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Friday, October 31, 2014

Will This Election Matter?

"No compact among men ... can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other." — George Washington, draft of first Inaugural Address, 1789

Much has been said and predicted about and for this upcoming midterm national election. The pundits and pollsters are falling over themselves to toss out predictions as to how many seats in the Senate and House the Republicans will take. The party “strategists” are doing their job of pushing the party’s talking points and spinning their message to potential voters.

The long-awaited midterm elections are but days away, and Republican optimism is beginning to cross the border into giddiness. Last week RedState’s Erick Erickson all but declared the Senate won, despite many close races:

“With the President’s numbers so bad and the GOP’s numbers so good, it makes you wonder what is going on in the state level polling that shows so many races so close. That national polling trickles down to states.

Perhaps there is some over-compensation and over-correction that is, ironically, going to cause a lot of pollsters to repeat the mistakes of 2012. There is no evidence that the voters who vote for Barack Obama are the Democrats’ voters. They are Barack Obama’s voters.

They did not show up for him in 2010 and the hysteria and race baiting the Democrats have stooped to in these final weeks suggests they know these voters will not show up for him in 2014 either.

The end of Barack Obama’s Presidency approaches.”

And at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey has been predicting a wave that will finish off the Democrat majority in the Senate for some time. After looking at a round of polling showing GOP fortunes improving in the home stretch, his co-blogger Noah Rothman declared a “universal shift in momentum toward Republican candidates and away from Democrats and the independents who would caucus with them if elected. A late-breaking wave is cresting.”

Erickson, Morrissey, and Rothman aren’t alone. The conservative punditocracy seems almost united in its expectation of a coming Republican Senate, and there are even predictions that the GOP will not just sneak back into power, but will hold a majority with breathing room when the smoke clears.

The GOP currently sits at 45 seats in the Senate, but gains in non-competitive races in West Virginia and Montana — where the Democrats have quite possibly the worst candidate for the U.S. Senate in modern memory — are a given. Despite some buzz earlier in October to the contrary, a Republican pickup in South Dakota now looks more likely than not. And Republicans hold leads in Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana, and Colorado that appear safe enough for cautious optimism. Additionally, Iowa looks like a close victory for the GOP. That lineup would put the party at 53 seats. Then there are potential GOP upsets in North Carolina or New Hampshire, where Democrat incumbents are polling at significantly less than the magic number of 50 percent.

A Republican sweep, the wave election some predict, could carry those last two, push back the Democratic challengers in the red states up for grabs such as Kansas and Georgia, and run the GOP’s total up to 55 seats. And if the number gets that big, then it might even get bigger: Maine’s independent Senator Angus King might note the shifting of the winds and caucus with the Rs rather than the Ds (the Republican governor Paul LePage is now polling at a significant advantage, indicating King might be safer in the new majority in the near future) and it’s not impossible that West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, increasingly alienated from his own party, might decide to flip.

In Colorado, Mark Udall has been dubbed “Mark Uterus” for his incessant reliance on “War on Women” rhetoric against his Republican opponent Cory Gardner. So far a campaign on free contraception has failed to deliver on expectations, particularly when Gardner began to call for birth control to be sold over the counter. Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz earned the disgust of even many in the mainstream media for accusing, at least figuratively, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker of being an abuser of women.

In Louisiana, Democrats are using shadowy union-funded PACs to push black turnout through mailers and door-hangers. In North Carolina and Georgia, the appeal is even more naked — complete with imagery of lynchings and references to the Ferguson riots. A Florida-based, SEIU-funded group is selling bulletproof vests as a fundraiser to support a web ad telling black voters that unless they pull the lever for Democrats the police will shoot their children.

The turnout will be low, probably less than 35% of eligible voters, and the party that can generate the most passion in their supporters will probablybarack-obama-2008-excel-speech win. In some states the election is a walk-away for the Republicans and in other states it’s too close to call. But the trend is towards the Republican Party due to the unpopularity of President Barack Obama. He has been laden with issues and scandals demonstrating his lack of leadership. Issues and scandals such as the; The IRS’s illegal attacking conservative groups, Fast and Furious, the Bengasi debacle, thelarge_KanzlerGermany_Obama_2008_Meye handling of the Ebola virus, the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the aggressions of Russia in the Ukraine, the atrocious performance of the VA, the mass invasion of illegal immigrants across our southern border, and the targeting of reporters of FOX News. Yes, the man who, in 2008 at Mile High Stadium in Denver in front of Greek Columns and 200,000 screaming Germans at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, had the most popularity of and Democratic candidate in decades. Now his popularity ratings are dipping below 40% and the hope and change man is not a welcome guest on the campaign trail of many Democrats.

According to a recent article in the Washington Post:

“Democrats have been running from Barack Obama for some time, but now they’re already beginning to point fingers over the looming Election Day debacle. “This off-year election has become almost entirely a referendum on the president,” said one Democrat consultant. “It’s not just anger at [ObamaCare]. He has become, in my opinion wrongly, the symbol of dysfunction in Washington. That has led to a demoralized Democratic base, energized Republicans and those in the middle have an easy way of venting their frustration, and that is to punish the president’s party.” Another consultant added, “It is not all Obama but a lot of it is.” Part of the problem is that Obama thinks it’s all about Obama. “Make no mistake,” he said, “[my] policies are on the ballot.” And it’s killing Democrats.”

