By Grant Maloy
Center Right Coaltion
We just witnessed a peaceful revolution in our government. A beautiful thing about our country is that every two years you can change the whole government at the ballot box without firing a shot.
The changes that happened in November were like an earthquake on the political landscape. Voters and politicians may not realize how enormous the revolution was or is to be.
Normally it is next to impossible to get rid of incumbent politicians. They are like burnt grease on a skillet. No matter how hard you scrub, you can’t get rid of the greasy scum. But in this election, two local incumbent congressmen went down in flames. Alan Grayson received only 38% of the vote. There have been dead people on the ballot that received more votes than that. It was an embarrassing loss.
The revolution was also at the local level in Seminole County. At the county level, 2 out of the 3 School Board and County Commissioners that ran for reelection were tossed out. The third one did not even receive 50% of the vote. An additional School Board member decided not to run for reelection. Ten years ago the sales tax referendum passed with 72%. This November, it failed with 49%, a 23 point swing. These are enormous defeats for the insider politicians.
What happened? It is simple. Politicians lost touch with the people and the people said “no more.” The voters are also empowering themselves by becoming more educated and more networked.
After Election Day, most elected officials quickly get locked into the “inside the beltway” mentality. They believe it when the lobbyists tell them they are doing a great job. They spend their time with other politicians at luncheons and meetings and discuss all the wonderful things they can do with more government programs. Before you know it they are raising taxes, expanding government and saying stupid things like they are going to create jobs and rail projects will relieve traffic on I-4.
This election should be a wakeup call for all politicians. Quit going to all of the Chamber luncheons and ribbon cutting ceremonies and return your constituents’ phone calls instead. They should also read the Florida and US Constitutions that they swore they would uphold and defend.
In this revolution, the main weapon is information. The internet has given ordinary people the power to find and share information quickly. Not long ago when you researched a county issue, you went to Sanford and looked at agendas on file. You then would use microfiche film and start reading on one of those lighted screens with a big magnifying glass. It was slow and time consuming. Now information is instantly at your fingertips from your home.
Public policy groups like Heritage Foundation and Americans for Tax Reform will send you emails, text messages or Facebook updates when a vote is coming up on a bill in Congress. Hundreds of websites educate on public policy and history.
Independent grassroots groups like Tea Parties, 9/12, and Center Right Coalition have formed to network and educate voters. The internet allows these groups to share information quickly and cheaply. This is a great threat to the power of politicians. No wonder the FCC is attempting to regulate the internet.
Local news radio programs like Bud Hedinger, Roger Franklin Williams, Ray Jr. and others are talking about local issues. People are studying the bills and the Constitution much closer. Churches and coffee houses have started showing the American Heritage DVD Series by historian David Barton.
Our government was founded on the principle of representatives having the consent of the governed. For too long politicians have ruled as elitists that have told us what to do. Now the people are beginning to lead and the politicians will have to follow or they will be replaced. The Peaceful Revolution is not over, it just started.