Sep 21 2008

Someone wants to break the status quo

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Karen Michalik announced a run for the South Carolina state senate. I technically live in her district (when I’m not towing my home/RV from Pennsylvania to Louisiana) and she’ll get my vote for a single reason—

—she wants to break the status quo.

No joke: I always cast my ballot for the individual who will most likely break the status quo. Always. I voted for independent presidential candidate John Anderson in 1980 not because he openly promised to raise taxes, but simply because he openly vowed to throw a monkey wrench into the status quo of the beltway’s political system. I voted for Ross Perot in 1992 not because he’s bat-guano insane (to paraphrase Jon Stewart), but simply because he had a proven track record of throwing monkey wrenches into the status quo.

I mean, let’s face it. If any monkeywrench ever makes it to the White House, we’ll enjoy four years of hilarious late-night talk show monologues. Jay Leno & David Letterman will start off every night with “Did you see the news on what our president did today?”

You’ll find any number of people who insist “the status quo isn’t all bad.” I couldn’t disagree more. “Status quo” is a eupemism for stagnation. I personally grilled Michalik on two different occasions and I can assure you she wants to break the political stagnation in her district. She’ll get my vote for that reason alone.

You’ll find any number of people who hedge on the notion that “candidate X may end up doing more harm than status quo Y.” Bah! No one wakes up in the morning with the intent to add more pollutants to the air or to contaminate our water supply or to screw up our education system or to shrivel up the municipal bond rating. It doesn’t matter if you’re the status quo or if you’re a monkeywrench — you don’t wake up in the morning with these intents.

Rather, the status quo itself makes compromises that end up causing all sorts of problems. Hence the phrase “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” A monkeywrench sees the status quo as the root cause and he/she wants to fix the problem at its source.

And of course you’ll find any number of people who appreciate the status quo. Many people genuinely don’t like change; others feel the status quo actively benefits them. “Be reasonable,” these people say. Bah! To quote George Bernard Shaw: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

Or an “unreasonable woman” in this case.

Karen Michalik believes a good ol’ boy network stands in the way of her district’s progress. I urge you to break the status quo. Give her your ballot.

“What if Michalik herself gets entrenched at some future date, Rob?” I’m ruthless with my vote, folks. On that day I’ll pick whoever can monkeywrench her out of the status quo. But right now is what matters and she’ll get my vote for all the right reasons.

“So who will you vote for in the presidential election, Rob?” Good question. Cynthia Ann McKinney looks like a great monkeywrench…