidates' offices and ask for high-level jobs running the campaigns.

Every election, some candidates pledge to not accept money from special interests. Guess what they do?

Every election, the map of red and blue states looks a lot like a map showing which states were on which side in the Civil War.

Every election, voters who threatened to move to Canada forget to move.

Every election, we are told it is the most important election in our lifetimes.

Every election, nearly as many people don't vote as vote.

Every election, someone writes a list like this one.

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