EU parliamentary contests a good sign for America
At this time last week, my wife and I were headed back home to Philadelphia from Chicago. We had been in the Windy City for a wedding and, as I mentioned last week, a good number of the guests at the affair had come from overseas. Of particular interest were political discussions with some of the Brits, who were absolutely certain that the United Kingdom’s Labour party would be in serious trouble in next May’s national elections.
My immediate thought was how those elections could certainly prove instructive with regard to our own midterm elections in November 2010. What I didn’t know, however, is that there were European Union elections on the close horizon.
Now, in what should be the best news in quite a while for concerned Americans, we learn that the tens of millions of people who took to the polls in the EU responded to economic crisis and overall instability by showing their comfort in more conservative policies. As the Associated Press reported yesterday, conservative alternatives were all the rage in Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Britain, Spain and more.
Many on the political left, in America and beyond, do not seem to understand the power of the market-like component of political favor. Just like the free market is a natural force–which the left fails to comprehend and therefore tries to fool around with–a certain component of politics is as well. In times of economic crisis, responsible people look to those who offer restraint and responsibility. No frills. No outrageous promises which sound good on paper but may be cost-prohibitive in terms of currency or freedom.
I believe we’ll see the same sort of pattern in the UK in May of next year, and here in America in November. The Republican Party, so long as it can shed this media-driven obsession with moderation and return to its conservative and Jeffersonian roots, can present itself as a responsible alternative to the spendthrift Democrats currently in power and will likely gain ground in 2010; with any luck, we’ll regain both the White House and either the House or Senate in 2012.
Yes, we were riding a declining economy in 2008 and the GOP still lost ground. With an unpopular war and unpopular lame-duck president, combined with an enigmatic Democrat candidate and his feel-good liberal promises in a time of pending downturn and uncertainty, however, 2008 was the exception and not the rule. As much as political favor can be a market-like force, Barack Obama was a force of his own, driven by charm and by an environment ripe for the superficial and empty promise of “change.” But, as a friend much smarter than I said yesterday, the idea of Barack Obama was more appealing than Barack Obama himself.
It’s the same thing that can be said of most liberal policies. Who, after all, doesn’t want executive-level jobs for everyone? Or free health care for all? Or a phenomenal education for all of our nation’s children? Or an open dialogue with any and all foreign regimes? The reality, though, is quite different. The world needs ditchdiggers too, the ideas which actually pass the sniff test quite often cannot be afforded, and some people truly are hell-bent on causing widespread death and destruction.
Therefore, just as we see the people waking up in Europe, we’ll see them wake up here. Yes, there will be those who will continue to support the president and his party regardless of obvious signs of modern side effects of Obama’s liberalism — such as high gas prices, astronomical energy costs, a consistently lagging economy or terrorist attack on American soil. But the vast majority of people will see that something is wrong. They’ll feel the instability, or see the result for themselves in their checkbooks.
And it is our duty to ensure that the American people understand what is going on. My neighbor, an ardent Obama supporter only months before, has been turned off by many of the administration’s actions — the stimulus waste, the takeover of private enterprise, the counterproductive energy policy now inevitable. Across America, there are millions like him, and all it takes is someone to connect the dots.
Europe is leaning to the right for a reason. Britain will do the same next May. And, with a little help from people like you and like me, America will begin her recovery a few months after that.