November 5, 2012

“Main Street in Revolt”

Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial page columnist, at RCP:

If Romney wins the presidency on Tuesday, the national media, the Washington establishment and the bulk of academia will have missed something huge that happened in “flyover” America under their watch.

It is a story that few have told.

It reminds one of the famous quip by New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael following Richard Nixon’s landslide 1972 victory: “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon.”

Two years after suffering a historic shellacking in the 2010 midterm election, Democrats astonishingly have ignored Main Street Americans’ unhappiness.

That 2010 ejection from the U.S. House, and from state legislatures and governors’ offices across the country, didn’t happen inside the Washington Beltway world.

It didn’t reflect the Democrats’ or the media’s conventional wisdom or voter-turnout models. So it just wasn’t part of their reality.

In Democrats’ minds, it was never a question of “How did we lose Main Street?” Instead, it was the fault of the “tea party” or of crazy right-wing Republicans.

Yet in interview after interview — in Colorado, along Nebraska’s plains, in small Iowa towns or Wisconsin shops, outside closed Ohio steel plants and elsewhere — many Democrats have told me they are furious with the president. Not in a frothing-at-the-mouth or racist way, as many elites suggest. They just have legitimate concerns affecting their lives.

These Main Street Democrats in seven battleground states supported Obama in 2008. Now they are disappointed by his broken pledges: Where is the promised bipartisanship? How could health-care reform become such a mess? What direction is the country going in?

Their overriding sentiment is uncertainty over where the president is taking the country. They have no idea but get the feeling it isn’t the direction that traditional Democrats want.

They certainly haven’t gotten guidance from the president’s re-election slogans: class warfare, a hyphenated America, spreading the wealth around.

Over and over, these folks expressed unhappiness that fixing the economy doesn’t seem to be Obama’s focus; they have noticed that those in charge have high opinions of themselves but aren’t taking responsibility for the lack of progress.

It took Romney just 90 minutes, in a debate hall just a three-hour drive from that Leadville home’s sign, to convince many Americans (including many Democrats) that he passed their threshold test.

He came across as a qualified alternative to Obama who believes in their vision of an exceptional America and convinced them he can win.

And, just like that, “flyover” America was ready to vote its conscience.

[…]

Obama’s progressivism no longer seems universal, upbeat and forward-looking; instead, it appears divisive, shrill and based on the worst kind of shortsighted power calculations.

Yesterday’s “special world” liberals, such as Kael, could be gently chided for their heart-in-the-right-place, head-in-the-clouds idealism.

Yet it is something else altogether to have today’s arbiters of political correctness order you to march “Forward” to a future with less promise, fewer choices, more intrusive government — and to justify it by telling you to accept that the new normal of high employment, low growth and diminished world influence is good for you.

Is it any wonder that Main Street America is in revolt, since no one is telling its story?

Perhaps election night will tell it, at long last.

Oh, people have been telling its story.  It’s just that it’s been the wrong kinds of people — dismissed as Visigoths or purists or racists or unhelpful firebrands likely to alienate “independents” and “moderates” — who’ve been crying out for 4 years now, the same people, incidentally, who are themselves confused about the establishment GOP’s confusion over what made a Reagan Democrat a Reagan Democrat.

Because, revisionism aside, it wasn’t a willingness to compromise principles for collegial expedience and “getting things done” just to show that you were in fact doing things.  That’s the kind of pablum pushed by the Colin Powell and David Frums of the world — and internalized by an inside the Beltway culture that has convinced themselves that what Americans really want is a government that can fix all problems, just so long as it does so efficiently.

While the truth is, most of us don’t.  We don’t pray to government, we don’t lionize politicians, and we certainly don’t want people like Barack Obama or Harry Reid or John Boehner in charge of our lives.  We want government to its job — secure our rights, protect us from threats foreign and domestic, provide basic general welfare service to be paid for by reasonable and equitable tax rates — and then stand back and let us do ours.

It really is that simple.  Or, as the left and many in the “centrist” camp would have it, it really is that racist.

 

Posted by Jeff G. @ 8:38am
14 comments | Trackback

Comments (14)

  1. aside from rolling back obama’s perversions this romney would do well to be fairly unobtrusive I think

  2. Obama has without shame completely ignored the unemployment and economic misery.

    the fact that he still has a chance to win this election shows you how stupid the nation is. If we get a landslide tomorrow night then I guess I will feel slightly cheered. (the way a prostitute is a little happier when her HIV test comes back neg)

  3. our little country can but aspire to be an aids-free whore someday

    there’s a place for us

  4. Now listen you liberal troll: Be of Good Cheer!

    [I]nstead of wondering who is a tenth of a point ahead with a margin of error around 5 points, look at … the independents. If you assume that Democrats will get their historical average of 36-38%, and that the Republican numbers will float between 35-40%, the real tie-breakers are the independents. After all, they are the difference between 36% and 51% of the vote! If you win them, you definitely beat the other guys.

