***Warning! Snark to follow!
It’s a fantastic question, and there is such a myriad of answers that nobody could ever hope to cover them all. So, I’m not going to even try. I’m simply going to concentrate on what Americans seem to do when they don’t get their way today.
Look no further than the Resist Trump and TEA Party movements. Both movements began as a protest of not getting their way.
The TEA Party Movement
The TEA party literally began as a protest of the President Obama era policies of creating more regulations and taxes to take from those who were doing okay and place into the pockets of those who weren’t doing okay. It sounds very humanitarian when you put it that way, but the creation of these policies actually is not humanitarian at all. The Taxed Enough Already crowd began shortly after the Affordable Care Act was forced into law by dead of the night, sneaky tricks complete with not one single lawmaker actually reading what was in the law. Nancy Pelosi famously said something to the effect (not a direct quote) of, “…we’ll find out what’s in it after we’ve passed it.” This law should have been named the SAINT Act, standing for Somewhat Affordable Insurance Takeover Act. The number of increases in taxes to the common person was only overwhelmed by how much more you had to pay for your health insurance now. Only worse than the non-affordable health insurance created by this joke of law was the actual CARE that you now could not keep under the new bureaucrat-controlled health insurance policies. You couldn’t “keep your doctor,” you couldn’t pay for the overburdened cost of your deductible and health care has become such a joke of a paperwork headache that it isn’t worth it.
This law wasn’t what created the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party. The regulations established by the EPA, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act and of course the open border policies created under President Obama all led to a bunch of people who didn’t get their way coming together to vote a bunch of politicians out of office and create cartoon-like characters who wore tea bags on their hats and carried around Gadsden flags in protest of these policies, regulations, and taxes. President Obama did create a ton of jobs, the only problem was he created a ton of government jobs where people can’t be fired (i.e., the IRS buffoons who targeted groups because of their political leanings and the FBI officials who created the gun running scheme of Fast and Furious) because of their incompetence. The last time I checked government jobs do not create wealth for the majority of people. Government jobs create long-lasting employment for people who are paid by revenue generated by people in the private sector who then pay taxes to fund the government workers who then pay a small portion of their salaries and benefits back into the same trough from which they eat.
That’s one movement, created by a bunch of people who didn’t get what they wanted. This group didn’t get to keep the majority of their money and were forced to “donate” higher and higher portions of their created (by working private sector jobs which created more wealth for private sector corporations who also paid more in taxes) income to a government that did less and less for them but more and more for people who weren’t willing to get out and create their own salaries but were more than ready to receive from a humanitarian looking group of bureaucrats with everlasting, can’t be fired jobs.
The Resist Trump Movement
The second movement, Resist Trump, has been created by people who also didn’t get their way. These people didn’t get Hillary Clinton as their president. If you can get them to quiet down and quit chanting long enough to engage in a conversation you will most likely find they really didn’t want Hillary Clinton necessarily as president, they just didn’t want President Trump as president, and will not accept anything he does. The question I ask when I encounter these protesters is simply, “what exactly are you resisting?” The answer is usually “anything Trump does.” Wow, that’s a brilliant answer. So of course, the next question I ask is, “so if President Trump says that he wants to enforce our current immigration laws, are you going to resist that also?” The resounding answer is of course, “Yes we CAN!” because that chant is so intelligent sounding. Look I get it. President Trump is a Hollywood created, cartoon character who makes it easy to dislike. President Trump didn’t need Russian collusion (if it indeed exists) to win the election. All President Trump needed was for Hillary Clinton to be Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton lost the election because she was the disconnected, arrogant politician that every person in this country has grown to hate. Hillary Clinton didn’t lose the election because all the Americans who voted for President Trump are racist, misogynistic, bigots. Hillary Clinton lost the election because of her derisive sneer whenever encountering somebody beneath her and the way she dismissed whole swaths of society (yes, I am referring to coal miners and gun owners).
The result of this is an entire movement of people who are violently opposed to anything the elected president says. You don’t have to like the Electoral College and the antiquated rules that enable somebody to win a presidential election without winning the popular vote (which is how they do elections in third world countries where the large population centers elect leaders), but you do have to accept it. Sorry, you just don’t get your way. No matter how many times you have thrown on your mask and participated in an Antifa protest where you get to break things and throw rocks at police, you’re still not going to get your way. President Trump is president, the people he nominates to positions of power are going to be there, and it doesn’t matter how many creative chants you come up with, you’re still not getting your way, any more than the TEA Party activists got their way during the era of President Obama.
And that is the point of this whole diatribe. No matter how much you protest, you’re still not going to get your way. So, the question is, “what do you do when you don’t get your way?”
The Better Movement
There is a better way.
The better way is to accept that you didn’t get your way today. Then do something to make yourself a better, instead of bitter, person and go out and create the kind of community you desire to be a part of. No amount of political protest is going to change the reality of what we have created as a country with the way we do politics. Politics are won by the people with the most amount of money because that is who pays for all the asinine ads we see when we are trying to watch a football game. You can vote, and you should.
Just realize that if you are doing what you honestly should be doing as a voter, in other words, not just pressing the R or the D button, then you are probably not going to get the candidate that best represents your values. Voting R or D only ensures that you get the most connected and moneyed people of that particular party representing you in Washington DC and your state capitals. The hard part about the responsibility of voting is to research the candidates, realize what you value and then vote for the candidate (regardless of party) that best represents your values.
Then realize that your candidate this year probably isn’t going to win.
After you realize that the person with the best values isn’t going to win over the person connected with the most money, then it is up to you to accept that the moneyed person won this election and then seek out and recruit candidates with values, regardless of party or amount of money.
These are the people to start believing can change our poisoned political process and who need to be promoted, not the tired and connected political person that always wins.
No, it isn’t easy to accept that we as people need to change the way we vote before the buffoons who are winning elections stop winning elections. But we must accept that we, the people, need to change before we can ever expect that our government system needs to change.
This is what I am hoping for in my lifetime:
1. Term limits. Not just at the national level but at the state and local level as well. Politics were not meant to be a career so let’s push for local offices to be term-limited and then push for state offices to be term-limited and then national offices to be term-limited. Career politicians are a curse, not a blessing.
2. Let’s change government employment laws. We all experience the government employee who puts in resentfully a good hour day and then sits around playing computer games on their computers (DMV employees where ten employees sit around at their desks acting like they’re doing something on their computers while one employee resentfully waits on people who actually show up to thwart their computer games). We need government employment laws where employees are held accountable for their days and their workload and where supervisors are not appointed because they are connected to the politician in charge but get to be supervisors because they know how to lead.
3. Finally, I want to see money taken out of the election process. I believe we actually do need to create a fund for elections that every candidate can access and once you’ve used up all the money you are given for an election, you don’t get more. Just think of the billions of dollars that could be used to actually create refugee centers for genuine asylum seekers if politicians weren’t using that money to create asinine TV ads? We could actually create a better health CARE industry with the billions of saved political election dollars, and we might just get better candidates that wanted to serve instead of the power-hungry buffoons we get today.
I know I’m advocating for common sense instead of political movements and I’m ready to take my lumps from both sides who think I’m crazy. But you know what’s really crazy? If you put down your signs and your flags long enough and look at those three little things I’m hoping for in my lifetime, you too will know what to do when you don’t get your way.