Sometimes Politics is a Zero Sum Game for a Reason

Sweeping generalizations that take your breath away

Salena Zito, RealClearPolitics: Voters Seek Middle, Want Results

Salena ZitoThis rejection of a cornucopia of labels — Democrat, entitled, establishment, progressive, liberal — didn’t just happen with candidates on the federal or statewide level; it also occurred on a very micro-level when Pittsburgh voters rejected progressive state Rep. Erin Molchany.

The 32-year-old Molchany, who ran as the champion of liberal causes such as pay equity and ObamaCare, was trounced by 72-year-old moderate Rep. Harry Readshaw. Their two state House seats had been redistricted into one.

The bloodletting by the “raging” middle was not just limited to Democrats, either.

Republican Congressman Bill Shuster, who represents what political scientists call the most conservative House district in the Rust Belt, crushed his right-wing opponent — and he did so with nonstop kitchen-table campaigning, talking about effective governing, flushing out corruption and political reform.

Shuster did not win by talking about social and other typical conservative issues; he won by providing results to his community.

Everybody wants results

Everybody.

Including all the candidates who lost.

The fact that the more ideological candidates failed to communicate the relevance and urgency of their ideas—including progressives who failed to make the sale despite the strong tailwinds of fellow progressives among the journalist community—doesn’t necessarily mean voters rejected what those ideologues had to offer.

Sure, it might be that voters  thoroughly researched the issues and realized those policy prescriptions weren’t counter-productive.

Or it might mean they didn’t know squat what any of these people were recommending and simply went with the guy who could bring home the bacon.

Or, heaven forbid, “do something”—even when “doing something” almost always makes things worse.

That’s what most journalists want. Action.

Doesn’t have to be relevant.

Doesn’t have to work.

Just as long as it involves making a deal and getting “it” done.

Whatever “it” is.

As for leadership?

Politics isn’t about Finding a Parade and Getting in Front of It

A genuine leader knows who he is and where he is going, and—by the example of his life and the power of his words—brings others with him.

Sometimes the true leader won’t win the election this time.

But he’ll advance the ball down the field.

Frankly, I don’t think we need more politicians with no convictions, who care only about getting a deal done, winning the next election.

I’m for the guy who is willing to stake his career and reputation on merely stopping bad office holders from ruining the country beyond repair.

All the rest is bonus.

Give me teacher-warriors who will grow and lead a movement that means something.

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