I’ve recently been made aware (via the usual emails, phone calls and polls) of SC Sen. Lee Bright’s campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in the upcoming South Carolina Republican primary. I’m not a big fan of Lindsey Graham, so I visited Sen. Bright’s website <www.brightforsenate.com>, naively hopeful, to check him out.
But . . . disappointment. Sen. Bright, like nearly all politicians these days, seems to be laser focused on “issues”. Unfortunately “issues” are not the real issue in our elections, or at least they shouldn’t be. Here’s the issues I have with “issues”.
Senator Bright’s campaign issues are: Immigration, Pro-Life, Taxes, Obamacare, National Security, Budget and Spending, Second Amendment, and Civil Liberties. (his website list)
If that list sounds familiar, well, that’s because most of these “issues” have been in the political campaigns of almost every candidate for any office for decades. Many of them are not issues for the federal government but should be addressed at the State and local levels. Some of them are of a nature that makes it unconstitutional for the federal government to even consider them.
Nevertheless, we-the-voters are passionate about our “issues”, and that gives the candidates an easy way to campaign. They just promise to fix our issues, we vote for them, and they go to Washington with our votes and our money in their pocket.
But they won’t fix anything. They will sponsor bills (which they know will never be passed and likely will never come to a vote), they will make speeches on the floor of the congress (to an empty house, after hours, just for the congressional record). Nothing will change.
Then, in the next campaign they will blame the other party for their failure and again promise to fix our issues. We will vote for them, they will go to Washington and the cycle will repeat, and repeat, and repeat.
In case you are unaware, we-the-voters have reelected 85%to 95% of our U.S. Representatives every election since 1964 < http://www.opensecrets.org > regardless of their performance or lack thereof. They do not fix “issues”, they cannot, they don’t want to, and they never will. We reelect them anyway.
So maybe we-the-voters should be smarter. Maybe we should stop voting for the federal candidates who promise to fix our pet issues and never do it. When was the last time you enthusiastically voted for a candidate of either party?
It’s been a long time for me. I almost always wind up not voting for anyone but against the worst of the candidates. The difference is usually small, and I leave the polls with a long-lasting sense of futility.
I would love to see a lot of Not-Democrat and Not-Republican candidates run for office. I would welcome rank amateurs and first-timers. I would vote for candidates who would ignore the issues, ignore the political parties and campaign hard to rebuild a truly reformed, constitutional government in Washington, D.C. How cool would that be.
So what if they don’t get enough votes to win. They might easily get enough to really rattle the Democratic and/or Republican parties, and the election after that would really be fun.
Ross Perot with his 1992 on-again, off-again third-party campaign got almost 20 % of the national vote, and the result was the Republican’s 1995 “Contract with America”. It made a big difference.
If we-the-voters could get out of our issues rut, we might finally get some real choices at the polls instead of the bad-or-worse situation we currently face in every election, and we could begin to make real progress in getting reacquainted with the U.S. Constitution. We too could make a big difference.
What about Issues? If we had a functional government the issues would be easy to handle, and the solutions would more likely be good ones. The States would handle the problems they are supposed to handle, we could keep the Feds out of it, and that’s the way it was meant to be. If you doubt that, you should refresh your understanding of the Constitution. If you want a Constitution refresher Try The Plain English Constitution for easy reading.