November 8, 2006
Our analysis
By Perry Willis
Today's Downsizer-Dispatch . . . We've been quiet lately, working behind the scenes on future projects. We've been waiting for the latest bi-annual game of partisan musical chairs to exhaust itself. And so it has. Yet again. And what is the result? Republicans are out. Democrats are in. Will this downsize government? No. Big Government's speed of growth may slow because control is now divided between two parties, but the growth will continue as always. Play this game ten more times and imagine the outcome. Look down the road twenty years and calculate the size of the government you will leave to your children after playing partisan musical chairs ten more times. Do you like what you see? Is it a vision of what you want? Now look at the results for the minor parties. You will see mostly single digits, only two or three tiny victories, and a mere handful of results in double digits, mostly in races with only two candidates. Some of the best-funded campaigns had among the poorest results. Look back twenty years and you will see the same thing. Then look forward twenty years. Is there any reason to expect the results will ever be different? How much money and time must be invested doing the same thing over and over again, with always the same failed results, before the experiment of trying to change things through the game of partisan musical chairs can be judged to have rendered its conclusive result? Is the partisan political game moving things in a downsizing direction? No. Were downsizing ideas part of the political debate? No. Did anything about yesterday's election send a message that Americans want to Downsize DC? No. And yet we know from a multitude of public opinion polls that there is a broad consensus in favor of smaller government. Why the disconnect? Could it be that the partisan political game is rigged against downsizing ideas? Yes. Can we change that by continuing to play that rigged game? No. The history of the last twenty years makes the verdict clear. So isn't it time to play a new game with new rules? Notice something else about yesterdays results. Republicans voted for Republicans and Democrats voted for Democrats. Independents decided who won and lost, but they made their choices only between Big Government Democrats and Big Government Republicans. So has it ever been, so shall it ever be. It is almost impossible to get people to change their partisan tribal loyalties, and as long as the partisan game is rigged in favor of Big Government parties and candidates, independent voters will always choose among those candidates, voting against the lesser Big Government evil, no matter how much they may want smaller government. We cannot defeat the inertia of partisan tribal loyalty, or the fear-based voting of independents, by continuing to play the rigged partisan game. So . . . Isn't it time to focus our efforts on another approach? Conduct a thought experiment. Which is easier? Getting people to change their partisan tribal loyalties, or getting them to support something like, with proposals like the "Read the Bills Act," the "Write the Laws Act," and the "One Subject at a Time Act?" Which approach is more likely to build a huge army to Downsize DC? Conduct another thought experiment. Take all the time and money devoted to partisan campaigns by downsizing candidates and instead put it behind advertising for the "Read the Bills Act" and the "Write the Laws Act," and the "One Subject at a Time Act." Could we force Big Government candidates to take a public stand on these proposals, and thereby make them part of the public debate? Or could we recruit enough new supporters to make that outcome possible in the next election? The point is this, if we can make Downsizing ideas seen and heard by everyone, everywhere, everyday, then we can change the environment in which Big Government politicians operate. We can change the debate. And we change the behavior of the people who win elections, even if we never change the partisan labels they wear. Are your downsizing dreams any better off now than they were two years ago? If you always do what you've always done, can you ever expect a different result? Shouldn't you do something new, so the future can be better than the past? We suggest two things to make a new start in a new direction . . . Click here and send a message to Congress asking them to pass the "Read the Bills Act." Then . . . Click here and make a contribution or start a monthly pledge to support The future can be better than the past, if only we will play a new game with rules that favor success. is playing that game, and you can too, starting right now. Jim Babka & Perry Willis President & Communications Director, Inc.
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