Dear Tommy,

I noticed something a few years ago that I call a “minority equals a majority phenomenon.” I first noticed it in opinion polls about public education. It went something like this:

Most Americans (approx. 84%) believe that public schools are failing miserably in educating children. But the weird thing is that approximately 84% of them believe that their own local school is the rare exception. Similarly, whether it is true or not, a majority of people believe that public school teachers are incompetent but their own child’s teacher is excellent. So the outcome is obvious. The overwhelming majority of people will always vote to retain their corrupt school boards and will protect their incompetent, unionized, teachers because theirs are good. Everyone else’s are bad. In other words, “my flatulence doesn’t stink.”

But that’s not the only place this phenomenon occurs. Just a few years ago, the American people were outraged that Congress had not passed a budget for OVER 1000 DAYS. Furthermore, Congress’ approval rating was at an all-time low of 13%. That means 87% of Americans thought they were corrupt and incompetent and needed to be thrown out.

And figure this: 64% of Americans favored a balanced budget amendment. We needed it, we wanted it, but Congress lacked the discipline and the will to do what each of us must do every day: BUDGET OUR RESOURCES AND LIVE WITHIN OUR MEANS. And yet our representatives (those we had elected from our own districts and sent to DC to protect our interests) had thumbed their noses at us and said NO. The 26% minority prevailed.

How do things like that happen? It’s the “my flatulence doesn’t stink” syndrome. “My representative is GOOD. Everyone else’s is BAD.”

So we all keep reelecting the same incompetent, corrupt, self-serving, career politicians who continue to shaft us at every opportunity and all we do is complain.

I see it all the time. For most of my life, I lived in the People’s Republik of Kalifornia and every day I heard people complain about over-regulation, punitive taxation, and oppressive government. And when I asked them, “How did you vote in the last election?” the majority always answer the same way; they either didn’t vote at all OR they voted for the same old, big government, fat cat, incumbents because, “My Flatulence Doesn’t Stink.”

Elections have consequences. When we vote wrong we get exactly what we deserve.


Ralph Petersen