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Rejecting the Status Quo

I get it; most people prefer keeping things the way that they are, and are simply resistant to any form of change. Everything that I learned during the human potential movement tells me that people are cognitively biased to prefer what is known and familiar to what is new and untried. This, in turn, implies that it may take more of an effort -- and no small amount of risk (to which people are also averse) -- to challenge the status quo than it would to maintain its existence. According to the "system justification theory", the motivation to prefer the status quo is that it satisfies one or many underlying needs, and thus the defense and justification of the status quo becomes a paramount importance, even when the system may be disadvantageous to certain people. People have existential and relational needs that are met by and manifest as ideological support for the prevailing structure of social, economic, and political norms. Their need for order and stability, and thus resistance to change or alternatives, for example, can be a motivator for individuals to see the status quo as good, legitimate, and even desirable. Hence, the default ideological position is conservative and status-quo maintaining, and proponents of change are often met with resistance and are negatively perceived.

"To you, is it movement or is it action? Is it contact or just reaction?"

The problem, though, is that "change is inevitable". Albert Einstein is quoted as saying "we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them". From a psychological standpoint, organizations and societies are in constant transition, evolving and changing from one form to another. At no time in history is that more apparent than in the current information age, where almost any sliver of information is quite literally "at your fingertips". The world works in a way that requires challenging the status quo. In business, for example, competitors change tactics, strikes stop production or distribution, and natural disasters cause havoc. In politics, new issues arise and old ones fall away. As a result of ever-changing factors, maintenance of the status quo is simply not enough. Entities and institutions must adapt and change or they, too, will fall away. Unfortunately, this need to change and adapt requires a CONSCIOUS decision to reject staying the same in order to derive any substantive benefit.

From my perspective as a novice politician, nowhere is this desire to maintain the status quo more obvious than in American party politics. As Americans, we've been conditioned to believe that the Old Parties represent us, that only Old Party candidates can hold political offices, and that the party is more important than the candidate. It can be argued that they, themselves, have changed and adapted over time, but the idea that I am intending to point out more directly is that they actively work to vilify any other political party from being able to take part in their game. Have you noticed over the last 60 years, cycle after political cycle, that each of the Old Parties has (with very few exceptions) consistently offered up candidates that seem more progressively worse than the one before? And yet, for all of their caprice, during the campaigns these candidates are lauded by their respective parties as "better than the other party's candidate". In the spring of 2020, someone pointed to the two Old Party presidential candidates as individuals and quipped, "THIS is the best that America has to offer?"

"And you ... revolution or just resistance? Is it living or just existence? Yeah you, it takes a little more persistence to get up and go the distance."

My point is that we need to challenge the political status quo. The Old Parties have been playing this game for over a century and a half and they have a highly vested interest in keeping things the way that they are. We the people have been conditioned to believe that there are only two choices when it comes to our politics, and that conditioning is SO reflexive that we barely even stop to think about it. Someone once equated this as "you can eat anywhere you want as long as it's McDonalds or Burger King, or you can drink anything you want as long as it's Coke or Pepsi". But this is Texas, and I would wager that many of us would reject those options if we were given the possibility of ... tacos and cerveza.

Committee to Elect Darren Hamilton
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