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How do we get off the hamster wheel?

February 1, 2017

There’s only so much you can write about the obvious.

Trump fulfills yet another campaign promise, Dems predict apocalypse, actors cry, news programs report on obviously pre-written political comments, California threatens but doesn’t promise to secede, yada, yada, yada.

Enough already! Change the names and this is so predictable it’s sickening.

Ever watched a hamster running on those little wheels? They seem to almost be hypnotized by the act of getting on the wheel. Once on, they just go round and round, running as hard and fast as they can, before getting a bite to eat, a nap, and doing it all over again.

Just like pundits and politicians, it’s a self-contained lifecycle for the hamster.  What will it take for us to stop acting like hamsters?

Whatever it is, it doesn’t appear we’ve quite got the answer yet. We’ve had one-party rule for the past eight years, and now we will have one-party rule for the next two to eight years.

It makes you want to compel the two sides to deal with each other, by force if necessary.

The 2016 election may have changed the faces, but it didn’t really change the effect.

Much has been made of the myth of the popular vote vs. the electoral vote, but the really pivotal number is all those people that didn’t vote.

It happened again yesterday when a local reporter in the northeast was interviewing a student who had all the liberal talking points down pat. It was maybe a 30-second clip at best.

Almost as an afterthought the reporter asked who the student voted for, and the answer was “Nobody,  I didn’t vote.”


If you go by the on-screen interviews, it appears that most of those people reside among the left.

That’s probably a type of bias in itself, but according to a compilation spreadsheet reporting figures for the 2016 general election on one website, the disconnected still comprised 40% of those categorized as the voting-eligible population or VEP.

Editor’s sidenote:  There are a lot of “studies” out there.  I chose this one because it separated out those people ineligible to vote from the total voting age population, and the author indicates that it is updated to maintain accuracy as new data becomes available.

According to that study, known as the United States Election Project, compiled by Michael P. McDonald and accessed January 31, 2016,  there were  231,556,622 people who could have voted, but only roughly 60% did so, and some of those didn’t even vote for the top of the ticket at all.

So, when one side or the other says it “won the popular vote” that doesn’t mean the vote itself represented everyone and that makes the whole discussion irrelevant.

What is it going to take to get the other approximately 92.6 million people to participate and why does it matter?

It matters because an awful lot of people who when asked say they didn’t vote, yet still think their opinion applies to the present situation.

The very first question any interviewer should ask is “did you vote and if not why ?”

If the answer is no and there is no good reason, then just move on. From an operational standpoint the person’s opinion today is irrelevant, in terms of their effect upon the outcome.

That’s not to say the actual people are irrelevant, but there is a lot of truth to the old adage, “if you didn’t vote, you don’t get to complain.”

Maybe the answer to the title question is…throw away the political hamster wheel. Or to put it more clearly, stop talking to people who didn’t even care enough to make a decision last November.

From → op-ed

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