Pendulum of Insanity

I’ve changed my mind about voting for moderates. There was a time when I advocated voting for middle-of-the-roaders, but over the last few years my political attitudes have undergone a sea change.

The sea change started two years ago, when the pandemic began. Our freedoms were ripped apart, mutilated, shredded, and spindled, through a variety of diktats. And businesses were forced to shut down, heaping financial ruin upon millions of employees and entrepreneurs.

Then later that year, politicians tacitly endorsed the looting and burning of our cities during “mostly peaceful” demonstrations. Police departments were defunded and criminals had a field day. And social media platforms began censoring the voices of those who dissented against the policies that were bringing all this chaos into our lives.

Other stuff has happened since, and I can go on and on with a laundry list. But if you’ve been paying any attention to the news, you might know what I’m talking about.

So where have the moderates been, sounding the cry of alarm? Nowhere. At least not from a certain political party.

What suddenly hit me, like the weight of a fat politician tripping all over himself, is that it doesn’t matter how moderate lawmakers seem to be. Moderates tend to cooperate with the party they belong to. And that’s because they depend upon their party for campaign funding. And if they don’t tow the party line, not only will they lose that funding, but it will go to a primary campaign against them. Then they’ll likely be voted out of office.

So I’ve concluded that voting for moderate candidates is futile. It doesn’t matter where candidates say they stand on the issues, nor how maverick they claim to be, nor how much they promise they’ll reach across the aisle to the other side. All of that is bullshit. What matters is which party the candidate belongs to. Because nine times out of ten, that’s how they’re going to vote when deciding on controversial legislation. They’ll vote along party lines.

And when their party advocates crazy things, they may not speak out in support of those things, but they won’t speak out against them, either. No, they’ll just keep quiet, or get all mealy-mouthed about where they stand.

Therefore, I don’t advocate voting for moderates anymore. Rather, I advocate voting for political parties. The political machines are calling all the shots, so why not vote for or against them, rather than focus on individual candidates?

I’m an independent. I don’t belong to any political party. It’s my belief that all political parties are insane. That goes for both the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as all the third parties, such as Green, Libertarian, and Peace and Freedom.

However, I also believe that the level of insanity within any particular party fluctuates over time, from mildly insane, to stark raving nuts. Take the Republicans for instance. During the ’90s they were only mildly insane, in my view. Through their efforts we actually had balanced budgets for a few years. That’s pretty amazing, and is something only mildly insane people are capable of accomplishing.

But after the Iraq War started, they went completely bananas. Even after it was proven there were no weapons of mass destruction, they continued to support the war in lockstep; Ron Paul being a rare, notable exception.

And then Obama was elected, and radical Republicans spread the idea that he was born in Kenya and sneaked into the United States for the purpose of running for president. Supposedly he and his conspirators were plotting to turn our country into an Islamic state.

Where were the Republican moderates, decrying and dissenting from such lunacy? Nowhere. At least not in public. They never dared. But I’m sure there were many of them crying in their beer in private, while hoping and praying that their party would come to its senses.

Now, take the Democrats over the past few years. In my opinion, they’ve gone just as nuts as the old Birther Republicans. Yes, I’m sure there are many moderate Democrats who have a lot of intelligent and perfectly reasonable things to say about the erratic direction of their party. But they don’t dare speak up, lest their heads be lopped off.

There seems to be a pendulum of insanity that swings back and forth within the parties, from mildly insane to extreme, eyes-rolled-back-into-the-head mania. And when I observe this pendulum, it seems to me that the Republicans have swung back to being mildly insane, while the Dems have taken a swan dive off the Deep End.

In my opinion, of course. Everyone has their own insanity meter, and has to gauge for themselves. But my wife agrees. She was a lifelong Democrat until two years ago. Now she’s a Republican who feels disgusted with the party of the donkey. And I have a niece who’s been a fanatical Democrat since she was old enough to vote. Yet even she has been expressing misgivings lately, and wondering aloud if her party has taken things too far.

As for me, I’m remaining independent. But rather than vote for moderates, my new strategy is to vote for the candidates of the party that seems least insane at the time of an election.

The Republicans seem to have mostly emerged from the brain fog they wandered through for about 15 years. Now, in my view, they’re back to being only mildly insane. If they can manage to keep out of straitjackets over the next four months, those nuts could very well win my vote.

And if they’re elected, their party machine can take over running the country. I’m hoping their machine will return our country back to the good ol’ days. Back to when it was only kind of nuts, rather than completely, stark raving bonkers.

Marie Lamba, author

Some thoughts from author and agent Marie Lamba

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