Voting in an election is much like taking a survey. The voter pulls the lever, presses the button, fills in the oval, or punches the chad to indicate their personal preferences relating to a candidate, cause or political direction. The individual vote eventually gets lost in bottom line tabulation of total votes cast, but the prevailing majority determines the winner and sets the agenda.
In the 2012 election cycle, voters looked past the imperfections of many ballot measures and candidates to pick those that most closely reflected their own values. City of Los Angeles voters passed Prop B, requiring adult film stars to wear condoms "at work." The State of California proposition to throw out the death penalty as capital punishment was, itself, thrown out. Gay marriage, medicinal and recreational marijuana use, bond measures, new taxes - voters had lots to think about. As they stood in the voting booth or sat at the kitchen table, they studied the issues and made a choice. Some were easy choices, with stark contrasts between either side of an issue. Others were bathed in the dull light of a considerable amount of "grey area."
In the re-election of President Obama and the continuance of a Democrat-controlled Senate, the majority of voters gave us survey results to consider. There were many contrasts between Republican and Democrat candidates that we can boil down to some basic issues and questions. Some of these questions might be:
- Larger government or smaller? America voted for larger government at the expense of individual liberty.
- ObamaCare or free market healthcare services? America voted for ObamaCare, which the President has previously indicated is merely a transitional phase towards elimination of all private healthcare providers and implementation of a single-payer (government owned and operated) healthcare system.
- Limited abortion for health reasons only or abortion as a birth-control method? America voted for abortion as birth control.
- Limited role for government in corporate bailouts or license for government to invest in and take over selected industries? Voters approved using government to pick winners in the market place and to take control of industries when deemed in the public interest (read: "to save union jobs" - the Obama administration has only intervened in business when union jobs, wages or benefits were at stake; except when his campaign donors were at risk).
- Allow successful people to keep most of their income or tax it disproportionately to redistribute wealth? America voted to redistribute wealth.
- Control government spending within reasonable economic limits or spend freely with no plan to reduce the national debt? America voted to keep spending with no plan to slow down the growth of debt or to ever pay it off.
- Maintain Christian standards, ethics and principles (if not theology) as the guiding moral compass for governance or embrace a more non-religious approach to public service? America voted to reduce the influence of religion in general, and Christianity specifically, in defining the government's moral code.
- Allow private enterprise to generate jobs by creating a nurturing business environment or put more people on the government payroll and call it job growth? America voted to raise taxes and government regulation so that private sector jobs will be harder to come by, eventually making it seem "sensible" for everyone to work for the government.
To sum it up, America voted against many of the guiding principles and freedoms that have been America's heritage since its founding as a nation. When President Obama said in 2008 that he would "fundamentally change America" - he knew that he couldn't get America to adopt bigger government and socialization without giving a majority of voters a bribe. To win re-election, he gave amnesty for illegal aliens, massive increases in the number of people receiving government assistance, and no clear path to pay for it all - except to "tax the rich."
Ayn Rand predicted the current American condition in her book "Atlas Shrugged." From bureaucratic greed to the failure of government to actually be able to run major industries successfully, she described today's America in perfect detail. Backroom deals, favoritism, corruption at levels never seen before in American history. As in Rand's story, the American people are given a "safety net" in return for voting for and doing whatever corrupt politicians ask. What do they trade for that safety net? The opportunity to earn more. Personal pride that comes from achieving success. Liberty. If Rand were alive today and you asked her what comes next, she'd probably say "finish reading my book." Without spoiling the ending, I'll tell you what happens - eventually those who produce the wealth that is taken from them and redistributed simply stop producing. Then everyone is truly equal - nobody has anything. Corrupt politicians and moochers bet against this happening. They will lose.
What can another political party - GOP, Libertarian, you name it - do to restore Constitutional freedoms and American values? Can anyone inspire the majority of voters to embrace personal liberty and ethical government? The majority of voters have completed their surveys and said that these things don't matter anymore.
New voices need to find new answers that the majority of voters can embrace. Until they do, the American electorate will remain locked in an opium cloud stupor produced by a steady drip of food stamps, welfare checks, and apathy.