Middle America is Disillusioned with Left and Right
“Disillusioned” is the word that best describes how many Americans feel after eight years of George Bush and the election of Barack Obama a year ago. Republicans had a majority in Congress and the Presidency, yet achieved little for Middle America. They betrayed voters by inflating the deficit and growing government, sending men and women into nation-building wars whose purposes are still unknown, and created a culture of moral and ethical corruption in Washington D.C. It was under lax and pathetic regulatory oversight that a Republican President and Republican Congress allowed corporations to betray shareholders with questionable and highly leveraged credit default swaps, only to be followed by a $787 billion taxpayer bailout created by the Bush administration and a resulting $12 trillion debt today—so much for limited government. Republicans are now a party without a message and without a messenger.
The recent election results in Virginia and New Jersey, where Republican candidates for governor triumphed over their Democrat opponents, say more about the public’s rejection of Obama’s big government solutions and less about Republicans articulating a message to help Middle America. If Republicans think the public is embracing the party again, they are simply whistling past the graveyard and completely out of touch with the needs of Middle America.
Not that Democrats are offering any worthwhile solutions to address the most pressing needs of Middle America—job creation—but at least Democrats are intellectually honest about their desire for big government, universal healthcare, taxpayer-funded abortions, labor union power, and a litigious society for plaintiff lawyers to sue the public. There is something, dare I say “refreshing and frank” about knowing where Democrats are on important policy issues, whereas Republicans pretend to be something they are not.
It is time for the Republican party to stop blindly supporting for the business community and begin addressing the issues that impact Middle America—job creation, affordable healthcare, and quality public education for its children. Republicans are a one-trick-pony, where “tax cuts” are its solution for all of Middle America’s problems. The party cannot articulate rational policy solutions to the real problems Americans face.
Take healthcare for instance; the Republican solution has been health savings accounts (HSAs). Really? We can’t get people to save money in IRAs, never mind HSAs. Why don’t Republicans push to allow consumers to shop for healthcare across state lines, require everyone to have healthcare, and prohibit insurers from rejecting consumers with pre-existing conditions? Instead, Republicans have failed to provide any meaningful solutions to the 10% annual increase in the cost of healthcare, which is suffocating American families and small businesses. Republicans have ceded the issue to Democrats, who have now put a big-government solution on the table.
If Democrats have any hope of maintaining power, they too need to put viable answers on the table for Middle America, where people care a hell of a lot more about jobs and the economy than government-run healthcare, union card check, the protection of gays from hate crimes, and cap and trade. Both parties have failed miserably to address the needs of Middle America, which I suppose is why I feel so disillusioned with both parties.