We all know the cliche: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". If we know this and believe it to be true then when it comes to the election cycle we're definitely insane.
Every year we're bombarded with advertising that's mostly negative. We get our full share of speculation from the various media pundits and because we're special we get to hear the candidates debate issues that someone else decided were important for us to listen to. Then there's the telephone solicitations, bulk mailings, and if we're lucky the door to door visits. All of this leads up to the culminating event, Election Day.
And then what?
Candidates get elected, some of us are happy and some of us aren't. Then we sit back and wait another year for the cycle to begin again. In the meantime we complain that our elected officials aren't doing the job we elected them to do. Do we really think just voting for a candidate is enough? Are we being naive to expect them to do their job and get it done? We may not want to hear it but a career politician"s primary objective is to get reelected. It's the reason why they call themselves career politicians. Politics is their job and they don't want to be unemployed. This is why they stay in constant fundraising mode. They need to replenish the "war chest" for the next cycle.
We need to do a better job of holding our elected officials accountable. We must remind them that we're the ones who put them in office and the ones who can vote them out. We need to be actively involved in the political process.
Here are some things you can do:
We should not allow ourselves to become sheep who blindly follow our elected officials.
It starts now, let's get this thing done...
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.