Applying Newton’s First Law of Motion to Politics

by Diane Dimond on March 23, 2015

Newton's Law Warns - No Motion, No Change

Newton’s Law Warns – No Change Without Outside Force

Bravo and Hooray! We the American people have officially identified what’s wrong with this country.

For four straight months now the Gallup organization’s poll question, “What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?” has gotten the same answer. Respondents have concluded that it is (can I get a drum roll, please?) the government.

Gallup reports the economy and unemployment, healthcare, race relations and immigration all continue to worry us but dissatisfaction with our government is the most often mentioned concern these days. In addition, Gallup says 67% of us are not satisfied with the direction the United States is headed.

Real Clear Politics pegs the approval rating for Congress at a laughable 18% and it has been that low (and even lower) for years now. A Quinnipiac poll reports 52% of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s performance. But, after all this dissatisfaction with our politicians nothing much changes.

Since there isn’t another general election until November 2016 I’m thinking the pollsters will find the same dismal approval rating every month going forward.

Which causes me to think back to those long ago lessons about Isaac Newton’s first law of motion. Remember that?  “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

So what will be the “unbalanced force” that knocks off our current style of dysfunctional, choke-hold politics from its destructive path?

Doyle Thinks Politicians Are on Notice Now

Doyle Thinks Politicians Are on Notice Now

Not everyone agrees that this latest Gallup poll equates to bad news. My old pal, radio talk show host Jerry Doyle, actually sees it as good news. On his syndicated radio show he interpreted the Gallup results as proof that politicians now realize we’re on to them.

“They see our headlights in their political rear view mirrors,” Doyle told his audience. “They used to be able to step on the gas and get away from us… (But) we’re catching up to their lies … and we’re catching up to their promises and their sleights of hand, and all the games they’ve been playing.”

Now, the self-proclaimed libertarian Doyle says, everyone understands that the politicians running this country are like the Emperor with no clothes. “Everybody knows that it’s all (been) big BS,” he said.

Maybe the Problem is Too Much Government?

Maybe the Problem is Too Much Government?

Is he right? Is public awareness the “unbalanced force” that will change the course of our political paralysis? I’d like to hope so, but seems to me bad actors don’t change their behavior until they are forced to.

Some politicians may have truly thought they could deliver on their promises only to be thwarted by the politics-as-usual attitude of colleagues. But others have looked right into the camera and lied to us without blinking an eye.

In America, rarely does a corrupt politician go to prison. They pay a fine or lose their job but the justice system that incarcerates so many mostly overlooks ne’er-do-well elected officials when it comes time to dole out punishment.

Let’s watch and see what happens to the latest political disgrace, Congressman Aaron Schock of Illinois, whose high-profile lifestyle and unorthodox spending – reportedly using taxpayer and campaign funds – forced him to resign this week.

Schock (R, Ill) Spent His Way Out of Office

Schock (R, Ill) Spent His Way Out of Office

If we are, indeed, the force to affect change what are we, the voters, doing in reaction to this deteriorating and dismal leadership?

Have we demanded prison time for the corrupt? Have we gone into the election booth and voted out the bums? Has your elected official from Washington come home to hold a town hall meeting – and have you bothered to attend? Since there is strength in numbers have you joined (or started) a neighborhood group to demand action on an issue? Have you written to your representative (or the editor of this publication) petitioning for changes in the tax or judicial system, immigration, education or any other subject you passionately feel is being mismanaged?

Newton’s time tested theory tells us that an object — in this case our government — stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon.” So, what can we do? Vote out the bad politicians, demand term limits or consider running for political office yourself.

Justice is ours when we either demand it or grab it by the throat and make it happen. Certainly not when we sit back and wait for it to arrive.



Diane Dimond March 23, 2015 at 9:49 am

Reader Thomas Heldt writes:


Your editorial, “Let’s Not Sit Back & Wait for Justice to Arrive,” reminded me of a quotation I recently saw & like. You may have already seen it.

“There are three groups of people in the world. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, & those who wonder what happened.”

Regards & best wishes,

A reader & fan of your informative, intelligent & common sense editorials

Diane Dimond March 23, 2015 at 9:50 am

Thanks so much, Mr. Heldt!

