If there is one lesson to be learned from Tuesday night’s election results, it is Americans, whether they be voting for national, state or local candidates, are hell bent on maintaining the status quo.
After an election season that spanned nearly half a year and on which billions of dollars were spent, the political road map remains essentially the same. The President of the United States is the SAME- Barack Obama. The Democrats control the Senate and the Republicans control the House of Representatives, by exactly the same margins as they had going in to 2012.
Our U.S. Senator, Debbie Stabenow walloped her opponent Pete Hoekstra, who campaigned for change. Congressman Dave Camp pulverized his opponent- I can’t even tell you who that was, someone named Wirth. Our State Representative Joel Johnson stays in office with a convincing victory over Chris Breznau.
Locally all the incumbents WON. A close race occurred between Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis and challenger, Jon Ringelberg, but in the end Ambrozaitis prevailed by a couple hundred votes. Sheriff John Wilson easily defeated challenger, Mark McClellan and Clerk Pam Mayfield ran away from Kimberly Davis. Incumbent Road Commissioner Mike Duggan stays in office with a victory over challenger, Don Kolander. Even the incumbent Circuit Judge Roy Mienk had an easy time, defeating Ghazey Aleck by a near 70-30 margin.
About the only CHANGE that we will see anywhere is on the County Commission. Two incumbents, board chairman, Don David, and Republican Jerry Burger were defeated by Rick LaBoda and Dale Majewski, respectively. Thus the 7 member County Commission, charged with the responsibility of essentially running the County, will have two new members.
What does all this mean? Potentially, no not potentially, most likely our federal government will remain gridlocked. Expect very little to get done as the Republican majority in Congress continues to veto all of Obama’s proposals and vice versa. Expect four more years of status quo.
And all of you voters who were looking for change in government- well I guess there will be other elections. We all seem to demand change, and then vote the very same characters we abhor, in to office for another term. For instance Congress has an approval rating less than 10%- that is the worst in the history of America. Yet instead of voting challengers in office, we as a nation, voted for incumbents 90% of the time.
Ditto the County. People gripe to me all the time how they hate so-and-so, or the County doesn’t provide necessary services or their enforcement is overboard, but in the end, there will be no new faces working fulltime in the County Building. We chose to elect the same old leaders we always complain about.
I guess that is the American way- complain about those in charge, but when it really gets down to it, we’d rather have the familiar making decisions, rather than the unfamiliar. We cry out for change, change, change, but in the end we would rather things stay the same than to venture into uncharted territory.