The elections this past week showed heavy Republican gains at every level of government, falling 38 years short of James Carville’s predicted 40 years of Democratic dominance. The Republican Party, however, did not thrive on the basis of its own popularity or competency.
Many think the Republicans could have enjoyed even more success in the Senate. If only one nominated candidate had not offended an entire race to the point of consolidating a Hispanic monolith of opposition, and had another candidate not have been Christine O’Donnell. Senator-elect Marco Rubio summed it up best saying voters gave Republicans a “second chance.”
Why the Republicans were given a second chance, and on so impressive a scale, can be attributed to a combination of any number of factors.
The poor economy was significant, as was the fact the Republicans were an out-of-power party with enthusiastic incentives in the shadow of major legislative achievements by the Democrat-led government.
Much of the debate in the aftermath has centered on whether the election results were the product of an American rejection of left-leaning policies, or if it was simply a matter of poor communication.
I find no need to pick between the two. Charles Krauthammer argued convincingly in a recent column the election results were just a center-right country correcting itself after a flourish of governance that pushed itself further left than the general American public was willing to go.
While this might be so, there is, in my estimation, the added element of the American left’s tendency to defend the common man by berating him. Misanthropic populism is a hard sell, and so long as the Democratic Party finds its most visible defenders to be self-indulgent narcissists, it will easily be fit into narratives the Democrats wish to micromanage the lives of those less civilized. President Obama has long faced charges of elitism, and to his party’s credit, it seems very much to be a grassroots movement.
The Eastern Echo has previously run columns from obvious leftist voices which, with perplexing condescension given their general poor quality in thought and articulation, denounce the importance of popular concepts such as the centrality of faith and country.
On a national scale, MSNBC’s election night coverage saw five well-educated, well-informed, intelligent commentators who all share the common characteristics of being liberal and unfunny, sit around stifling laughter—or maybe forcing it out—as the audience, and poor Ed Schultz who was banished to Nevada, were supposed to feel lucky to look in on their gathering through a TV.
The American left must realize no matter what its policy actually is, it is intuitively difficult to align oneself with such an insufferable lot. It’s too bad, I should add, since the Democrats represent the most viable means of forming acceptable policies on issues like immigration and the environment.