As we near the primary election in Maryland I wanted to share with you my thoughts on elections.
Every two years national elections are held where all seats are up for grabs in the House and one third of the Senate seats are up for grabs. The crème de la crème is every four years when there is also a presidential election. On the whole the voters mindset is a “just get my guy in mentality”. I have a different view on that mindset. I call it the Animal House mindset.
If you recall the classic National Lampoon movie Animal House there is a scene near the beginning of the movie where pledges are being accepted into fraternities. The scene is where Kevin Bacon is dressed in his underwear, bent over grabbing his ankles, and is being smacked on the rear end with a wooden paddle. After each swat Kevin Bacon says, “thank you sir, may I please have another”.
Well this is the mindset of the American voter when it comes to national elections, especially presidential elections. Every two years the voter endures another “swat” if you will and comes back two years later for more abuse. Bent over, hands firmly grasping their ankles, American voters say “thank you sir, may I please have another” as they cast their vote for this cycle’s savior du jour.
Many voters follow the party line. They vote for their party’s nominee. Blind faith to party politics and ideology covers 60 to 80 percent of all votes cast. Some voters are single issue voters. Others vote according to race, gender, or some other random characteristic that has absolutely nothing to do with a candidate’s qualifications. Yet others vote based on how much government handouts and freebies they believe they’ll receive.
What troubles me is this same scene repeats itself every two years. The country is on the wrong path. The country needs to be turned around. This person or that party is the savior du jour. It is platitudes not principles that win the day. Lies and deceptions routinely triumph over truth and honesty. Too many see themselves as rulers and not leaders. Too many see the people as subjects and not as citizens. And, election cycle after election cycle voters fall for the same old dog and pony show.
Mind-numbingly, voters make their way to polling places. Stand in front on an electronic voting machine and vote for most electable, or the most polished and charismatic, or the chap with the largest bank roll. What the voter really gets out of this is another good smack on their bottom. To which they say, “thank you sir, may I please have another”.
This begs the question, what precisely are you voting for? Are you voting for people? Are you voting for personalities? Are you voting for party? In my opinion, voters should be voting for principles.
Which begs the question, what principles? Which freebies will government provide us? Will the person continue the entitlement Ponzi schemes known as Social Security and Medicare? Will the person support legislation like the Patriot Act or the National Defense Authorization Bill under the auspices that they are keeping me safe?
No, the principles I’m referring too are our founding principles. A just government derives its powers from the consent of the governed. We have certain unalienable rights endowed upon us by our Creator. Government is instituted to better secure our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Whenever government is destructive to those ends, it is the right, the duty, to alter or abolish the government and institute a new government. Our rights of conscience, speech, assembly, self-defense, and to contract are to be exercised freely without government coercion and dominion. Simply to live free from tyranny and despotism reigned down upon us by the very government instituted to preserve these ideals. The union was founded upon these immutable and transcendent principles. The Constitution embraces these principles through federalism and constitutionally limited government.
This year, when you are casting your vote, are you voting for principles or something else? Are you voting for people that will obey and uphold the Constitution or for people that still violate the Constitution but happen to be more palatable to your particular tastes?
Ultimately it is your decision. I suspect many of you will return two years later murmuring to yourselves “thank you sir, may I please have another”.