As often happens at these gatherings, the discussion eventually turned to the dominance of the political landscape by the incumbent parties, the R's and the D's. This despite repeated failure by both parties to deliver on their rhetoric of better, more efficient government. Brent paraphrased the lines from a Maxine cartoon from a while back. Maxine was talking about remarrying spouses that you had previously divorced. Brent's version was intended to comment on Americans' tendency to bounce back and forth between failed Republican administrations to failed Democratic administrations and back again to Republicans. Brent's slightly revised version of Maxine's comments went as follows.
Two years ago, we threw out the Republicans because they screwed up so badly, and we put in the Democrats. This year, we're getting ready to throw out the Democrats and put the Republicans back in. It's kind of like throwing out a bottle of sour milk, finding it in the trash two years later, and thinking, "Gee, I wonder if this will taste any better now." (Crystal clear insight courtesy of Maxine)
Another analogy occurs to me about our tendency to repeatedly forgive the large political parties that continue to disappoint us. It's as if American voters are all suffering in an abusive relationship The abuser only has to apologize and promise they'll change, and the abused person is willing to forgive them and take them back again. The Republicans and the Democrats both make condescending arguments to the American voters reminiscent of, "No one will ever love you the way I do." And the unfortunate electorate sheepishly resign themselves, yet again, to the inevitable disappointment. This failed relationship always seems to end in tears.