Here’s my question: If this week’s election returns demonstrate that the vast majority of the country is moving to the right, why do the West Coast and the Northeast continue to embrace liberalism, especially when it has led to economic disaster?
Both California and New York are on the verge of bankruptcy and, according to Forbes magazine, are hostile to business by way of high taxation and strict regulation of commerce. California currently owes $158 billion, and New York is holding $60 billion in debt. But Sen. Barbara Boxer in the Golden State and New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, all big spenders, won their respective races easily.
Boxer is a classic tax-and-spend liberal who never met an entitlement program she didn’t want to vacation with. So why did she coast on the Coast? The answer has to be that the “where’s mine” culture has taken deep root out west; people want stuff from government, and deficits be damned.
In the Atlantic states north of the Mason-Dixon line, it is union power and Democratic machine politics that hold sway. In Philadelphia, for example, it is all liberal, all the time. Even Ben Franklin couldn’t move that bunch. New York City politics and Boston politics are similar — Democrats dominate the union vote and most ballots in the inner city.
So while the rest of the country has thrown the big-spending rascals out, the liberal power structure holds on in select areas no matter how dismal the economy is. In his press conference after the Democrats got hammered, President Obama showed some humility, but he also knows that come 2012, he’ll begin with 86 electoral votes courtesy of California and New York no matter what he does.
Thus, the United States is not really united anymore. We are now a nation of coalitions. The tea party movement is largely supported outside the big cities, while the progressive base is mostly urban. If you listen closely to what the two groups are saying, there is no common ground at all. The president says he wants to work with his opponents and find policies that all can embrace. Does that seem likely to you?
Politics should be a performance game, and for many independent-thinking Americans, it still is. When Obama was inaugurated, 70 percent of the folks were behind him. But less than two years later, about 45 percent approve of the job he’s doing. That’s because the economy is still a mess despite a massive amount of government spending. Obama says his economic vision saved America from another depression, but that’s impossible to prove. It’s like saying John McCain would have been a better president.
If Boxer can win re-election based on her economic vision, then Joy Behar should be appointed secretary of state. All Americans should vote for problem-solvers and people who have proved their ability to improve the country for all of us. I know, I’m dreaming.
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