Friday, November 6, 2009

Won’t Get Fooled Again

One year after the election of Barack Obama and a Democratic supermajority in Congress, there couldn’t have been two more relevant gubernatorial elections to provide some insight into how voters feel about the current Democratic agenda.

It’s almost as if voters had Roger Daltrey of The Who in their head screaming the chorus to their classic “Won’t Get Fooled Again” as they approached the voting stations. These voters would not get fooled into voting for the Democratic agenda again.

While the loud far-right and the loud far-left occupy the majority of television and print media attention, it’s the wide middle that holds all the cards in elections these days and thankfully so. Instead of just ticking off their own parties candidates down the line, the voters in the middle don’t align perfectly on all issues to one party and therefore are required to prioritise their views on issues and vote for the candidate they hate the least. In doing so, they think about all the issues and most importantly, the ultimate consequences of voting for one candidate over another. As they say, elections have consequences – and there is no better example of that than right now.

This is where it’s all falling apart for the Democrats – once someone starts to actually think about the consequences of the Democratic agenda (huge tax increases, deficits as far as the eye can see, government run health care, expansion of unionized labor, economy-killing “environmental” regulation, micromanaging of compensation, etc., etc.), there’s not enough charisma in the world to compensate for the devastating impacts this agenda will have on this and future generations of Americans.

A year-ago, voters in the wide middle got caught out by four very powerful forces – Obamamania, Anti-Bushism, a very weak Republican ticket, and no other viable alternative. This created an environment where it seemed like a vote for change, and an incredibly charismatic individual seemed significant, historic and downright patriotic.

That feeling has passed.

The wide middle is clearly not happy with the Democratic spend and tax agenda, especially against the backdrop of huge unemployment and a stagnant economy. The wide middle is no longer willing to put their policy concerns to the side for the sake of “change” or for the sake of a candidate who is an international rockstar. Substance matters, and it’s about time.