    [….]

    Indeed, this is where the pundits on both sides of the aisle are concluding that Mitt Romney has a landslide-level lead with the independents. They love Romney. They dislike Obama intensely. The Obamacare guy is a mean, surly, petty grouch who cannot answer a question. The independents get it.

    Another tidbit of history: independents also vote with a predictable history—they pick the challenger. Why? Because independent voters do not actually exist except in theory and political polls. The independent voter might change his or her mind, but this voter will almost certainly vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama.

    If the independents are certain to vote for Mitt Romney, they say so—and show up on the GOP side of the poll. If they are certain to vote for Barack Obama, they say so—and are put into the Dem column. If they aren’re sure that Obama is doing a good enough job, or if they lose confidence in him…well, they are merely waiting for Mitt Romney to convince them he won’t be worse. And this gives the challenger the advantage. In election after election, independents jump to the challenger simply because the incumbent has not won them over.

    And when you factor in the independents, you start to see the rationale behind the George Wills, the Michael Barones, the Larry Kudlows, the Karl Roves, the Dick Morrises, and more predicting a powerful Mitt Romney victory.

    Now roll over and take it like a woman.

  5. I really would like to see a Romney landslide…the tears from the Obamanuts would be so delicious

    I have taken a lot of showers since my vote in 2008, but i can still feel the taint. Here’s to laying back and hoping I get a tax cut!!

  6. We don’t pray to government, we don’t lionize politicians, and we certainly don’t want people like Barack Obama or Harry Reid or John Boehner in charge of our lives. We want government to its job — secure our rights, protect us from threats foreign and domestic, provide basic general welfare service to be paid for by reasonable and equitable tax rates — and then stand back and let us do ours.

    If that makes me a racist, then sign me up.

  7. I really would like to see a Romney landslide…the tears from the Obamanuts would be so delicious

    They won’t go quietly, and I don’t mean litigation over the ballots, though that’s pretty much expected.

    They’ll declare all-out war on America. They’ll do their dead-level best to subvert and sabotage us from the outside and in (with those still left in the bureaucracies). They’ll retain their MB allies and continue their work in whatever venue they can find.

    If Mitt wins, they will erupt into the rage of the thwarted narcissist, whose craving for glory and power eclipses rule of law, decency, and sanity.

    Do NOT turn your back on them for a second.

  8. All true and all good reasons to vote for Romney if you want Obama gone and the left chastened for a moment.

    The greater the margin, the more liklihood they’ll pause

    if only for a moment.

  9. They’ll declare all-out war on America.

    About time. They’ve been waging it for generations, they ought to declare it openly just for protocol’s sake.

  10. If Mitt wins, they will erupt into the rage of the thwarted narcissist, whose craving for glory and power eclipses rule of law, decency, and sanity.

    Good! Let the mask slip, and let the vast numbers of polite, mildly-interested Americans see these stormtroopers for what they are. I think they’ll find it a lot harder to raise money and glowing press coverage after it’s revealed that they are all anti-American to the core. They’ll also find it harder to recruit fresh troops after they start taking real casualties (I doubt they’ve considered what the response will be when they start trying to break and burn our stuff).

  11. Who do they think they’re kidding? Themselves, I reckon.

    They aren’t going to do anything except whine and bitch, just like usual. On the odd chance that one or two of them do try any monkey business, well getting to visit the inside of the local jail will take the wind out of their sails and the money out of their (parents) bank accounts.

  12. This reminds me somewhat of the last election John Major won in Great Britain back in 1992. The polls were overwhelming showing a Labour victory, and yet when the election happened it wasn’t really close at all. The conventional wisdom was that when the average British voter got into the booth and was staring at the ballot, all they could remember was just how horrid Labour was the least time they held power and they voted their conscience.

    Now it won’t do to draw the parallel too far, since Labour did win the next general election there, but by then Labour had undergone quite a transformation and the trade unionists had been displaced by Tony Blair and New Labour.

  13. “They’ll declare all-out war on America.”

    What? They don’t want to pay for America’s birth control either?

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