The Changing Tide
I had the opportunity to hear University of Virginia professor and noted author Dr. Larry Sabato speak to an audience of Virginia businessmen and women on the topic of the upcoming mid-term elections as well as the presidential contenders for 2016.
He pointed out that the country has become so polarized that eventually the only time legislation will pass is when the country elects one party to the White House, Senate and House of Representatives simultaneously. I agree.
Even though the current situation of a Republican House and a Democratic Senate has passed little legislation (72 laws in 2013 and only14 passed so far in 2014), this is what the framers envisioned when they created a system of checks and balances.
Presidents have long claimed that they are fighting “do-nothing” Congresses, but in reality they are just employing political gamesmanship to curry the favor of the people and the press. If there is true disagreement with no resolution or ability to compromise, laws shouldn’t pass.
Dr. Sabato said that the polarization has become too extreme. He stated that with the current demographic trends the population growth in the minority communities would soon surpass the number of white voters leaving little chance for any Republican candidate to win the White House again. He stated that the GOP – like the liberal left of the 80’s – were fielding candidates with views seen as too extreme.
In essence he believes that candidates that would consider themselves strict constitutionalists and who derive their support from self-described Tea Party members would be the death of the Republican Party. I disagree; they are the genesis of a new Republican Party, one based on hybrid of conservative and libertarian principles. These new candidates, who represent the framers principles of limited federal government and who look to turn back the abridgment of individual rights, are the new conservatives.
There is a reality that the two parties have long since given up on the concept of big government liberals vs. small government conservatives. They both have betrayed the trust of the citizen by using their offices, not to carry out the business of the people, but rather as a business that gathers power to enrich their districts, towns and themselves. The old-line and entrenched politicians on both sides of the aisle would agree deep down that the federal government should hold sway over the states instead of the other way around.
The evidence that true conservatives are fed up with Washington-centric government is the fact that they have turned out the powerful House majority leader in his primary, and they look to unseat an extremely effective and powerful incumbent senator in Mississippi because he focused on bringing federal monies to his home state.
First, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., VA) lost in a historic primary to political novice David Brat – a professor at Randolph-Macon College – not so much because of any one particular issue, but rather it was Mr. Cantor’s losing touch with his 7th District constituents by focusing on his party’s leadership role and national profile.
The second primary still to be decided in a runoff has Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran campaigning against Mississippi state Senator Chris McDaniel. Senator Cochran trails Mr. McDaniel in recent polling despite the fact that Senator Cochran has more than provided for his home state of Mississippi with infrastructure repairs, storm relief monies and other crucial projects for Mississippi.
In Richard Fausset’s New York Times article this week, he interviewed Professor Marty Wiseman, a political science professor at Mississippi State University, who stated: “It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen… It defies logic or reason for somebody to not only run on cutting off the supply of federal money to Mississippi, but to actually be winning the race.”
What most of America can’t seem to comprehend is the fact that there are people in America who realize that the federal government is not a fountain of ever-flowing money. These people truly believe that spending must be brought under control. They believe that we shouldn’t be spending money that we are borrowing from foreign lands such as China. These people believe that America can be saved from the federal leviathan. These people are the ones voting for a true change, a change that upholds the intentions of the framers. They are the men who sought to keep the power of the federal government under the control of the states and the people.