Sunday, October 18, 2009
The Great Disconnect
Where our government is not reflecting the will of the people.
From a series of six well-constructed polls in 2007 covering the entire American population there has emerged a series of startlingly cohesive opinions that our citizens hold on current political, social, military, economic, religious and scientific issues regardless of their political persuasion.
In fact, these positive opinions garnered majorities of between 70 and 90 percent or more of those polled. When you look at the platforms of the parties, and at the on-going legislative items in congress, you find that there are entrenched opponents to the issues in each party that almost completely stifle legislation that the public strongly desires.
Thus, it can be asserted that the congress, the judiciary and the administration are not reflecting the will of the majority of Americans in their legislation and operation of the government. This is the great disconnect, and it is at the root of serious public discontent with the direction we are being forced to follow.
What are these opinions? Here are a few of the highlights paraphrased from the polls conducted under the auspices of American Solutions, AEI, and the Gallop organization, and documented by Newt Gingrich in his book: Real Change, Regnery Press, 2009. (www.americansolutions.com)
1. By a majority of 85%, the public wants to defend ourselves and our allies.
2. By 75% they want to defeat our enemies where found.
3. By 93% the public believes that Al Qaeda poses a serious threat.
4. Over 85% believe that Iran poses a serious threat.
5. 79% of our citizens want convicted terrorists to receive the death penalty.
6. 83% want a law that makes it a crime to advocate the overthrow of the nation or to advocate killing citizens.
7. 77% want terrorist web sites to be closed down by cyber attack.
8. Over 89% believe that religion and morality are very important to them and their families.
9. 79% believe that religion and morality are important to the country.
10. 87% approve of the reference to the Creator in the Declaration of independence.
11. 88% approve of the reference to “one nation, under God,” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
12. By 78% citizens approve of displays of the Ten Commandments in public places.
13. Some 81% oppose removing crosses and other such monuments from public places.
14. 94% approve of a moment of silence in schools to allow students to pray.
15. By 90% they approve of placing Christmas Trees in public places.
16. 93% believe it is important to acknowledge that our rights come from the Creator, not man.
17. By 86% citizens choose a candidate that respects the lessons of the founding fathers over a secular candidate.
18. 81% want to protect religious symbols from removal from public places.
19. Over 83% of Americans support an effective visa program for workers.
20. By 89% citizens want a tamperproof ID system for foreign workers.
21. By 93% they want foreign workers to take an oath to obey US laws, and to be deported if they commit a crime.
22. By 88% they want foreign workers that commit a felony to be deported.
23. By 72% citizens believe that current immigration laws are not being enforced.
24. Over 78% support heavy fines for employers that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
25. Some 66% want all illegal immigrants to be deported.
26. Over 87% want English to be the official language of the nation.
27. 77% of Americans believe we should build more oil refineries.
I have no reason to question the methodology or analyses of these poll results, but I would want to repeat the exercise with perhaps a wider support from all political groups, and with a number of additional questions, in order to confirm and expand our knowledge.
The added questions would verify the opinions of our citizens on abortion, same-sex marriage, teen sex problems, and unwed mothers. From earlier referendums in about 11 states, these moral social issues received highly negative votes, on the order of 70% or more opposing them and wanting some kind of corrective action. Again, a huge disconnect emerges between the populace and the government.
While our representative republic is partly designed to cool off the tempers of the public with deliberation and decision when passions are running very high on some immediate issue or another, this set of opinions is not immediate: each one is enduring and deeply held. Many are ultimately founded on the religious and moral beliefs of the citizens, which, to them, are immutable, although the Left daily scorns their positions.
Why does this great disconnect exist, and what must we do about it?
UPDATE: Some further thoughts on The Great Disconnect:
1. These opinions, in sum, reflect much more of a conventional rightist mindset than a leftist one. How did a leftist congress and president get elected then? The key factor is White Guilt, which is now being dissipated rather rapidly. The second factor, spending by the Bush administration, has been overwhelmingly transferred now to Obama. The third factor, GWOT, is being booted by Obama now. The devil should get his due also: Obama did run an effective campaign and McCain did not.
2. That America leans to the right in general seems to be confirmed. Yet, we are living with the leftist crowd that conservatives do not want have in positions of power. The more the left show their real objectives, the less the electorate as represented in these opinions will approve. We hope this disapproval is acted upon in time to unravel the damage.
3. The very large percentage of citizens that favor the Christian religion and morality, and the protection of Christian religious statements, signs and symbols in public places, argues also that a substantial majority most likely will hold faith-based positions on moral social issues as well-- including abortion and same-sex marriage. The percentage of people that profess a religious belief in this poll is in general accord with the last census results. Those people that moan about the hard line conservatives have taken on abortion and same-sex marriage, and the use of these issues as litmus tests, will be surprised in the next election cycles if these results bear up. Most moaners are not religious at all, it would seem, but are in that 10% of nones; a scarce few of them actually follow the Right.
Christians are taught tolerance of other religions, and the nation itself is built on the principle of freedom of religion. But, if a religion and its leaders advocate the (eventual) overthrow of this nation and the subjugation or killing of non-believers, then we see the strong advocacy in our public for the death penalty and the passing of laws that would seriously inhibit such actions.
4. Amnesty for illegal immigrants appears to be highly objectionable to a great majority of our citizens. This leftist government will probably try to pass an amnesty bill, which will give the right another significant boost at the next election.
5. Defense and prosecution of the GWOT against Islamic Jihadists stands very high on the agenda for most Americans. The new administration is backing out of Iraq as fast as possible, and will most likely find a way to get out of Afghanistan also, despite the earlier solemn declarations of Obama. They are not facing the Iranians down on their development of nuclear weapons with any success either. The Middle East is very much the same cauldron it has been for 60 or more years, with the added danger of possibly having nuclear weapons passed into terrorist hands. Obama is playing a dangerous game here with the Israelis, and showing far greater preference to the Palestinians—and Muslims in general.
6. A large citizen majority is focused on ensuring that the Constitution is respected and upheld. Violations and bending of the provisions of the Constitution are standard practice on the left, especially for the five left-leaning justices on the Supreme Court. It is a “living document” or guideline to them.
7. This set of opinions argues that conservative candidates for office must hold true to their conservative principles. They will then find substantial, winning support across a spectrum of voters. That they will possibly shed some centrists and pseudo-intellectuals in the process is understandable. We hear every day that conservatives must relax their principles and standards or else be consigned to second place forever. Real Conservatives, and, as shown in these opinions, a majority of the people, know otherwise.
8. There is little in this set of opinions that would spark the Far Right into frenetic action; rather, it has a sufficient conservative cast to it that they would in all probability be content to support it in the elections, as far as it goes. We are told that the Far Right will poison the electorate against the conservative Right with their antics and stupid remarks. One could point out that the Far Right has been there just about forever, and they have made their opinions known every year very loudly indeed, so their song is not new. After all, they are firmly on the margin. It is much, much more likely that a sound brigade of conservative candidates in 2010 and 2012 will bring the Far Right into the big tent at election time without a lot of yelling and screaming.