Look at the state of the nation today. We have stratospheric debt. We have out of control spending. We have a Federal government that has gotten so huge and overbearing that the Feds now control what kind of toilet you are "allowed" to use in your bathroom (and what light bulbs you MUST use in every room).
We have lost over 3 million private sector jobs - unemployment is at 17% (the real number), while we have ADDED over 500,000 government jobs (unemployment among government workers is barely over 5%). Even worse, we now find out that the average Federal employee makes TWICE as much as you and I do. While millions of Americans deal with smaller paychecks (or no paycheck at all) government employees at every level are getting RAISES.
Industry after industry has been strangled by ever more ridiculous regulations, and now we have the Federal government actually controlling whole sections of the private economy, from the auto industry to the mortgage market, from health care to student loans.
And now Obama and the Democrats have decided to spend yet another $26 BILLION (money taken from fiscally responsible states who balance their budgets) in order to bail out fiscally irresponsible state governments - to keep all of those union government employees (a.k.a. the Democrat voting base) employed and happy.
Now, it is easy to get mad at Obama and his comrades in the Congress - liberal Democrats have been responsible for just about everything that is wrong with the country today - but the real question is: who put these socialist lunatics in charge?
You can't really lay the blame at the feet of the 20% of Americans who call themselves "liberal" - they are always going to vote Democrat. And the 40% of Americans who describe themselves as "conservative" vote mostly (but not exclusively) for Republicans.
The real responsibility for the horrible state of affairs rests with those who are variously described (by themselves as well as the pundits) as "Moderates" or "in the Middle" or "Independents" - because it is they who swing elections, as anyone who follows politics knows. It is they who gave us Obama. It is they who gave us Nancy Pellosi.
To be fair, they also gave us Ronald Reagan, and, like it or not, George W. Bush. So what is it that makes these voters so fickle? After all, the same people who gave George Bush a 90% approval rating just after 9/11 then turned around 6 years later and elected a Democrat majority in the House of Representatives, in spite of the fact that at the time of the 2006 election, the Dow was at 14,000 and unemployment was only 5%.
But why? Why do these so-called "Independents" seem to have no predictable pattern to their voting? The answer is not as deep or profound as one might think. Because far from being the "independent thinkers" they like to see themselves, with a few exceptions, the "Mushy Middle" is just that - mushy, and prone to going with whatever is the current zeitgeist.
A recent conversation I had with just such a self-described "independent thinker" will illustrate what I'm talking about. "Harry" as I will call him was talking with another friend of mine - the first red flag (pun intended) was when my friend made a remark about how biased the media has become in favor of Democrats, especially MSNBC, and Harry responded that "Yeah, but FOX news is right-wing."
Yet when I asked him which FOX News programs he regularly watched, he "couldn't remember." At this point, I offered some help - was it "Britt Hume? Shepard Smith? Chris Wallace? Brett Bair?" Not surprisingly, he didn't seem to recognize any of their names, but by God, he was sure FOX News was "just as biased as MSNBC" but "on the other side." Harry is one of those "both sides do it" types.
I won't bore you with the details, but he then went on to regurgitate (with utter certainty, of course) just about every mainstream-media driven platitude currently flooding the airwaves - that Sarah Palin was "stupid." That (conservative Minnesota Congresswoman) Michelle Bachmann was "scary" because she was so "extreme." When I asked him precisely which policies Ms. Bachmann supported that he considered "extreme" he became incensed and protested that he "can't remember anything specific" and besides, he "didn't have time to dig into all that detailed stuff." He then went on about how the Tea Party people were "racist," and on...and on. You get the picture.
Now, I admit that a lot of genuinely independent voters really do look at each issue and make up their minds based on a candidate's stance on it. And I applaud anyone who has the common sense to actually find out the facts before rendering an opinion...or more importantly, a vote. These are the people who question things like ethanol subsidies and global warming, rather than blindly signing on to every media myth.
But sadly, there are far too many of those who, like our clueless friend, end up making their decisions in the voting booth based on little more than the accumulated "conventional wisdom" that they absorb, almost unconsciously, from the relentless flood of propaganda disguised as "news" from a mainstream media that has become little more than a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party.
Which makes them easy prey for the predictable onslaught of Democrat attack ads that will inevitably portray Republicans as anti-poor-people, "for the rich," want to "cut your Social Security" and all the other mindless propaganda that Democrats throw at Republicans every election.
More and more real independents have come to realize that it is the Democrats who are in bed with Wall Street executives, and that "taxing the rich" only hurts the job prospects of all those "poor" people. This is why their approval of Obama has fallen so sharply in the last year.
Unfortunately, my fear is that there are still enough "Harrys" out there to guarantee that our ever more precipitous slide into socialism and economic disaster will continue.