Sunday, March 09, 2014

Political Buyer's Remorse

Buyer’s remorse. It is that feeling of regret that you get after making a large purchase. It happens because of some small sense of guilt that you made a bad decision or perhaps that you should not have made the purchase at all but were somehow duped by the salesperson.

You can get it when you buy a car and find out that it doesn’t really have all of the features that you wanted but it was such a great deal you couldn’t pass it up. You can get when you buy a house and realize all of the problems that come with home ownership but at the time it seemed like owning a home would be so grown up.

We as Americans have a really hard time passing up that deal that is just too good to pass up. Salesmen are good at that sort of thing. Making something you don’t really need seem like something you just can’t do without.

But do we ever think about the buyer’s remorse we can get from voting for someone and that person turns out to be a completely different person than who we thought we were voting for?

Some people, for instance, regret having voted for Barack Obama in 2008 because they thought he was going to end the abuses of the Executive Branch and of Washington DC in general. They thought he was going to change the face of politics as we know it. But after he hoodwinked millions of people, it was business as usual in the Oval Office.

Dave (aka Lefty) from Oklahoma Lefty wrote in July 2009 in his article Another Failed Promise:
”During the campaign Barack Obama promised to refrain from using signing statements…Well guess what folks? Our Commander-in-Chief went back on his promise and issued a signing statement…”
So there you have it. Classic buyer’s remorse. America bought into his rhetoric and took him for his word. The country was immediately found to be left wanting.

But it doesn’t even have to be a large-scale national election like the Presidential election to get this feeling of buyer’s remorse. It can happen at even the smallest of levels of government.

Take the Oklahoma gubernatorial election of 2010 for instance. Conservatives rallied behind Mary Fallin and held her up as the queen of conservative values. She was elected with 60% of the vote. But many in her own party today, although most of them will not admit it, do not like the way she has misused her executive authority or her administration in general. Another example of buyer’s remorse.

Another example close to home here in Oklahoma. James Lankford ran for Congress in 2010 on a platform of not being the status quo. He was going to change Congress by not being one of the guys and going up there to Washington DC and setting those people straight. And the people of the 5th Congressional District of Oklahoma bought it. 62% of the people who voted in that election were deceived. Look at his tenure as a U.S. Representative. Is there anything different about him? How does he stand apart from any other typical Congressman? He doesn’t. So much for standing apart from the status quo. Oklahomans were duped again.

How can we keep from getting political buyer’s remorse? One can only be so informed about a political candidate without knowing what his or her true intentions are. You can only read so many interviews and listen to so many speeches to get an idea of what you think a candidate stands for and whether or not he or she holds the same values as you do.

But being informed in the first place would be a good start. Stop electing people purely on name recognition. Pay attention to what people are doing.

If the person has held office before, dig in and read about how that person voted on issues that are important to you. If what they are saying and what they have done in the past does not equate, then you know that what they are saying in order to get your vote is codswallop.

If the person has never held a political office, go to their speaking engagements and talk to them. Ask the right questions. The key is to know what questions to ask. Just as important is making sure that the questions you ask this person are very specific. Politicians are very good at generalizing things. Your

job is to make sure they can’t generalize about a topic you are concerned with.

This is how you can keep from getting buyer’s remorse. Make sure you know the candidate forwards and backwards before you end up electing the wrong person.

But you also need to know how to “cure” buyer’s remorse. What do you are sold the wrong bill of goods and don’t want that person that duped you from getting away with it? That task is simple.

First, DON’T’ VOTE FOR THEM AGAIN! If they misled you once don’t think for a second that they are not going to try it again. They will. What does every politician want ever worse than getting elected? Getting RE-ELECTED. That person has had a taste for the power that they were given. They absolutely don’t want to give that up. And in most cases, they want to try their chances at getting more power and getting into an even more powerful elected office. And you can bet your sweet butt that this person is going to do everything they can to try to keep your vote. They will tell you the same lies that they told you to steal your vote in the first place and then they will make up new lies if you call them on the lies they made in the first place. They will have excuses as to why they did something that you did not approve of. It might sound convincing. But remember, this person is trying to keep a job they should not have had in the first place.

Next, you have to make sure that others that were led to believe this person was the latest greatest thing not to vote for them again either.

People are too afraid to talk to others about politics because they think it is a taboo subject and they are worried about offending somebody. However, isn’t it even more offensive to end up with an elected official that is a complete windbag and an overall disgusting sack of cow dung? I find that much more unpleasant than having to spend a couple of minutes in a possibly uncomfortable discussion with a friend or relative in an attempt to explain to them why this person was not the best choice.

When election time comes, you really have to weigh your options. And you have to weigh them very carefully. Look at everybody in the field, regardless of political party. This country and the people of this country have risen above political parties, even though they may not know it. It is not about the letter behind somebody’s name. It is about what they stand for and whether or not they will take this country or your particular state on the

right path. Make sure you know as much as you humanly can about this person.

And if, after carefully weighing all of your options, you don’t find anybody worth voting for, run for office yourself. Who knows where you stand on the issues and would act on your political philosophy better than yourself?

The government wasn’t always run by career politicians. It used to be run by people who wanted to get something done and agreed to serve their country or their state. These were regular people. Farmers. Teachers. Soldiers. Scientists. They were not people whose education and lives were completely devoted to the next political election. There is no reason that politics today cannot be the same. We just need more people out there willing to do it.

Don’t get political buyer’s remorse anymore! Know who you are voting for. Stop people from voting for the wrong person. Run yourself if there are no viable options. Turn this country around and eliminate the foul stench that has become modern politics from society.

Don’t buy a lemon and don’t buy the same bad lemon that you did the last time.

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