“Elections shouldn’t matter as much as they do” – former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi
I couldn’t agree more, madame former Speaker; though I suspect we mean different things when we say this.
For the last 10 years (or more depending on how loose you want to be with definitions), Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been in agreement on higher spending, bigger government, and more control over the populace. Oh, they disagree over nits and put up a reasonable modicum of a debate – but the end result is the same. In the full quote (found here) Nancy Pelosi tells Republicans to regain control of their party (i.e. wrest it away from the Tea Party), so that it doesn’t matter so much who wins elections.
Her lament is that the change in Congress may actually lead to different spending priorities (though, John Boehner certainly hasn’t given any indication that it will).
Now, Nancy Pelosi and I agree – it really shouldn’t matter so much. If I had my way, the government would once again be limited in its power over our lives – that is, constrained by the powers delegated in the Constitution. They wouldn’t sell preferential legislation to the highest paying lobbyist. They wouldn’t tax your money away from you promising to give little bits back if you’ll do as you’re told. They’d leave you alone to live your life.
If the government truly respected human freedom – only intervening to defend basic human rights – then it really wouldn’t matter who won the elections. “We won, we’ve been swept to power. Now we can … hmmm … now we can … hmmm … now we can take all the best office space in the Congressional buildings and make resolutions honoring historic figures whenever we want!”
No, it really shouldn’t matter as much as it does. But, with the federal government in every aspect of our lives, encroaching on every imaginable freedom, raising themselves to staggering levels of authority, playing us against each other and attempting to play God in the mix – it matters a great deal.