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How to follow politics: The pizza analogy

Ohio poll worker hands out an I Voted sticker to a voter in a mid-term election
Ohio poll worker hands out an I Voted sticker to a voter in a mid-term election
Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

Since only fired up rhetoric seems to keep certain voters interested in the news, it’s no wonder we have the type of legislators that we do.

Nationally and locally, some politicians rely solely on hot language to get your vote and not on your needs and interests. Most people don’t relate to each other that way. Most Americans manage to get along day after day without hating each other over politics.

Some Americans tune out in order to not hate people over politics, they just quit paying attention. Or they become cynical and drop out that way. When you drop out and don’t pay attention, from the outside looking in, politics looks like a crazy, useless mess. Not knowing the history of the policies we are discussing, not aware of what is going on around us, it makes sense that it would.

Policy, politics is all about what we want to have happen in our world. Your vote is you stating your preference.
I’m sure you find it very useful when you are given a preference when you order pizza with a group at work. If you don’t like mushrooms, you may not want the supreme pizza. If you don’t eat meat, you may want the choice of a veggie pizza. If you are lactose intolerant, you may not want pizza at all.

The more choices you have the better. That’s what we’ve decided. Even if it’s more expensive, if we have it to spend and we all agree that it is more important to have those choices, then we offer it and you get to vote for the pizza(s) you prefer.

Not every choice is chosen and sometimes it’s only one or the other; the Democrat or the Republican. But if you don’t voice your preference, yours may not even be up for an option. You have to be involved and joined in with groups that agree mostly with your preferences.

That’s how you find the politician whom you want to voice your choice. If they do the opposite of what they said they would do or they don’t do what they said they would, then you can choose to pick someone else that does and you believe will do what they say they will.

Or you yourself can decide that you want to be the spokesperson, the representative for your group or your side. Then you go out and try to persuade the majority of people who will vote that you are the right person to represent your group’s ‘pizza’ preferences.

Your group eats meat and cheese; most like it the cheesier the better. Some in your group have decided that they can just pick off the mushrooms but that they like everything else on the supreme. Yours is the only group offering a better variety of choices and your group wants to offer all meat choices: pepperoni and sausage, ham and bacon, veggie, cheese only, chicken and barbecue.

The group you are running against doesn't believe in pizza without meat. They don’t offer cheese only or veggie because they don’t like it. You argue that by offering the people options that are meat free and cheese free means that more people will be able to get what they want.

The other side rebuts that a pizza without meat isn't really a pizza. A pizza has to have meat on it to be authentic and desirable. There is no sense in offering those options because, a) it’s more expensive and b) people who eat pizza that way are doing it wrong and they don’t want to contribute their money for things like cheese or veggie pizzas.

You both make your arguments to the rest of us and those of us that agree with you vote for you to vote for us. Everyone makes a choice and we go with the majority. So if you really want a say in who gets to pick the pizza, you better know who is running and when you are supposed to vote and then show up, right?

But we don’t just vote nationally, for the country as a whole. On regional and State or local issues, we vote for different people at those levels. They are people that are from where we are from. We choose them for us because they are supposed to know our area best.

Those issues particular to our area are more likely to be heard on the local level where we don’t have the money to spend at our meetings as our Country meeting representatives can, but we can order from a place that provides what we, a much smaller group in our city and our State, want.

That is the essence of politics and voting. We are at a group meeting, all of us in each State in America. Ohioans for instance, we are all in a group meeting together. We have certain issues specific to our particular State or our region. Many are not the same as in other States and other regions. They too have concerns and issues that are specific to their State and or region.

Connecting our States and regions is one Country that governs them all. The group of people working under the same banner are our one Country; America. This is the Country to whom we will bill the charged pizzas. Our government, our Congress and President and Judiciary on down to our mayors and local council members, are the ones we pay to order and buy the pizzas.

We provide the pizzas to ourselves, some give more and some give less, but all of us are here in the meeting at the table to make decisions on how we will all continue to eat and live in harmony.

We are voting to decide how we want to use our shared money. We all throw our money in the pot. We vote to narrow the purchasers to 535 from every State and district in the Country, working to make the Country better, best.

We are all performing work. Even just by living here, we are using shared money. We have electricity flowing in our homes. We didn't connect those lines, someone else did. Public workers did it. We put our money in the pot – rich and poor and everyone in between – and we say to our chosen legislators, we all want to pay for electricity to be available in everyone’s house. Paying to keep it on is up to the individual.

Before there was an electricity grid, we used gas lamps, before that, candles, and before we were a nation, a Country, we were on our own. That “on our own” is the spirit that many confuse with our government as it exists today. That desire to be rugged individualists without a need for a government misinterprets the legendary rugged individualism of America.

We were on our own before we decided that together we can do more. Just consider when you live in a dual income family. When more than one person is bringing money into the house, you have more to spend.

So we decided to have a big Country that can afford every choice on the pizza menu to suit everyone. We have it and we share it because we need everybody to attend the meeting, to participate in our meetings and our discussions.

Even if you can’t afford to put a lot of money in the pot, you can put your voice in and your reason and your sense into it. That’s what we need the most. As a nation, at the meeting, we look at it the way Jesus looked at the woman who gave two copper coins at a service. She gave the most because she gave all that she had.

We need sons and daughters who protect us by giving up many of the rights the rest of us enjoy so that they can serve to protect us at home and abroad. We put money in the pot for that. We put money in the pot for roads and bridges (City Workers), street lights (Public Utilities), public schools (U.S. Education Dept), food, air and water quality (FDA & EPA), gas (Transportation Dept), and on and on.

What sets America as a Country, apart from other countries is that we were the first to make it a right that what we the people want goes.

We decided a long time ago that it is only fair that those who can afford more should contribute more. Those who can give something must give something. Those who can’t give anything because they have nothing, we try to help them get to the point where they can contribute.

Whether you participate or not, you will only have the choices that those who voted have selected, and you will have to wait another two to four years before you have a chance to vote again. In the meantime, if you didn't bother to vote for cheese only, too bad. That’s all you get for now.

Now don’t you want to voice your vote for pizza?

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