If the latest polls are a fair indication, Americans of voting age are less than enthused about the legislative gridlock in Washington and the direction of our country. According to a recent survey conducted by The Economist, 9% of Americans approved of Congress, 71% disapproved. In the same survey, 38% of Americans believed the country was moving in the right direction; 53% believed the country was on the wrong track. Both results correlated highly with a recent survey by Reuters.
Voters are registering their dissatisfaction at the polls:
- In November of 2016, Donald Trump, hotelier, reality-TV star, and archetypal un-politician, was elected President of the United States. He defeated Hillary Clinton, a former First Lady, US Senator, and Secretary of State.
- In a special election held in March of this year, 33-year-old Conor Lamb, a Democrat, defeated 60-year-old Rick Saccone, a Republican, in a Pennsylvania Congressional district that Donald Trump won by 20 points. Mister Lamb was a federal prosecutor but had no legislative experience. Mister Saccone was an eight-year veteran of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
- In June, 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a publisher and educator, defeated 56-year-old Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District. Mr. Crowley was a 19-year veteran of the US House of Representatives. (See Note 1.)
Inexperience, it seems, is in vogue, and that’s intriguing because it’s the opposite of what we value in the workplace. For a moment, imagine that you’re a businessman or businesswoman:
- If you need a lumberjack, would you hire a florist?
- If you need a ranch hand, would you hire a mechanic?
- If you need a surgeon, would you hire a barber?
- If you need a carpenter, would you hire an arsonist?
That’s not to say that we on The Other Side are steadfastly opposed to inexperience. Steve Jobs had no management experience when he founded Apple, neither did Larry Page nor Mark Zuckerberg. (See Note 2.) But Jobs, Page, and Zuckerberg were products of a well-financed, highly refined system that produces nine failures for every success.
By all means, vote for honest, donor-independent candidates with a strong sense of duty, respect for the rule of law, and an understanding of history––like Conor Lamb and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But remember what we got when too many of us voted for a TV celebrity named Donald Trump.
Don’t vote for fresh faces just because they’re fresh faces. Vote for fresh faces because they’re a better bet than the stale faces.
1) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was purged from the New York voter rolls, thus unable to vote in the 2016 Democratic primary.
2) Steve Jobs was CEO of Apple for 17 years. Larry Page founded Google (now Alphabet) with Sergey Brin in 1998 and has been CEO since 2011. Mark Zuckerberg founded and has been CEO of Facebook since 2004.