Thursday, November 13, 2008
Left or Right, America?
Is the Public Turning Left?
It would appear that with the population aging, we should see a long-term trend to the right, not the left. This election, while an interesting interlude, does not portend any long-term move leftward, but, rather, it reflects a public dissatisfaction with "the way things are".
Much of how things are is not attributable solely to the right wing, or to the president, although one can see the pundits attempting to reinforce that idea in the minds of the electorate. In my opinion, the majority of Americans are indeed center-right in their outlook and in their hearts. I believe that many citizens have felt betrayed by the incumbent right, and hence voted against them, as opposed to voting for Obama and the left.
I also believe that some citizens felt it time to shake up the established rightist legislators, administrators, and judiciary by putting power to the left--temporarily, in their minds (which may well turn out to be a disaster for them and for the US). A year or so as underdogs just might bring Republicans and their conservative constituents to heel, so to speak, it is thought by some.
Many believe that the GOP itself has been moving leftward as well, which requires drastic correction to hold the right.
The undecideds, the independents, or whoever sits officially uncommitted to a party, were even more willing to vote Democratic, for the same change reasons, plus the Obama-factor, the Messiah factor, which has been very palpable to the public.
In my opinion, it is also true that the public is tired of the Iraqi war, with its loss of life, crippled men, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent on an obviously dubious, although noble, idea: a free and stable Islamic Iraq that aligns itself with the US after we withdraw. The bad decisions and strategies in getting where we are now in that process have extended the time and resources needed beyond conventional reason, and with the Iraqi government showing its independence from our ideas now, we are not moving forward. To top it off, we seem to be going backwards in Afghanistan. Something needs to change here, the success of the "surge" notwithstanding.
Then comes the meltdown of our market, and the hard impacts it has had on every man's retirement funds and other prospects. Fortuitous, perhaps, but quite devastating to Republican chances in the election. Now here is a crisis of the first order, that was not foreseen, and was not headed off by the incumbents. The current administration is to blame in the eyes of the public, I suggest, which has driven many voters to the left by default. More of the same was not a good bet.
These factors support my contention that the public is not veering leftward in any permanent sense, but has been forced there by the current circumstances and the prospects for the near term. They will return when they see the leadership, the plans, the goals, and the issues and solutions that they approve of unmasked for their vote.
The beginnings of that are in Newt's American Solutions; which seems to be trying to become a non-partisan movement.
Will it be under the Conservative flag sooner or later? It would appear so, but with heavy bipartisan support.