Tuesday was, by normal reckoning, as sound a political defeat of the liberal philosophy as has ever been given by the American people. Everyone recognizes this fact. Everyone, that is, except for the President and a liberal punditry that refuses to accept the obvious. They’ve based their argument on some rather specious logic (of course, liberals exist on specious logic, so no surprise there). The argument is this: these were midterm elections, in which the “right” people didn’t vote, and so there cannot be any sort of political mandate. In the same vein, since the “right” people didn’t show up at the polls, they cannot refute the obvious (and liberal) mandate that was imposed during the last election two years ago.
It is more than hubris that drives this view. It is a distorted world view that simply cannot comprehend the very real fact that Americans do not like socialism, do not like bloated government, do not like high taxes and few services in return. We are not Swedes. I don’t mean to demean Sweden; they’ve opted for a socialist state and are generally happy with their choice. They don’t mind the trade-off of a cradle-to-grave social state for a loss of freedom and economic mobility. It is in line with their national character. But that same model is hugely unpopular in the United States because it is at odds with our national character.
Enter Barack Obama and a very leftist Democratic Party. In 2008 they were swept into power – not because Americans wanted to give socialism a spin, but because the incumbent President had managed to screw things up completely by governing as “socialists-lite.” They expanded government into more facets of life than ever, increased spending by more than the previous three administrations combined and mismanaged crises, both domestic and foreign. The new administration misread the mood of the country and doubled-down on socialism in the most explosive manner possible. In 2010, the American electorate said “ENOUGH.” The President paid lip service to the idea of changing policy, but was quickly back to pushing an ever more expansive role for government. Yet, soon enough the very size of that government became unmanageable – but the republicans nominated a guy who was the epitome of the Republican socialism. The electorate rejected him. (In the liberal argument, the “right” people stayed home from the polls that November). Once again, the very leftist party misread the mood of the Nation and tried overreaching even further. They were perplexed when their prized policy endeavors – increased gun control, increased spending, even higher taxes – were soundly rejected by the people. They were equally confused when their preferred method of engaging foreign adversaries, essentially singing kumbaya and sticking our collective head in the sand, began to yield very undesirable results. Around the world, tin pot dictators and “JV team” terrorists aggressively pushed their agendas, at our expense. Eventually, a third European war in the last century became a very real possibility. And that JV team began chewing up huge chunks of territory in the Middle East, using weapons we had supplied against both us and our lone ally in the region. At home, the bloated bureaucracy created by the President and his cronies in the Senate all but collapsed under it’s own weight, while the financial obligations of a $17 trillion debt kept us in the most tepid post-recession recovery in American history.
So, the voters went to the polls this time around and sent another “ENOUGH” message. Only, once again, the leftist pundits are writing this off because the “wrong” people voted.
Here’s the reality they’ve deluded themselves into thinking doesn’t exist. Presidential election years do turn out a larger chunk of the population – and that larger chunk tends to be the uninformed voter. They do not know what the issues are, and often they don’t even know who they’re voting for. They are only voting for whom a precinct boss told them to vote for, or who some celebrity on TV told them was better. They don’t know the electoral process, probably have never read the Constitution and are voting on emotion only. It is the midterm voter who tends to be informed, be engaged in the process and understands the issues at stake. So before the President turns even further leftward, this time resorting to executive overreach to pursue policies the electorate continually rejects, he would do well to shut up, sit down and actually listen to the American people.