Tuesday’s Revolution

I love foreign affairs, foreign policy issues, international news, etc.  But I also enjoy peeking around the corner to understand foreign perspectives on American events – particularly politics.  The London Daily Telegraph is always a great source.  And this article by Janet Daley is more introspective in terms of Tuesday’s elections than any American source I have read.  It’s amazing how much clarity is realized from the outside looking in.

More than three centuries ago, the residents of America staged a rebellion against an oppressive ruler who taxed them unjustly, ignored their discontents and treated their longing for freedom with contempt. They are about to revisit that tradition this week, when their anger and exasperation sweep through Congress like avenging angels. This time the hated oppressor isn’t a foreign colonial government, but their own professional political class.

Daley appropriately identifies the Tea Party movement as a grassroots reaction against the political establishment rather than some arm of the Republican Party.  And she correctly identifies the terms of the Tea Party’s tentative support of the GOP in this election in her evaluation of the upcoming midterm elections.

My Republican friends, perhaps surprisingly, were not gloating. They were too furious. But contrary to the superficial British assumption (heavily promoted by the BBC), they were not devoting their excoriation exclusively to the Obama Administration – or even to its clique of Congressional henchmen, led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. That they were opposed to the Big State, European social democratic model of government which Obama had imported to Washington went almost without saying. But they were at least as angry with the leadership of their own party for having conceded far too much of the argument…..

So the Republicans are, if anything, as much in revolt against the establishment within their own party as they are against the Democrats. And this is what the Tea Parties (which should always be referred to in the plural, because they are not a monolithic movement) are all about: they are not just a reaction against a Left-liberal president but a repudiation of the official Opposition as well.

Assuming that the GOP benefits resoundingly from voter anger on Tuesday, the Republican leadership should be fully aware that this mandate is not a response to their establishment policies or agenda.  It is not even an endorsement of the GOP platform.  Their mandate will come from a total rejection of Obama, Reid and Pelosi’s attempts to push Big Government.  And many of the voters who put the GOP into power will be independent voters, unaffiliated with either political party.

I am socially conservative on most all issues.  I also want a strong miltary and an emphasis on national defense (independents won’t disagree with this).  But this election is about the economy and overbearing government intrusion.  And that intrusion finds itself creeping into many of the social causes that I hold dear.  The thing that I hold in common with the frustrated independent voters is a desire to get the government out of our lives.  This may seem libertarian, but is also a basic tenet of our nation’s founding principles.

It seems like voters are returning to those foundations in the face of the frightening alternative.  The GOP will likely benefit from this phenomenom based on the philosophical underpinnings of the Republican Party in contrast to the Democrat philosophy of Obama, Pelosi and Reid.  The GOP will be entrusted with a very specific mandate.  And if they screw up like they did last time or misinterpret that mandate – I can assure you that the wrath from voters will be equally swift next time around.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Revolution

  1. Philip, that article is an excellent find – as is your analysis!

    I find myself in the same conundrum many Americans do around election day – I am tremendously bothered by defining platforms in BOTH major political parties. Up until 2007, I was a registered Democrat. I live in Virginia now, and so I’m not a registered anything (since I don’t have to be). And I can’t imagine actually aligning myself officially and wholeheartedly with either party.

    This election I’m supporting more Republicans, simply because I’m so disgusted by economic mess that the Democrats seem hell bent on worsening. With their “rip the bandaid off a little at a time” approach to the foreclosure crisis, inclination I may have had for a Dem candidate eeked through the crack in my window. The ONLY way I can see out of this mess is to start by making it impossible for Nancy Pelosi and her cronies to be in charge. Right now, that means kicking out the Dems.

    I can only hope that the Republicans that replace them will be worth the ink it took to print the ballots.

  2. The GOP to which I belong, screwed it up for 8 years. It’s sheer luck we get to try again in only two years.

    On a side note: TOday is Pelosi’s last day!!! Tomorrow she becomes a lame duck and then retirement in disgrace!!!!

  3. The author of this post is correct that a new agenda is on the way, but it is not without its own potential downsides. I was a conservative activist with the religious Right for decades and involved in the ex-gay movement so I know the positives and the negatives very well. Let’s be clear. The idea that the Right is dangerous to the GLBT community is not some irrational “emotion” as stated by Philip the red state gay. It is a fact that a shocking number of social conservatives want to reverse all civil rights gains for gays and turn back the hands of time to make gay sex illegal once again. The idea was dismissed on this site because “not all conservatives feel that way.” But it was only one decade ago, in the mid-90’s, that gay sex was decriminalized by one vote of one Supreme Court member. A conservative President could appoint a replacement for that one vote as early as 3 years from now.
    The assumption here that you can be gay and Republican will look like a very bad case of “assUming” if gay sex is outlawed again. The day may come when you find yourself and your spouse unemployed, homeless or in jail for being gay and left wondering how the hell it happened. It’s not irrational to suggest gays may lose the right to marry, hold employment and be protected from housing discrimination. How soon has this generation forgotten the real history of GLBT people in America? You take for granted the protections you have come to so recently enjoy. And some American conservatives have inspired overseas conservatives to try out the full GLBT agenda in places like Uganda where legislation is pending to kill or imprison gays, and where a leading conservative news organization published a banner headline to “Hang the Gays” along with a list of the names, addresses and places of employment of 100 gay citizens. Think it can’t happen here? Don’t kid yourself. Look at America’s track record with people of color, women, slaves, Japanese citizens in WWII. History suggests the danger is real rather than imaginary even if you assume it could never come to pass. So, as you celebrate Republican victories tomorrow night around the nation, hope that the assumptions you’ve all made here are correct.

  4. Look at the current state of women and people of color (including Japanese Americans/Asian Americans). I don’t see anyone in prison camps or mass slavery by the oppressive white majority. I won’t pretend that everything is perfect in terms of civil rights, but every minority group in this nation is better off than they were even 20 years ago. Americans are more accepting of gays and even gay marriage than ever before. Go check the polls. As with any progress on civil rights, that progress will be marked by changing personal attitudes. And attitudes have changed significantly in a short time. The only assumption that might change that would be if Hitler were suddenly reincarnated and took total control in this nation. If you believe that would happen with GOP victories, then you are no better than the rest of the fearmongers who produce the garbage coming out of the DNC and leftist groups as they begin to read the handwriting on the wall.

  5. LOL: You’re right about London’s Telegraph. I was addicted to the paper when I worked over there. They always come up with the goods.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s