American Union > Uncategorized > Reliving Groundhog Day
Posted by: admin
Category: Uncategorized

It’s like déjà vu all over again

In the classic 1993 movie Groundhog Day, Phil (Bill Murray) discovers he is reliving the same day over and over again. A profoundly self-centered man, Phil goes through the five stages of grief before finally accepting the new circumstances of his life. He spends much of the film trying to use his unique position to enrich himself with worldly pleasures, but eventually discovers that real happiness comes from helping those around him. It is only when Phil stops thinking of himself and dedicates his life to service of others that his curse is lifted and the movie has a happy ending.

America has gone through a similar pattern with its political cycles. In 1993, Democrats took the Oval Office and held both chambers of Congress. 8 years later, Republicans took control, only to see it flip back 8 years later. Eight years after that, Republicans reclaimed them, and 4 years after that, Democrats took back the Oval Office and both chambers of Congress. Hey, woodchuck chuckers, it’s Groundhog Day!

As one watches the political pendulum swing back and forth, the thought process of new voters and swing voters seems apparent. The party currently in power is terrible, the thinking goes, so let’s give the other one a shot. After a few years, the electorate realizes the party currently in power is terrible, and decides to give the other one a shot. Hey, woodchuck chuckers, it’s Groundhog Day!

One of the most enduring features of this cycle is the pledges made by candidates for office. The challengers and incumbents all make grand promises to the electorate as part of their attempt to gather votes. After the election, however, these commitments are forgotten, and generally nothing gets done. Hey, woodchuck chuckers, it’s Groundhog Day!

After a year of Democratic control, many Americans hoping that this time would be different are disappointed. The public option Joe Biden campaigned on has never been brought forward. Criminal justice reform, including marijuana decriminalization, has never materialized. And Democrats increased the military budget, perhaps in preperation for a new foreign war in Ukraine. Hey, woodchuck chuckers, it’s Groundhog Day!

Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting a different result.

Running gags can be comedy gold — think of all the times Lucy yanked the football away from Charlie Brown — but eventually the humor shifts from “I can’t believe they did that unexpected thing!” to “I can’t believe they fell for the same thing again!” After decades of broken promises from politicians, it’s time to break the cycle with a new model.

The Phoenix Congress and the American Union are that different model. The framers left a list of duties for Americans in the Constitution, and we’ve gotten away from them, individually and as a nation. An American Union of swing voters, willing to elect both Republicans and Democrats, can leverage their power as deciders to shape the national conversation around those duties. Like self-centered Phil in Groundhog Day, when we learn to put others first, we will break out of this political cycle.

Rather than trust politicians to follow through with legislation that will address America’s responsibilities, the Phoenix Congress flips the model around with a prewritten legislative package, one which will end poverty, end mass incarceration, and end the endless wars. No more credit or promises from politicians — incumbents who want the American Union endorsement (and block of swing votes) must put the legislation on the President’s desk before the midterms.

Hey, woodchuck chuckers, it’s Groundhog Day! Tomorrow, though, is up to us; join the American Union and help build a better America.

(This is an updated version of an article previously posted on Medium)

Author: admin