Political rhetoric can be a dangerous weapon, especially when the rhetoric is antithetical to logic and reason. It can become a tool of mass destruction when irrational political rhetoric becomes the basis for a movement and begins to influence the way in which people cast ballots in Congress or in their local ballot boxes. I have never seen rhetoric become as potentially dangerous as it is with the anti-incumbency movement. What was once a tool used by a few political newcomers as a wedge issue has now evolved into a machine that has convinced people that anyone that they have elected before is now, for some unexplainable reason, a bad person that must be sent packing.
Apparently, victory in politics is now the ultimate sin within the ever growing anti-establishment movement. It no longer matters how well you served your constituents. It no longer matters how solid your views are on the issues or how consistent your voting record was. It no longer matters what you did while you serving as an elected official. The only thing that matters is that you won your last election and that is the offense for which you should be tarred and feathered.
I understand that there are politicians that have lied and reversed their positions on key issues. I am all too aware that there are politicians that have not turned out to be the person that they were on the campaign trail. I recognize that sometimes a politician turns out to be a bad person that should have never gotten elected in the first place. Sometimes, elected officials need to be voted out and replaced with someone better. I get it.
What I don’t get is why we would want to vote out elected officials who have been champions for their districts. Why cast a ballot against a Senator or Congressman or County Commissioner that has done everything that they promised they would do when you voted for them the first time? Why are we banishing Mayors and City Councilman who have made their towns better places? I just don’t get it.
Conservatives seem to be leading the anti-incumbency charge when we should actually be the ones shouting the loudest to stop this lunacy. Remember, the last time America decided to vote against the conservative establishment in favor of a relative unknown, we got President Barack Obama. Let’s all take a deep breath and pause for a few minutes before we decide to perpetuate the myth that incumbency is a sin or we may end up making a huge mistake and replacing the few good people who keep DC from going completely off the rails.
As your grandmother probably told you, the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence, especially when that fence is around a government building.
Angi Stalnaker is an Alabama native who, as a political consultant, has worked on numerous statewide, legislative and constitutional amendment races for conservative causes and candidates. For more information about her visit Virtus Solutions.