The day after the election, President Bush acknowledged that he and his party had taken a “thumpin”. The euphoric pronouncements by the pundits on TV and headlines and articles by the writers for most of the major media outlets hailed the results as ‘historic’, ‘the blue wave’, ‘of landslide proportion’ that gave them similar laudatory and glorified terms. The Democrats themselves announced that in this election, the American people have spoken and given them a clear mandate to govern.
While the main election theme for the Democrats was “It’s time for a change” without any specifics, they now claim that the American people want an increase in the minimum wage, and end the Iraq war as soon as possible (troop withdrawals to start in four to six months), increasing taxes and allowing current tax law to lapse, i.e., allowing tax rates to go up and some even talk about healthcare for all Americans etc, etc. They believe they can achieve all this because President Bush is now in his last two ‘lame-duck’ years and therefore has to go along.
We say, Not so fast, let’s give the election results a reality check and let’s start with some basic facts: Everybody should know that the American electorate is comprised of approx. 41-43 percent each of Democrats and Republicans. That leaves about 15% for the group called the ‘Moderates’. While in all elections, the Democrats and Republicans face essentially two choices: To vote or not to vote, they seldom if ever cross party lines to vote for a candidate of the opposite party. It is the moderates who, based on their ideology and flexibility in beliefs, can vote for either party, dependent on how they feel and lean in every election. That is why they are called the ‘swing voters’ and it is true, they swing the elections to either party if the issues are clearly defined.
It is also a fact that the war in Iraq weighed very heavily on people’s mind, and it should when one considers the constant drumbeat of negative reporting by the media coupled with their, the media membership, overwhelming disdain for President Bush. The botched Immigration legislative attempts were also an issue and to some minor extent elements of corruption and scandal (the four week hype about a Republican house member’s e-mails and instant messages to a ‘page’ in the House of Representatives when he was no longer a ‘page’ was nauseating).Nevertheless, the composite of these things contributed heavily to the general feeling that things were not going at all that well in
It can be argued that the Republicans who voted this year were willing to ‘stay the course’ and that they voted Republican because the Democrats gave them really no positive reason to vote for them. It is equally certain that the Democrats voted for their Party because they strongly disliked, if not even hated, President Bush and ‘it was therefore time for a change’ to gain power again in Congress after a dozen years.
That leaves the moderates, the group in the middle who mostly voted their feelings they apparently accepted the gloomy pictures the media had painted about the war, the President, the so called ‘do-nothing Republican congress’, the corrupt lawmakers who seemed to be Republicans and on and on.
We believe that it has not given the Democrats a mandate to push for a substantial increase in the minimum wage; nor do we see an immediate withdrawal of troops out of
Iraq as the result of this election. Common sense should tell us that it might serve the Democrats well to be realistic and not overly optimistic when it comes to setting a new agenda as they begin to govern the Legislative branch of the
United States. The American people have Not given them a blank check for their so called agenda when one considers the above tabulations about the closeness of this election! This article and others on Back to Common Sense are designed to provoke further thought and investigation. It is not the intent for the articles to be politically biased. Sources are referenced in each article to encourage readers to delve into the supporting material. We welcome all readers to participate with their point of view either in support or contrary with additional information sources.
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