We Are a Nation of Political Hoarders

hoardingOn a whim I caught an episode of A&E’s Hoarders a couple weeks ago, and I’ve been slowly watching a couple episodes here and there.

I’ve seen about a dozen or so episodes and I find it quite fascinating, probably because I knew a hoarder when I was a teenager. Granted, at the time I didn’t really know he was a hoarder, just a brilliant, yet eccentric guy who had piles of electronics & vinyl records all over his house. Sadly, he passed away in the fall of 2000, about 5 years or so after I had grown up and lost contact with him. I don’t really know the circumstances of his death, I know he had health issues, but I was also told it was suicide. Finding out really wasn’t important to me, though.

I’ve been thinking a lot about him and my group of friends that would go visit him, hang out at his house (by basically standing in a small pathway that went from his front door to his kitchen, to his bedroom), and learn things from him about radios, TVs (he hated the TV, says he could hear the high voltage capacitor whine whenever someone turned one on), and other assorted electronics. However, that’s not really the reason why I’m writing this post. Maybe someday I’ll bore you with tales of nerdy teenagers who turned Radio Shack “learn electronics” kits into FM Radio transmitters, but not today.

Today, I’m going to talk politics.

After reading an article about how the Supreme Court struck down limits on campaign contributions, today, I started to wonder what the re-election rates were for government officials.  It turns out, well over 80%.  All I ever see on Facebook are people preaching about how we need to kick politicians out of office and elect new people, but for the most part, when you mention THEIR guy, “No! he’s fine!”

Even with all the money poured into Super-PACs in 2012, Congress and the Senate kept 9 out of every 10 incumbents who were up for re-election. Meanwhile, the number was just the opposite, 9 in every 10 people surveyed said Congress was doing a shitty job. How does this happen?

It’s simple. We are a nation of political hoarders.  We’re fine with throwing out the whole of the government to start anew, but when it comes down to voting one guy out of office and a new guy in, “oh, no! I want to keep that! Put that in the keep pile!”  

We know the whole is a problem. We know something has to be done about it, but we’re just not willing to deal with the individual pieces.

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