Oh yes this election matters to the politicians but will it really change the direction out Republic is going or stop the slide of governance away from the vision and Constitution of our Founders? I don’t think so. To me the election is synonymous with arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

For the past 100 years the progressive statists have been dragging the Republic away from our cultural, religious, and constitutional roots. The politicians may change, but the masters of the administrative state and academia will remain to carry out their cubicles and classrooms to dictate policy, regulate your lives, tax your earnings, and fill young minds with liberal-progressive clap trap. To change this it will take much more than one election. It may take 5, 10, or 20 elections along with the demise of the academics and statists. It will need a new generation of educated voters steeped in the values of our culture and dedicated to the vision of our Founders to really make a difference and bring our Republic back to the center.

I don’t mean to be a naysayer or negative about this important election, but I am a realists. I have written ad-nauseum about the rise of the administrative state and the power of the statists supported by the liberal progressive agenda along with the corruption of our education system from k12 through the university system. This is a powerful cabal that will be difficult to defeat if we want to return to the roots and visions that made this Republic the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Kathryn Jean Lopez writes on culture for the Heritage Foundation:

“There is no sugarcoating it. With each passing year, on most cultural fronts, things have been getting worse. There is coarseness to our society and a shredding of real ties that bind us to one another. Only about half of Americans are currently married, and about half of the children in the U.S. will spend time outside a household with a married mom and dad. Whatever the circumstances, that has an impact on people and culture, and it shows up in indicators from fertility rates to teen drug use. Our brotherly social safety net is fraying, and we now look to government instead, compounding our problems. After all, bureaucracy doesn’t do love as well as civil society does.

The brave new world of family life today, with seemingly endless prospects for future chaos, makes one nostalgic for the days when we were at least agreed on some of the fundamentals for a good, healthy home environment for children and women and men. Our lack of a common vocabulary and understanding of human nature has made public opinion — and now even our lawmaking and courts—susceptible to wild claims about truth and tolerance in spite of social science evidence about marriage and family to the contrary. Devoid of reason, history, and tradition, these claims simply wouldn’t have made any sense a few decades ago.

As recently as a decade or so ago, a sensitive cultural observer might have referred to “broken homes” without the prospect of a politically correct shutdown. That shutdown of serious dialogue about the direction of our society is a hallmark of what has been dubbed an “Insatiable New Intolerance.” As a powerful, thinly veiled intolerance has established its power—throughout the culture: in education, the entertainment industry, medicine, and politics—the outlook can seem grim for anyone holding traditional views of marriage, family, and life.”

Americans have good reason to be proud of our country’s many achievements in science and technology. The U.S. is home to Silicon Valley, the technology capital of the world, and to 16 of the world’s top 20 scientific universities. Many of the essential devices we use every day such as the television, automobile, airplane, internet, personal computer and smartphone were invented by Americans.

The passion for scientific discovery in America goes all the way back to our nation’s founders, many of whom were deeply engrossed in the sciences as well as the politics of their day. In addition to authoring the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson was an excellent mathematician and a prolific inventor. Beginning in 1797, Jefferson served as president of the American Philosophical Society, the country’s leading scientific institution.

When he became president of the United States a few years later, Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark to explore the new Louisiana Territory and chart a route to the Pacific Ocean. Before the expedition embarked, Jefferson sent Lewis to Philadelphia for training in medicine and the natural sciences. The president was adamant that Lewis and Clark document every detail of their trip — the people they met, the animals they encountered, the plants they found, and the geology they observed.

The explorers sent many specimens back east to Jefferson, including some live animals (such as a prairie dog and a few magpies). They became the first people to describe a number of plant and animal species for science, including the grizzly bear.

The curiosity of the founding generation of Americans — including such figures as Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, and others — shaped America profoundly. The spirit of discovery became one of the nation’s defining characteristics as Americans rushed west into the frontier, then connected the continent through a busy network of steamships, railroads, and telegraphs. The belief that there was a better future ahead — and that American ingenuity was the key to it all — was an important cultural foundation on which many of the accomplishments we see today were built.

Today, the pioneering sense of excitement about the future has all but disappeared, in part because we are doing a poor job of helping the next generation appreciate the great achievements of our past.

Indeed, for two generations now we have failed to teach American history in our schools, and as a result, many students struggle with the very basics. Just 20 percent of fourth-graders, 17 percent of eighth-graders and 12 percent of twelfth-graders are at grade-level proficiency in American history, according to the Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress.

A majority of fourth graders don’t know the purpose of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Department of Education data show. Most fourth graders can’t say why the pioneers moved west. And two-thirds don’t understand that westward migration resulted in new states being added to the union.

We must do a better job. If children fail to learn American history, they cannot possibly understand how America became the great country it is today. And more importantly, they won’t be able to help America remain the most pioneering and prosperous nation on earth.

So while this election can be a first step towards returning our Republic to the vision of our Founders it will mean little if we, as a nation, cannot, begin a return to our cultural, religious, and constitutional roots and reverse 100 years of liberal-progressive destruction of these roots. Politicians will follow the will of the people if that will is strong and continuous. Ronald Reagan showed us how to express this will and provide the constitutional leadership this Republic so urgently needs. If we cannot do this than this election is more of a trick than a treat.