PGA and politicians take note! And everyone else, consider taking out some insurance. PGA and politicians take note! And everyone else, consider taking out some insurance.

Should New Jersey change its name from the Garden State to the Sheeple State?

Given that my bid for the state assembly in New Jersey was against a well-oiled political machine, the results I desired seemed far-fetched from the beginning. With well under $1,000, I managed to draw in 5% of the vote – or 3,153 votes to be exact. My cost per vote: 25 cents! My opponents’ team pooled their resources and had nearly half a million dollars at their disposal to garner a little over 18,000 votes each. Cost per vote: $13.89. And although I lost the election by a 6 to 1 margin, I’m told that I fared better than the average of 1-2% Independents managed throughout the Garden State.

When undeserving incumbents all win

RoseAnn Salanitri rails against the "sheeple."
RoseAnn Salanitri, CP candidate for the NJ Assembly, Photo: CNAV

While losing anything isn’t something that appeals to me, the situation in New Jersey is more discouraging than the loss of one election. The final analysis reveals that all incumbents won their bid for re-election – regardless of their party affiliation or their performance in government.

As someone who has been fighting against the status quo that has been leading us straight to the gates of hell, sour grapes have nothing to do with my disappointment. I have three questions I believe we should all be asking ourselves:

  1. Does name recognition trump performance?
  2. Does party affiliation trump principle?
  3. Can you now buy a seat in New Jersey’s government?

If the answer to all of the above is “Yes,” then perhaps it’s time to pack in all the political activism and all the time and effort I have been devoting to reforming our government at all levels. The situation may be hopeless unless we awaken from our apathetic sleep and start paying attention to the records of the people we elect. It seems that the New Jersey mantra is “the rest of the representatives in the state are bad, but not mine.”

Given that New Jersey is hemorrhaging jobs and residents, leads the country is over taxation, and has a Supreme Court that pays little attention to its Constitution, that mantra seems misguided to say the least. If all representatives are good, then how can the state be in such dire straits? And if all representatives are not good, then shouldn’t at least some of them have been replaced during the last election?

Other examples of sheeple

New Jersey is not the only state of sheeple in this nation. To find another, you don’t have to look far. Massachusetts is probably one of the best examples of name recognition, party affiliation, and money trumping common sense in the entire nation. When an incumbent such as Barney Frank continues to win elections by large majorities – especially after he and his tag team compadre Chris Dodd are most responsible for the crisis that began our nation’s economic downfall – I have to ask: Just what will it take for America to wake up?

Term limits won’t work

Many believe term limits can be the solution to our problems. I believe it was C.S. Lewis who once said that you can’t write laws fast enough to govern a people that won’t govern themselves. The sad fact is that we wouldn’t be discussing such things if the American people would start thinking rationally. We can impose term limits at the poll on Election Day without any legislation. It’s the only way we can get beyond the money special interests pour into the campaigns of those who pander to their campaign contributions – making it virtually impossible for an average citizen to win against any incumbent.

Our Founders’ vision for this country was that average citizens would “serve” in government as part of their patriotic duty; where common sense ruled over image; and where principle trumped party. They did not envision a country where career politicians ruled over the rest of us. They created a republican form of government of the people, by the people and for the people. We have changed that into a democracy ruled by elitists that is doomed to fail – or at the very best, enslave us all by promising us “goodies” in exchange for your vote.

Time to act

Today, common sense and fresh ideas cannot compete against money, name recognition, and party affiliation. Those in the TEA Party may complain about establishment politics but we are doomed to submission unless we can rally our troops and stop bowing down to party affiliations and fancy well-funded campaigns.

With the 2012 elections looming, time may be running out for New Jersey and America. I know we have at least 3,153 thinking citizens in my District, and another 1,000 in New Jersey’s District 13. Therefore, my closing question is: can those of us who are aware of what is happening waken others out of their apathetic sleep and change the sheeple back into real live thinking people?

May God have mercy on America and forgive us of our “sheepleness.”

Featured image: Christopher Gadsden’s “Don’t Tread On Me” flag, the unofficial symbol of the Tea Party movement. Photo: User VIkrum/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License

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RoseAnn Salanitri is a published author and Acquisition Editor for the New Jersey Family Policy Council. She is a community activist who has founded the Sussex County Tea Party in her home state and launched a recall movement against Senator Robert Menendez. RoseAnn is also the founder of Veritas Christian Academy, as well as co-founder of Creation Science Alive, and a national creation science speaker.

candidate, economy, election, president, Tea Party

Comments (6)

  • I understand the turnout was 20-22% across the State. Pathetic!! We must instill a renewed and urgent concern and a path to victory surrounded by actions large and small that a newly concerned voter base can take. I noticed today that Menendez has over $10 million in his campaign war chest with details about his wide base of donors. No doubt the article was a way to suppress any enthusiasm among voters that he can be defeated. We need to revive motivation and hope in his defeat. But who will the R establishment run against him to give that hope?

  • As long as the “sheeple” go along to get along, we will never change. I do not like the fact that Romney is being pushed down our throats. He is “presidential” or it’s “his turn”. I will not vote for Romney if he is nomintated. I have decided that it’s time to take a stand. I will no longer be one of the sheeple. Now, if only everyone did the same, they would have to take the “wool” out of their ears and hear us.

    • It’s a bad situation. I feel the same way about the likes of Palin and Bachman you do about Romney. Unfortunately, sitting out the election isn’t much different than voting for Obama.

      I’d like to see another choice on the ballot. “None of the above.” If that option wins, noone is elected; the current candidates are disqualified; and another election with a new slate of candidates is held in 30 days.

      THAT will get their attention.

  • After living in NJ and NY all our lives, my husband and I left NJ in 2001 for the Midwest and haven’t looked back. Astronomical property taxes, real estate prices, crime, and traffic. You get what you vote for.

  • It is certainly fustrating that many of us are at the point were we throw our hats, our efforts and certain a part of our lives into a campaign to better NJ and yet nothing changes. Rose Ann is right in noting that if the voters that sit idle don’t come out and be the beacon of light, then maybe it is time to pack in our political activism.
    From my standpoint I don’t bother with party affiliation but the rest of the voters do. Until we get the voters to understand the those representing them don’t share their values, nothing will change.
    Then once this is done the next step is to enlighten those looking to reform the republican party that NJ is a blue state. NJ is fast becoming like MA, RI, Conn, a democratic strong hold where high taxes, political correctness and infringements on our rights is a daily norm. The only thing reforming the republican party will do is slow the death because many democrats won’t switch over especially since Christie is hammering teachers so hard.

    And those newbies in the tea party aren’t helping much either since the hard work in putting forth candidates and unifying really didn’t accomplish much. Where was the change and where did we hold any politician’s feet to the fire?

  • “A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.” Napoleon Bonaparte

    We must still search to find the secret of how to have people learn how “rights” and “interests” are connected; or get the people to voice their most powerful concerns and fears so they motivate themselves vs. our telling them the possible losses they might suffer. An insight gotten for oneself is more powerful than one told by another.

    Many people have their interests tied up in the nanny state and IMHO they perceive the issue of “rights” associated with loss of their freebies from the government. So it becomes fear of tangible economic loss vs loss rights often not seen as tangible.

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