Reinforcing Deviance From the Norm

The other day there was a news piece showing a conservative senator from my state disagreeing with the way the Republican Party was moving on a hot topic. It sounded like he would vote against what the majority of the party was trying to do.

I could hardly believe it and I posted about it on Facebook. I said was going to call his office and thank him for that position.

Many of my friends were as excited as I was. Others were supportive but pointed out the negatives. He wasn’t against the legislation I disapproved of; he just wanted to slow things down. (True.) He probably had another, worse agenda. (Quite possible.) His actions would make no difference in the long run. (Hmm.)

I’m new to this politics stuff. It’s years since I have been politically active. But I disagree about that part about it making no difference.

deviance a grid of squares where one is out of lineWe have a majority Republican Congress. If they have unity in their party, they will be able to push through so many actions that will harm our country’s people.  That unity, that bloc, is our meta-problem. It will come to bear on every issue that goes before a vote.

Those Republicans who do disagree on small or large points will find themselves the recipients of huge pressure from the majority. Not to mention from the president. They will be ruining the party, raining on the parade. In most cases it will be a difficult stance to take.

I say most cases because I’ve become aware that some members of Congress will vote against their party at times when they are sure it won’t affect the outcome. But you know, even stepping out of the party line by that small amount takes a certain amount of chutzpah.

Maybe I’m naive, but it seems to me that when any of them publicly disagree with an evil agenda item supported by their party, that’s a good thing. It’s a hard thing for humans to do.

I’m going to support the action of a Republican senator or representative who opposes the bloc and stands up for the American people and American values. I’m going to dish out the kudos and thank-you calls and remind them of the other constituents out there like me.

I called my senator and left a message with an aide praising his statements. I said I hoped he would keep up that position. I added some personal remarks. I had a goal in mind with this call, but it was completely honest. I can disagree with 95% of what comes out of a politician’s mouth and still seek to reinforce what may be his standing on something we partly agree on. That’s the best it’s going to get for some time to come, I think. In my state, anyway.

I’ll be calling about the things I disagree with as well. But I’ve heard (and believe, since it’s human nature), that they receive far more negative responses than positive ones. So maybe my calls with the intent of positive reinforcement will count for something.

Author: Eileen

Eileen Anderson writes the well-known Eileenanddogs blog, which has been featured on Freshly Pressed by Wordpress.com and won the award, “The Academy Applauds” in 2014 from The Academy of Dog Trainers. Her articles and training videos have been incorporated into curricula worldwide and translated into several languages. Eileen started a website for canine cognitive dysfunction in 2013, http://dogdementia.com, which has become a major resource for pet owners whose dogs have dementia, and published a book on the subject in 2015. It turns out she has thoughts about other things too, and those are what appear in this blog. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance and a master’s degree in engineering science.