Volatility is a Wonderful Thing

During our busiest times at Global Energy Decisions we used to tell our clients and ourselves this simple truth.  Volatility brings opportunity as well as risk and thus is a wonderful thing in business as in politics if you put it to work FOR YOU instead of waiting for it to DO IT TO YOU.

Did you read the Scott Rasmussen article on the opinion page in the WSJ November 1st?

He described the successive volatility over the last three election cycles and offers lessons why our politicians have misread their mandate.  This is an equal opportunity curse applying to both  Republicans and to Democrats.  Volatility in politics is measured in a “throw the bums out” sort of way.  In 2008 the Republican candidate for president was rejected making way for Barack Obama by a comfortable margin.  But Obama misread the mood of the voters thinking they were voting FOR him not AGAINST the Bush era.

With an “elections have consequences—and I won”  swagger the President used our economic volatility as cover for a change we did not believe in and thus sowed the seeds for the Democrats expected loss in this election cycle.

Rasmussen said it well:  “Voters today want hope and change every bit as much as in 2008.  But they have come to recognize that if we have to rely upon politicians for change, there is no hope.  At the same time, Americans instinctively understand that if we can unleash the collective wisdom and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people there are no limits to what we can accomplish.”

So why do our politicians misread “Yes We Can!”  assuming that it gives them license to unleash their own political agenda rather than empowering ours?

Rasmussen suggests it is because we the voters have concluded that our politicians have forgotten who they work for and no longer ask us what we want them to accomplish as our representatives.  This mismatch afflicts both political parties and is the primary reason that volatility exists as the only way for most voters to mark the “none of the above” box on our ballots.

This election cycle the TEA Party movement has added to the volatility and made it more reactive, but we can’t expect the TEA Party to persist over time because it lacks the organized staying power once the anger and frustration of the moment subsides.  Perhaps some of the TEA party people will be elected and live into our aspirations, but there is no guarantee. It means we the voters must stay vigilant and keep on just saying no to a political class that misreads our mandates.

We have seen in the last few years how quickly our national bus can veer off the road and into the ditch—and how difficult it is to pull that bus out and get it back on the freeway fast lane.  But that is what we must do giving the driver we elect new directions and a map that points true North.

So make sure you vote!