Op-Ed: The Battle of Good vs. Evil and The Pillsbury Doughboy

[Article by Matt Pawelski- North Bend, WA. Views expressed are those of the author, not the Living Snoqualmie website. Letters and op-eds may be submitted to info@livingsnoqualmie.com]

Yep. No matter the results at this point, I have to agree with the position that there is no landslide, and gridlock is likely to ensue with the way the power is falling. And frankly, I’m not surprised and ultimately kind of glad.

Does that make you mad, that I’m kind of happy gridlock and ineffectiveness prevails? Well, what will happen if one side has a majority of control in the legislative and executive branches? You can see examples throughout American history but, most recently, from 2008 until the current date.

Yeah – one side pushes their agenda through, then they lose power, and the other side comes and pushes theirs. And back and forth in an infinite loop, we go. And eventually, there is a bit of a break in the back and forth, and we end up here: Unable to accomplish anything.

The duality is baked into U.S. history. It’s baked into MOST of human history if we think about the oldest and most prevalent historical documents… It’s binary and black and white when we all group up on sides. It makes sense there are two massive organizations, and anyone outside of this dynamic is usually cast aside.

The thing is, if we swing power back and forth every few years, and we strike opportunistically when gridlock is broken, then “the other side” is just going to swing back. This is how balance is achieved in a duality, right? A series of 1s answers a series of 0s and vice versa, repeatedly, indefinitely.

Except the problem is this doesn’t really represent most folks, I think fall into the gray areas represented by no one.

No candidate is heard in my lifetime where the mantra is “balance and sanity!” It’s either off or on, and so nuances, personal values, and weight of importance of issues inform where we have to stand when these elections come about. And it’s a crapshoot.

That said there is one path to being the greatest American government of all time in my mind. And I may die waiting for this and harping on this, but it could be any government with a few defining characteristics:

  • The government officials that aim to enhance checks and balances and bring together folks over common issues. The lawmakers that encourage meaningful discourse and are willing not to push their “side’s” political agenda as much as possible.
  • Taking a break from agenda pushing and trying to enact some real change in how we stand united is the government that can stop the power grab game.

That’s the government that can help change American politics from a football game to a people-serving democracy. Because right now, one side is always on the defense or the offense, and when the defense doesn’t have the ball, they are doing everything they can to block the offense and get possession of that ball. Then they get the ball, and yeah, you know how we play football, and I can stop this ridiculous analogy now.

So which party will be up when some serious cross-aisle reform happens to change the fundamental system? It’ll be the side that isn’t a side at all. But that situation is tough, if not impossible, to achieve with our dynamic.

I don’t know how to get there; I think the back and forth of agendas and then sabotaging the other side is just seriously tragic. And we wonder why we can’t all get along. Our current system is literally built on the foundations of division in our country.

It goes back to the Pillsbury Doughboy on Snoqualmie Pkwy: What can bring us together? Dinner rolls and biscuits, people. Break bread with your perceived enemies, and you may find a lot of common ground to build on.

Maybe this time enough gridlock will force us to change? High hopes for the near future here, regardless of the totals at the end of the day or what happens in January.

[AuthorMatt Pawelski is a North Bend resident who volunteers and advocates for trails and outdoor lifestyles.  You can find him running, riding, fishing, or climbing all over the Valley with his lovely fiance and two canine companions.  He also enjoys delicious coffee and beer.]

Comments are closed.


  • What an inspirational message! Be glad: nothing is is going to happen to improve our lives for the next two years!

    1. What happened from 2008 to present? Between 20 and 24 million people got health insurance and people with preexisting health conditions were protected. Also $6.7 trillion was added to the national debt.
      Which “side” did which is left as an exercise for the reader. Go gridlock!

      1. My health insurance has Tripled in Cost and my deductibles have doubled and the services covered have been cut it half. $900+ per month for my share of coverage and $30-40 deductibles. Before 2008 I was paying $300/mn and $10-20 deductibles. My wages have not increased and the 1 year that was my lowest income year since 2005, (2014) I actually had to write a check to the IRS. Also had to write another last year for less when my income was almost double that of 2014. I’m not a fan of the man in The House but that other idiot has actually cost me money and done nothing for the middle working class!

        1. Are you under the impression that your health insurance would not have gone up otherwise? My family’s health insurance cost went from 0 deductible 0 copays (i paid $100 out of pocket to have my child in 1993) to $1000 deductible, 20% copay, and having to pick healthcare providers from a “list” between the birth of my first child in 1993 and my third child in 2004. If Obama was guilty of anything, it was being naive regarding the cutthroat nature of health insurance companies.

        2. In 1987 – the Reagan years – I had insurance and never missed a premium. When my son was born…. they refused to pay the hospital bill. – because of a “technicality”. Even their own salesman could not understand all of the FINE print. If the salesman did understand the fine print, why would he say we put in all of the required paperwork? On EXACTLY 30 days after my sons birth – the underwriters denied the claim. It was devastating for us. I was not alone or the only one left with bills that the insurance company did not pay. This is the reason for Obamacare!

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