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The Hazards of Maintaining 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 humans are cognitively biased to prefer what is known to what is new and less known. 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 to support 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.

But there's a problem with that, and it's a big one. 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". As an example, the business world works in a way that essentially requires changes to the status quo. Competitors change tactics, customers change buyers, governments change policies, strikes stop production, and occasionally natural disasters cause havoc. As a result of these and other causes, maintenance of the status quo is simply not enough, and organizations need to adapt and change. This, by extension, requires that a conscious decision be made to reject staying the same in order to benefit the company or the group.

From my perspective as a novice politician, nowhere is this desire to maintain the status quo and reject anything different more obvious than in U.S. national politics. The Old Parties have been at their particular game for over a century, and so have a highly vested interest in rejecting anything new or different unless one of them introduces the topic. 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. For decades, each of the parties has (with very few exceptions) consistently offered candidates that seem progressively worse than their previous one, and yet, for all of their recognized capriciousness, these candidates are lauded by their individual groups as "better than the other guy".

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we were using when creating them." It's long past time for the status quo of American politics to change. We need to choose differently; to choose better. We need to reject the status quo and take a risk to choose something better. It's up to you, because you are the power.

Committee to Elect Darren Hamilton
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