Join the Game

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 Maybe they can do “take-aways” regarding outdated and cumbersome laws that now fatten government at taxpayers’ expense and bog it down with process and no results.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.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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2 Responses to Join the Game

  1. Melissa says:

    “In Utah that generally means that you should support a democratic party candidate.” Remember that voting along democratic party lines on a state level has some negative consequences that can be felt on a nationwide level: Nancy Pelosi, for example. Being a democrat in Utah has an entirely different meaning than being a democrat in any other state in the union. Look into your candidates, as well as the consequences that would follow and agendas they promote.

  2. David says:

    In context, what I said was that backing rookies generally means supporting a democratic party candidate – that’s just a fact because the republican party candidates are usually the incumbents. (Not to mention the fact that I listed exceptions to that general rule in the same paragraph.)

    Also, the point of my post was aimed at the state legislature – I could pack the state legislature with all Democrats and it would have no effect on the House of Representatives (and hence Pelosi) – on the other hand, I could support all Republicans at the state level and a Democrat for congress and that would help Pelosi.

    The different levels of government must be viewed individually, not through one generic lens, because what we need at one level may not be what we need at another – the different levels of government are designed to serve different functions in society, that’s the whole point of federalism.

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