There’s been an unmeasurable amount of speculation since 2016 about why Donald Trump is so popular.

Just as unmeasurable, however, is the number of accurate answers to that question.

I think the current state of the union, however, makes painfully clear one of those reasons — people are just tired of ineffective government. It’s debatable as to whether Trump offered effective government during his time in office, certainly, but because he stood outside the mold of most of the politicians who represent us, he was — and still is — attractive to many people as a leader.

Look around at the current state of affairs. After nearly three years of COVID, a time of economic uncertainty, a recession the current administration refuses to admit is a recession, a growing crisis on the southern border and a series of culture wars that are not just expanding in scope, but also in ferocity, and you have the makings of a very fraught time.

How did we get here? There are more answers to that than I can even fathom. The one to which I keep returning, however, is the inability of primarily the legislative branch at the federal level to get anything of consequence done.

That is why the U.S. Supreme Court is the decider on issues such as abortion — which could have long ago been decided either way by legislation, but hasn’t been. Congress’ inability to get anything done on hot-button issues and deference to the courts has given the U.S. Supreme Court a far outsized role in the governance of our nation. If you don’t believe me, then why is securing Supreme Court appointments the primary underlying federal election motive of the two primary parties?

The legislative branch’s failure is why elected officials such as President Barack Obama have been able to outflank the legislative and institute laws via methods such as rule-making. Need proof of that happening? I see it every day.

The legislative branch’s failure is why legislators are more often elected on the grounds of what they will do for their party’s status than what legislation they will get passed or oppose.

And it’s why those on the outside are so much more attractive as candidates than they normally would be. The man or woman who looks like they will do anything — anything at all — seems to many to be a better candidate than the party hack.

Is it any surprise that not only are apparent outsiders welcome to the electorate, but that, as announced by Secretary of State Michael Adams last week, the greatest growth in registration is being seen in people registering as neither Republican nor Democrat.

In approximately a month, voters will go the polls in what I honestly believe is one of the most important midterm elections in my lifetime, and despite the “certainty” of polls and the word of “experts,” I believe there will be many surprises as results are announced.

Beyond that, however, I think we’re facing some real dangers going forward. The sense of frustration among members of the voting public is real. It’s growing and it’s palpable.

As this sense that the system is broken grows, so too will the feeling that someone — anyone — different would be a better option than the status quo. Of course many agree with Trump and his policies. However, I believe a lot more believe in what he represents — a change from Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi, a shock to the system, difference, etc.

Is Donald Trump more than that? Absolutely. But it doesn’t necessarily take a personality as large as that projected by the former president to take advantage of this deep-seated desire for change.

Change is far beyond needed. In fact, to say that our system is breaking or broken is an understatement at this point.

Change is also inevitable.

Our role in informing and guiding that change, however, is not. What role we take is up to us, for now. Vote in November and beyond. Vote not for a personality or for change, but for effective political figures who you truly believe will represent you. The good Lord knows we could use a few of those right now.

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