The cost to maintain the “status quo” - Tucson Local Media: Columns

The cost to maintain the “status quo”

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Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:00 am

As election coverage continued late into the night on Nov. 6, and results were confirmed, NBC’s Brian Williams said it appears to be a “status quo” election. Given the winners and losers of state and national races, I can’t agree more.

Over the last few years, we’ve heard nonstop that this country is unhappy, the people are growing tired of the same old Washington, yet, we voted to keep everything essentially the same.

The most staggering fact that stood out to me as The Explorer staff and I continued covering the numbers, and talking to the winners and losers, is how much money was spent in an election that changed nothing.

It is estimated that candidates and special-interest groups spent upwards of $6 billion on this election. One of our letter writers this week has it right: our richer citizens are crying they can’t pay more taxes, but they can spend billions on an election. That money could have helped education, put more into health care, and frankly, wouldn’t have been wasted as badly.

The pricey commercials in this election were obnoxious, and at times, just plain ridiculous. The robo calls, which essentially became harassment at night as families sat down to dinner, and all of it in the end is a total waste of time. We have the same president for the next four years, we have a Republican-controlled House, and we have a Democrat-controlled Senate.

Oh, and as some added fun, we didn’t get to find out who was paying for a lot of these ridiculous ads because the Supreme Court ruled against it. Again, now those hidden agendas are even more secretive because the money funding candidates doesn’t give much away, we only know the name of the organization paying for the ad, and not the individuals who funded it.

Now, onto the State of Arizona. While many things are the same, there are some changes. The Senate lost its supermajority power in the election, and now has a bit of a makeover if you will, based on voting that occurred just after the election.

The new Senate president will likely lean even more right. Andy Biggs, a 10-year legislative veteran from Gilbert, narrowly won the vote, beating current president Steve Pierce in a 9-8 vote.

Pierce was viewed as more moderate, while Biggs is apparently more conservative.

This vote got me to thinking that Republicans paid no attention to the results of the election that happened the night before.

Without changing current strategy, it will be a long time before a Republican makes it back into the White House. With exception to hard-core Republicans, the party has lost a lot in the female demographic, and Independents aren’t too excited to lean right either.

Jim Collins wrote the book “Built to Last,” which looks at some of America’s most successful companies and why they have succeeded and grown year after year. The answer throughout the book is simple - these companies are willing to evolve with the times.

Staying the same doesn’t always equal success. In fact, a lot of times it means you are being passed by. Republicans need to look at this loss, look at the hard questions and truths and realize that going even further to the right isn’t going to mean good things to come. It is going to mean the “status quo” just like this election.

As elected officials, you are in there to represent all constituents, even those who did not vote for you.

By the state selecting the new Senate president, it shows a complete unwillingness to accept that some change, and compromise is needed for future success.

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