Thursday, November 10, 2011

Elections and “I Got a Rock”

Who said it?  This famous cartoon character came out every year with his friends on Halloween to “trick or treat” and while those tricker-treaters got everything from candy to quarters, this character continued to get the same thing, a rock.  Some people are calling the upcoming elections “trick or treat” all over again and it might not be that far from reality.  

Will Americans end up like Charlie Brown, with a bag full of rocks after the election for some of the same reasons?  We get a small dose of Halloween all year long.  The scariness of Halloween ghosts and goblins (demons and devils) or the thought of Jason showing up around every dark corner, might make some of us jump throughout the year.  But there are other scarier things than movies and imaginary characters that most adults think about.  It is the reality of life and voting result; that is scary.  Why does Charlie Brown continue to get rocks in his trick or treat bag?  Why do we continue to get rocks instead of representation?

The gridlock in Washington where all “bills” pass except something that supports the ordinary American, is so similar to Charlie Brown’s bag full of rocks.  When our representatives were voted into office they came from a very diverse background of businesses, lawyers, doctors, realtors, etc.  History confirms what they did before taking office has no real bearing on what results we receive as constituents.  It boils down to what we will accept from them.  It boils down to our questions to them of why and what do you plan to do next. 

Why did Charlie Brown always get rocks in his bag?  That answer is easy.  It’s the way the story was written.  But maybe after the second rock, Charlie Brown should have asked why.  Why do Americans continue to get rocks instead of congressional representation?  That answer is also easy.  It’s the way that we vote and follow-up after we vote.  We get short changed in Washington, state and local government because we continue to vote for the same type of people.  When we start getting rocks in our bags, we don’t ask why either, just like Charlie Brown.  Why don’t we ask why?

Why we don’t ask why is human nature.  We flash back in our minds to a time our representatives were in the community, sitting on the pew with us in church or even teaching Sunday school.  We flash back to visions of them being a good neighbor and businessman.  We have met, shook hands and been invited to many cook-outs sponsored by them.  We have received copies of their newsletters or e-mail alerts with sometimes one side of the issue (their side).  It’s the good memories that we recall.  All of these positive flashbacks are what leads us down the same path, time and time again.  Like Charlie Brown we end up with rocks.

Charlie Brown might not know why he keeps getting rocks put in his bag but you now know why we all get rocks, instead of representation.  If we put rocks into the voting machines than rocks will surely come out (rocks-in-rocks-out).  Don’t take my word for it; just think about it for a minute.  What does a rock do? 

Answer key for first and last questions:
-          Charlie Brown is the famous cartoon character created by Charles Schultz.
-          Nothing