Quiet, quiet, quiet! Don’t move, don’t speak, don’t even breathe! It’s too fragile!
People, a phenomenal thing has happened. We The People are in agreement. We, who are stuck in the eye of the dysfunctional storm that has become our Congress, are, for one precious, incredible moment in time, united.
Let’s not screw it up.
The last time we had this much unity, a Revolutionary War began. If we don’t squander our coalition cobbled from discontent, another American Revolution could start, but this time, without any bloodshed. This sudden alignment is a fine, precious bubble and if we don’t handle it with extreme care, it will burst.
Last week, I reported that, according to polls, Congress had only a 10 percent approval rating amongst average Americans. As of Oct. 7, according to the Washington Post, that number has dropped to 5 percent.
Holy wowsers. Just when I thought we couldn’t hate Congress any more — we did.
The story cites the Associated Press-GfK survey, which indicates than 95 percent of us disapprove of Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike — the whole kit and caboodle. Ninety-five percent. That is extraordinary — not only in its historic low, but because 95 percent of Americans don’t agree on anything, let alone politics.
The survey notes that the poll results indicate a “throw the bums out” sentiment, and although Democrats fare slightly better than Republicans, the results are pretty much “Stinky and Stinkier.” Everyone’s holding their nose.
Do you blame President Obama for the gridlock and government shutdowns? Republicans? Democrats?
Maybe we’re asking the wrong question. The issue isn’t who is to blame, it’s what: partisanship.
This “party before country” mentality is the toxic root of this mess. It’s a disaster. It can’t be fixed. Our house is irreparably divided, it has fallen and it’s in shambles. The only option left is to clear out the rubble and rebuild. It’s time to call in the clean up crew: You and me. Us. All of us. How? By parlaying our delicate 95 percent unity into actual power. It won’t cost a dime, and it’s simple. It’s called “voter registration.” Specifically, it’s called “No Party Preference.”
I’ve climbed up onto my “Decline to State” soapbox before, and shouted my lungs out, but now I’m hollering: Dump your party!
I got fed up with the whole political dog and pony show just after the 2008 election, abandoned the Democratic Party and became a Decliner. It was my formal declaration that my only political alliance is to myself. The Party of I, Me, Mine. Period.
As a Decliner, my mailbox is no longer clogged with an obscene amount of party-fueled junk mail. I am free to vote for whomever I want. The Democratic party can no longer assume blind loyalty from me. If they want my vote, they’ll have to earn it. And yes, I’d vote for a Republican candidate without hesitation, if they represented my views best.
The only difference I’ve detected so far after becoming a Decliner was that the Republican party refused to let Decliners choose Republican ballots in the last primary election. No big whoop. I used the Democrat ballot. So did a whole lot of people. According to the Associated Press-GfK survey website, one-third of the respondents identified themselves as “independent.”
Way to shoot yourselves in the foot, RNC — by turning away Decliners/independents, any moderate candidates that might have emerged (and won) were swamped by the Nut Wing of the Right Wing.
In a general election, however, Decliners get the same ballot as everyone else. Same voice, same vote. You can vote Republican or Democrat to your little heart’s content. The difference is that they can’t count on your vote anymore.
The AP story further notes, “Neither party can win without the support of independents.” That’s at 33 percent. Imagine if it was 95. Imagine if the 95 percent that disapproves of Congress refuses to participate in partisanship any longer. No more Red or Blue loyalty. Only Red, White and Blue loyalty.
What’s going on in Washington right now isn’t a Republican problem or a Democrat problem. It’s an American problem. We’ve been brainwashed by this Red Team vs. Blue Team super fan mentality into believing that we have to participate in this game. We don’t. We can get up and leave, and throw our Red or Blue jerseys into the corner as we leave the stadium. A mass exodus from both sides of the stadium means … no game.
We. Are. Done.
To leave the stadium, just re-register, either online or the old-school way. In Yolo County, go to www.yoloelections.org/ and click on the “Register to Vote” button. It zips you right over to the State of California online voter registration page. Outside of California, just search for “voter registration” in your county or state. In California, “Decline to State” is now called “No Party Preference.” Other than the name, everything else is the same.
“But, what if the RNC acts like a bunch of lunkheads”… (redundancy yours) … “in the primaries, and I want to vote Republican?” No worries. Just re-register Republican before the deadline, vote and switch back afterwards. However, if we all leave the stadium, the RNC will surely allow independents to vote in their primaries. They can’t win if they ignore 95 percent of the population. If they do, their party’s fate will rest in the hands of the 5 percent that currently approves of Congress. Translation: 2016 Republican bloodbath. I don’t think the RNC is that stupid. If they are, they get what they deserve.
Forget the One Percent. There’s a new game in town: the 95 Percent. Ignore it at your own peril, politicians. See that pile of stinky old Red and Blue jerseys over there in the corner? Check it out: We The People are wearing nice, new Red, White and Blue ones, with a big NPP on the front. No, it doesn’t stand for “No Party Preference.” It stands for “Not Playing Politics.”
— Email Debra DeAngelo at firstname.lastname@example.org; read more of her work at www.wintersexpress.com and www.ipinionsyndicate.com