Reasons for Government Incompetence
This past summer and fall I have been performing my due diligence as a candidate and knocking on doors in my district. Over the last 20-plus years, I have knocked many doors for other candidates and for my own prior attempts to gain elected office. Today the tide favors the challenger, but when will it change?
Just like each prior election cycle there are still the little old ladies, who try to talk through the closed storm door, and the old guys who answer the door in their underpants and tattered robe. There are the same number of barking dogs, houses that smell like cat urine, and homes that bellow clouds of second-hand smoke when opening the door. However, today the conversations are different.
The general theme at the doors is disgust with government and disappointment with elected officials on all levels of government…most distinguishes little difference. The people in Baltimore County are not very happy with business as usual in Annapolis – or in our nation's capitol. I could finance at the gubernatorial level if I had a five-dollar bill for every person who threatened to vote against every incumbent – but history proves that won't happen.
Citizens are unhappy but are not armed with facts. They just know they have been taken advantage of and lied to about lots of issues – yet, if history repeats itself, by Election Day they will march to the polls voting in herd mentality based on the situation of that specific day or time period.
Tuesday Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli lost, but not before closing a huge gap in the polls. He was out-spent by gigantic margins; however, the tide of the current national news was in his favor. Obamacare roll out is a failure and questions surrounding what the president knew and reasons why he lied about what he knew helped immeasurably – another day or two of bad press for the White House and Mr. Cuccinelli would have likely won.
Elections cost money because money is communication, which is needed because few people pay attention to the day-to-day of the political world. Typically they want to believe the person (or party) they elected is doing a good job and unless proven differently that is what they believe.
Currently the economy and the media are telling everyone both in Annapolis and in Washington that the country is not going in the right direction. The government shutdown, failed roll-out of Obamacare, the president's henchmen trying to explain prior promises, Annapolis passing the rain tax, wind tax and regulating firearms all feed into public perception of wrongheaded government – but we as a people are political masochists.
By November 2014 the angst of today will be ancient history. Wiley incumbents will have hunkered down through the storm of 2013 and added to their war chests. By Spring 2014 campaign literature will be flying and those who did prior evils will be shown smiling with community leaders and huddled with children on thousands of pieces of glossy literature – their voting records nowhere to be found.
Then the November Election Day miracle will occur. The lady from behind the door, or those folks with the barking dogs, won't remember their added rain tax paid in July. They won't remember all the complaints about not being represented or the comments about "crooked politicians." They will look at the 10 mail pieces sent by the well-financed incumbent received in the past 10 days and remember he was nice and smiled through the closed storm door.
Perhaps they’ll remember the challenger's nice smile too, but he only sent three pieces of mail, and they were full of boring facts about the incumbent and little about himself. The decision will be made…that the challenger must not be doing a good job if he can only send three mail pieces. They will once again vote for incumbency, erring on the side of multiple glossy mail pieces and same party registration.
To many, this will be the final Election Day decision…it is why we have incompetence in government.