March 3, 2024

Try Something Else

Spectator
By Stephen Tuttle | Nov. 25, 2023

We need a political reboot.

The latest data and polling analysis from Statista found the approval rating of Congress at a stunningly low 13 percent. Yet we keep sending the same people of whom we think so little back to their cushy jobs in Washington, D.C., where they will continue to do almost nothing.

Okay, that’s not completely fair. The current Congress did make some feeble progress with environmental law; added more funding for STEM programs in public schools; undertook endless investigations of each other, administration officials, and their families; and have twice kicked the budget down the road with temporary continuing resolutions.

It has been a long time since we can point to significant legislation that actually helped working men and women (though Democrats would point to the massive $369 billion Inflation Reduction Act that included a host of incentives to help combat climate change and some lowering of some prescription drugs). But, really, investigating each other as part of the rankest partisanship we’ve seen in decades is what they most enjoy and that benefits none of us.

Our opinion of those at the top of the political food chain is little better. A CNN poll in late September indicated 67 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents did not want President Joe Biden to run for re-election at all. They will vote for him but would prefer he not run. The reason given most often, by a wide margin, was his age.

If you think that must be good news for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, think again. Fully 70 percent of all voters don’t want him to run, including 44 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. He’ll get those votes anyway, but a small but significant number—about 9 percent—of Trump voters say they will not vote for him if he’s convicted of a felony, and there are 91 different chances for that to happen.

Congress doesn’t do much, and we really, really don’t approve of them. And we don’t want the two men who will likely be the presidential candidates to be running at all, so we’re going to need a clean slate for our political reboot. We’ll start by eliminating those espousing foolishness.

On the Republican side, anyone denying the results of the 2020 and/or 2022 elections is disqualified. The 2020 election, especially, was the most recounted, examined, and audited in history, and the results kept coming up the same. No fraud or irregularities were ever found that would have changed the outcome of the presidential election or down ballot contests.

We’ll also eliminate any Republican who believes or has regurgitated any QAnon or other conspiracy theory, anyone who refers to an investigation as a “witch hunt,” and anyone who complains about the “weaponization of the government.” (The parts of the government that investigate folks, federal law enforcement, and intelligence agencies are weapons.)

On the Democrat side, we’ll start by eliminating anyone who claims to be a Democratic Socialist. Please. There is nothing democratic about socialism, and there is no evidence socialism has ever worked as a governing system.

We’ll also eliminate any Democrat who still yammers away about defunding the police, an absurd idea to begin with; anyone from either party sympathetic to Hamas, Hezbollah, or any other terrorist organization; anyone who has used racist or antisemitic tropes in previous campaigns; and anyone under felony indictment or who will be 80 years old to start the next term.

We’re now hearing claims that Joe Biden has cognitive issues though his malapropisms and lost trains of thought aren’t much different now than in the past. Biden often talks faster than he thinks and, in his own words, can be a “gaffe machine.” But Biden is not the only presidential candidate with cognitive issues.

In addition to his willingness to spew untruths, the “stable genius” that is Donald Trump is having himself quite a month. While campaigning in Sioux City, Iowa, he kept referring to the place as Sioux Falls, which is in South Dakota. He referred to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban as the president of Turkey and claimed Hungary shares a border with Russia, though the nearest point is nearly 800 miles away. Not yet done, Trump then claimed Orban told him Barack Obama should resign so Trump could be president, a tough task since Obama is not president and Trump is not vice president. He also claimed North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is the leader of 1.4 billion people, though North Korea’s population is about 26 million.

Then there was his bizarre riff with the word “us.” He wondered, right out loud, if he was the first to “discover” it is spelled u-s. Probably not.

The point here is we can’t keep electing the same people we so disrespect and expect better results. Maybe we should try something else.

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