I know, if my life was a cartoon, this would be the point at which someone, presumably my dog, said to me, “South Park did it.” Who could argue? Just a matter of weeks ago, they dedicated a whole episode to the expanding influence of the Garden State, but I think given the context I’m talking about, it’s still worth discussing.
By the time you read this, the mid-term elections will have already happened and President Obama will have received the most definitive assessment from the public on his tenure thus far. Things are not expected to go well for the Democrats, and rightly so, because the Democrats are just awful, but it occurred to me the other day that what everyone is predicting will happen in the mid-term elections is exactly what’s been happening in New Jersey for decades.
Hear me out:
If you look at the lineage of New Jersey Governors since Republican Thomas Kean in 1982 (we could go back to Cahill in ‘74, but I think the last 28 years is enough to make my point), you’ll see it’s a constant back and forth between Democrats and Republicans in the state’s executive seat, from Kean to Democrat Jim Florio, to the Republican Christine Todd Whitman, to Democrat Jim McGreevey, to Democrat Jon Corzine—a special case since he spent so much damn money on his campaign—to our current governor, the Very Much Republican Chris Christie.
That doesn’t count acting governors Donald DiFrancesco, John O. Bennett and Dick Codey, because they weren’t voted in, but rather assumed the position via the rules of government. So what you get is Republican, Democrat, Republican, Democrat, Rich-ass Democrat, Republican. Notice a pattern?
Gubernatorial politics in New Jersey for the last 30-plus years has basically been the equivalent of going, “Screw this guy, give me the other guy.”
Here’s how it happens: New Jersey elects a governor of either party. After an indeterminate amount of time, said governor is either outed as corrupt (Florio) or some other brand of asshole (Corzine) and voters believe the other party when they say, “Did you see that asshole? We’d never do that,” put them in power, and the process starts over until that governor is either corrupt or an asshole, and so on.
Well folks, the Jersey voting ethic is (by all reports) about to hit the national stage.
Barrack Obama was elected to at least the most shit-tastic circumstances a president has seen since Vietnam. Two wars, a collapsed economy, rampant torture, lack of public confidence, etc. And to be fair, it turns out he wasn’t as magical as he promised he was, but we all went for it, didn’t we? We were like, “George Bush? Screw that guy, give me the other guy!”
Now, a short two years down the line, people are hearing the Republicans go, “Holy shit, the country’s falling apart!” and either because they don’t have a job or can’t get a loan for a 3-D television, they’re buying it and voting to the right. Excellent work, America. You might as well spray on the tan now and save yourself the trouble later.
One of us… one of us… one of us…
I’m not saying vote Democrat or vote Republican. Hell, I’m not even saying vote. I’ve long held the opinion that if you don’t know who to vote for, don’t vote, because you’re not helping anyone. What I’m saying is if you do choose to exercise your right to vote, make sure you’re not just picking a candidate because they’re not the last asshole. Because I’ve got news for you: They’re all assholes.
Good people who care about their communities? They don’t go into politics. They become teachers. Social workers. Public servants. Assholes go into politics. Chris Christie? That guy’s an asshole following a long line of assholes, and it’s not going to stop with him, just like the US Congress isn’t going to stop being filled with assholes because people vote in a few more Republicans or a few more Democrats.