I received a postcard from my dentist last week. The last time I went to my dentist was about about 5 years ago.
When was the last time that the Republican or Democratic party sent you a postcard?
Never. Even worse, they don’t even post Happy Birthday on your Facebook wall. Now I know that is no reason to be angry at political parties, but come on, my dentist didn’t even like me because my smile looked like it could have belonged to a demented clown.
But there is a key difference here, besides the fact that one has perfect teeth while the other lies straight through their teeth. The relationship between me and my dentist is a symbiotic one. I pay my dentist some cold hard cash, and then my dentist hacks away at my teeth with a chainsaw until they are aligned. It is a relationship that I admire because of the constant diligence and persistence that is required from both parties. It is the key ingredient in ensuring that bond we share is a healthy one. I need to make sure that I don’t mess up my teeth by binging in tubs of ice cream, and he needs a steady arm when he aims that chainsaw.
This is quite different from the parasitic relationship that is shared between the common individual and their political party. We can go to political parties meetings, we can donate to our respective political party, we can voice our support for them…and in return we are asked to turn around as they bring out a tube of lube.
When you vote at the polls, do you know each and every representative and what their voting records are on different issues? Or like 99% of Americans, do you just vote down the line of candidates based on if they have a (D) or (R) by their name? I’m not talking about big political positions like President or Governor, but how about Board of Trustees or Councilmen? Especially if you live in heavy red or heavy blue districts, where it seems to be a forgone conclusion as to who will win. I don’t blame you for doing so, being engaged in the political process is tiring, and sometimes seems pointless. This is the harsh reality that exists today.
But what incentive do these political parties then have to cater to your interest? By freely giving away your vote to candidates like candy or blindly supporting candidates based on their party, the system will lack the accountability that is essential to maintaining transparency and efficiency. Political parties currently act like a transportation hub of corruption that carries voters to policy positions which act against the interests of these very same voters. Instead, political parties should be amorphous blobs that capable of changing based on the interests of voters. Political parties should not be engrained with specific positions based on the volition of politicians, but by those of the people.
So what to do? The answer isn’t to not vote, but it may be to cautious when voting. Why automatically vote for a Republican or a Democrat or someone from the Legalize Marijuana Now Party? If you dissatisfied with the state of affairs in your own political party, feel free to vote the opposing party without qualms, even if you don’t fully agree with thee opposing parties positions. After consideration, you may still end up voting for the political party you have always voted for, but at the very least don’t automatically give them that vote. It is the responsibility of the political party to convince you why you should vote for them, not your responsibility to vote or advocate for a political party.
Specific races, genders, religious organizations, and others have steady percentages of what portion of their population vote for a specific candidate. The reason that you may vote the way you do may be because you are a member of such group. Political parties rely on these trends to access how actively they need to campaign for the vote of these specific groups. If they know you are more likely to vote in that parties direction, the party will assume that they can safely rely on your vote and direct their attention to other groups that may be indecisive. This leads to them purposing political positions to help these groups in the middle, and not those that they can safely rely on for votes.
While this change in your mentality might seem minute, it is actually your greatest weapon in gaining closer to your individual interests. If enough elections are lost by the party, the party will be forced to change in a direction that best suits your needs. Constantly winning elections without repercussions(especially at a local level) allows parties to be disinterested in achieving the best possible solutions for the people.
Having a representative of the opposing party may seem like that is the end of the world, but it’s not. The constant demonization of the opposing political parties is what contributes to this fear that the world might end. It is a tactic which they use to maintain their political power and garner votes for their party.
If people were aware of what political power they truly had- the system would change dramatically. True change could actually be implemented that benefits the lives of millions and millions of people. It will require active participation by these people….. but then again…….who needs that when you have cat videos on youtube?
Excuse me while I go watch one.