The Formula For Getting Elected
By Michael A. Matteo
Another election day has come and gone and Americans have, once again, taken out their frustrations at the ballot box by voting against party members who are of the same party affiliation of those holding power in Washington.
In the 1994 election Republicans gained a majority in the House of Representatives with a 54 seat swing. It was the first time Republicans had a majority in the house since 1954! Why did this happen? Part of it was Newt Gingrich’s “contract with America” which capitalized on the public’s perception that House leadership was corrupt and also as a response to President Clinton’s failed attempts at gun control and universal health care legislation.
Last year, Democrats regained control of the legislature and executive branches, not because they were the best choice, but largely as America’s reaction to a bad economy and an unpopular war that occurred under the Bush administration.
The vacillation from party to party by Americans is largely because both parties have lost touch with what Americans want and need. The public has grown tired of the constant jockeying for position of professional politicians who are always trying to sell them on some issue while demonizing those on the other side of the aisle. Voters don’t see candidates any longer; they see political parties and react to the party in power negatively. Therefore, the best strategy for winning an election appears to be quite simple: wait for the other party to take control of Washington and run for office.
Perhaps one-day incumbents will get the message and start using the following campaign slogan:
“The measure of whether I earned your vote is the job I did, and not the shortcomings of “leaders” in the opposing party.”
Until that happens people will continue to vote against politicians instead of for them and that is a sad commentary of the present electoral system.
Mike Matteo is a resident of Tampa, Florida where he was a public and private high school teacher who taught classes in economics, history, psychology and philosophy. Mike has written twenty full-length feature screenplays, has taught screenwriting at the University of South Florida. He has also written or co-authored three books and is currently producing and directing a stage play that he wrote. E-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.