It was pleasing in a minor key to see the mid-term election results in the US but the American President is still Barack Obama and the will to rid us of his presence is far from conclusive. The red state majority, painted across the US other than in thin strips along either coast plus a few urban centres in the middle, depress me since given the population density, those thin strips of blue are almost enough in themselves to keep this man in the White House.
I wish I could put my finger on just what it was that gave us the election result we see. I have seen too much of others reading in their own judgments on all kinds of issues so that whatever their own problem might be is stated to be the problem in general. Therefore, even as I give my own take on these results I do so with little confidence that this is the actual story to be told.
I think of the mess the Democrats have made of the economy as the number one issue. Unemployment is still at 9.6% and would be well over ten percent were it not for the fall in the participation rate and the increase in the number of discouraged workers. The stimulus has blown an immense amount of money, the debt will never be repaid, there is a new monetary stimulus on its way that may sink the US dollar and touch off an inflationary riot, so there is real reason to think that economic issues were paramount.
There was then the health care disaster. The aim may have been to create a health system something like the Australian (which is near enough the best in the world) but which will now likely end up being even worse than the British. The complexity of what has been introduced is beyond serious comprehension unless one has really made a study of the structure of what has been done which most people have not. It will therefore be an interesting case study if the Republicans do try to repeal the legislation. If they do try, they will have to argue that they are going to take what has now been promised as a free system for which no one will pay, least of all those with the least money but possibly the most votes.
Meanwhile, if the Republicans do manage to restrain spending and bring some fiscal sanity back into the financial system, the possibility of a recovery is far from remote. In spite of everything, economies are cyclical and free market economies will simply grow if you leave them alone. You basically don’t have to do anything and up they rise. A genuine recovery is well within the bounds of possibility over the next two years. There will be jobs although it may take years before real incomes again begin to increase and the labour market returns to anything remotely like full employment.
But with recovery and more jobs will come an improvement in the standing of the President and of his party. It was less than two years ago the Democrats were talking about a forty year majority. What we will be talking about two years from now is anyone’s guess; there is nothing we can know today about what will be the way things are then.
But what I do know is that there is this 40% rock solid Democrat base that nothing will dissolve. No experience of the world, no damaging of the American economy, no wrecking of the health care system, no weakening of its national defence, no giving into terrorists, no nothing at all that will deflect this rock solid core from voting for that side of the political divide.
Adding into that the sensational bias of the American media which is absolutely shameless in its partisan allegiance to the left and you have a brew that makes this year’s result the potential anomaly. No matter who is nominated, it is one of life’s certainties that the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, all of the three major media networks plus National Public Radio will pull out every stop to prove the Republican presidential nominee a low IQ antediluvian reactionary primitive, knuckle-dragging in his incompetence while in every way protecting as best they can the Democrat nominee from any and every mistake and inanity he may make using every device on which it can lay its hands.
But there are some positives. In not taking the Senate the Republicans will not be seen as the party in charge. By not winning the Senate seat in Nevada, it has left the dour and sour Harry Reid as the Senate majority leader. By nominating low probability candidates in a number of winnable Senate seats, much will have been learned about what needs to be done to back such candidates properly, especially when those hidden trivialities that are guaranteed to be brought to light by the media in any close contest are given a prominence they do not deserve.
Let me end with this. I was watching the election returns in the company of others when the result in Delaware came up on screen about which one amongst us said, “ah, there’s the witch”. Yes, I said, but the chap who won is a self confessed Marxist, what do you think of that? And what he thought of that was not only that he did not mind, he thought it was a really good thing.
He is not alone. The proof positive of the American President’s deep left beliefs are for all too many a very good thing indeed.
I certainly worry about what will happen two years from now, but even more do I worry about what will happen ten years from now and then in the decade to follow. The enemies of our way of life have time on their side. What we have on our side is a desire for the freedoms and prosperity we already have and take for granted, but whether that is enough I cannot tell.