Note to readers: Every newspaper that runs my column has the opportunity to re-title each piece. I believe Mr. Heldt read the version that appeared in the Albuquerque Journal with the above title. ~ DD

Diane Dimond March 23, 2015 at 9:51 am

ABQ Journal Reader Max Sklower writes:


About your column this morning. I agree with most of what you say, but you and other editorialist (sic) miss or want to miss the real truth of what is going on now and for the next two years at least.

Obama has really only ONE agenda that matters to him. The rest is all fluff and smooth speeches. The Agenda is for him to conclude the largest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind. Right now he is about 75% complete.

He has vowed to this in his books and even in public for at least the last 30 years of his life.

Then folks like you wonder why hard working folks who have sacrificed to get ahead and pay their taxes and many give substantial sums to charity do NOT like what he is up to?”

Diane Dimond March 23, 2015 at 9:56 am

Facebook Reader Jane Sorensen Lord writes:

“Dumb Americans! the govt became dysfunctional in ’08 when Marxist theory prevailed from the White House…caught the uninformed off guard.”

Diane Dimond March 23, 2015 at 9:57 am

Facebook Reader Barbara Bee writes:

“Vote them ALL out!”

Diane Dimond March 23, 2015 at 9:58 am

Twitter Reader didsocnu writes:

“@DiDimond “we the people” must become the winds of change to that perpetual motion.”

Diane Dimond March 23, 2015 at 10:12 am

ABQ Journal Reader Terry Wilmot writes:

“Diane… Here I am again. Appreciated your column in today’s Journal, “Let’s not sit back and wait for justice to arrive.” So true, so needed, on point. So, for some satisfaction somewhere in this ethereal, but so badly corrupted world we live in and within, I wanted to forward the letter I sent to the Journal in the hope it would be printed. And, of course, it wasn’t. I have a history of that kind with the Journal… over the years I’ve written lots of letters on various topics, and not one, ever, has been published. That’s disappointing. Of course, I find the Journal’s point of view very unsettling, but it’s their paper and all I can do is bellyache a bit. Funny, because I had many, many letters published over the years in the Roswell Daily Record, which is a pretty conservative rag. But anyway, your concern over the daily mixed salad of political-social-government lies and the lack of leadership which citizens are besieged with and by, I share your concern.

Terry Wilmot
>< Journal Letter Mailed 2/12/15 Now we're seeing and reading everywhere about NBCs Brian Williams violating journalistic ethics due to fabrications in some of his stories… and, rightly so, he's being punished for these violations. But what I'm wondering is why the trumpet blasts in this case when we only get bland elevator music underlying the lies, misinformation, misdirection, and fabrication perpetrated by Fox News daily week after week, month after month, and no punishment for violating journalistic ethics? No trumpet blasts? Doesn't seem right to me… especially when it is well known that lies strewn through news sources directly at the reading and viewing American audience, in violation of journalistic ethics, and especially when the lies take on all the earmarks of political propaganda to effect elections and other such institutions, in effect weakens American democracy and what this country stands for. Doesn't seem right to me, as a natural born American citizen, who is concerned about the deterioration of so many values and beliefs which were instituted, back in the beginning of this country by the founding fathers and others. I would hope that efforts of some kind coming from somewhere would end the practice of public lying by politicians and others who work for or represent politicians who purposely misinform, misdirect, fabricate, are dishonest and deceitful, about all manner of public issues which the American public needs factually correct information about to be civically responsible and properly informed citizens. Otherwise, it seems to me, too often the wrong people get into public office, perpetuate harmful policies about all manner of things, and ultimately weaken our American democracy. It's poor, mendacious and fraudulent leadership built on deceit and duplicity and in my opinion the country suffers an intellectual cancer which eats profusely on our soul as a nation. At this time in our history America doesn't deserve below grade, sadly substandard, defective leadership based on fallacies, humbug and deplorable lies. We need institutional organization and governorship that can keep the public properly and factually informed on all the issues of the day which impact life in this country… so that our standard of living, our upward mobility among economic classes, our freedoms and our liberties such as Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness as spelled out in the Declaration of Independence are not tarnished or undermined through undiminished political frivolity and empty-headedness."

Diane Dimond March 23, 2015 at 11:13 am

Facebook Friend Steve Liddick writes:

“The problem persists; people complain about Congress and then send their own representatives back to Washington. The only way to reverse the stalemate is to clean house and start all over again.”

Diane Dimond March 24, 2015 at 11:19 am

Twitter Pal tobiedenney writes:

“@DiDimond I agree, but I think it is far out of control at this point. Too little too late. Lost hope!”

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: