When we recognize that most “news” is really entertainment it’s easy to see that politics is really a sport. John Florez is absolutely right in saying It’s time we all join the game and back some rookies. Assuming that more people actually join the game sometime before election day John suggests:
Maybe this time voters will elect those candidates who will work in the public’s interest rather than being influenced by special interest money; and who will concentrate on exercising their “oversight responsibilities” — monitoring and enforcing the laws they pass — that incumbents have ignored. Maybe they can do “take-aways” regarding outdated and cumbersome laws that now fatten government at taxpayers’ expense and bog it down with process and no results.
Until voters stop reading incumbent’s mailings and start rooting for those who really believe government belongs to the people, the lobbyists will continue making their “drops” and make government work for them. Unless voters consider legislative candidates who take their oversight responsibilities seriously, rather than allowing them to write more laws, our government will get fatter. Voters who keep voting for the same team without looking at the player’s performance become part of the problem. Accountability is trash talk unless someone is there to make sure things get done and there are consequences.
Even if many voters take the time to get informed and participate in the process it’s possible that many incumbents would win and return to the seats they already hold. It’s all too easy for each incumbent to blame “the system” or their fellow legislators (especially those in the other party) for any existing problems that the voters see. That is why the invitation to “back some rookies” is important. In Utah that generally means that you should support a democratic party candidate. The only exceptions would be if there is some reason why the democratic candidate is not qualified for the position they are running for, or if there is a rookie on the Republican side of the race. If there are two qualified rookies then any vote you are comfortable with is a good vote, otherwise give preference to any rookie who looks like they are up to the job they are seeking over any incumbent.
We need to establish a pattern of voters kicking out incumbents (it’s not good enough to just have a regular turnover of incumbents retiring) so that candidates who win (thus becoming incumbents) will have a large incentive to be responsive to the voters rather than the party or anyone with deep pockets.