Despite the sweeping Republican/Conservative wave of the 2010 mid-term elections, many regions continued to send democrats to Congress or their respective state houses. Here in rapidly turning “blue” Illinois, we sent ousted Governor Rod Blagojevich’s former Lt. Governor, Pat Quinn to Springfield. Quinn is a long-time Chicago politician (with all that entails). He won the election despite promising to raise state income taxes by 33%. Not to mention, all throughout the city of Chicago, career politicians were re-elected to Congress and Springfield by wide margins.
All of this gets me wondering why do people in large urban areas, e.g., like Chicago, continue to send entrenched career politicians, many of whom have not worked a real job in decades, to Congress? The past two years under President Barrack Obama (himself a product of the Chicago political machine) and large majorities in both chambers of Congress have witnessed a historic rise in unemployment and an equally historic decline in our economy. We have literally added trillions of dollars to our national debt, practically doubled the unemployment, and burdened future generations with a massive framework of new entitlements and bureaucracy.
By all sane accounts, the presidency of Barrack Obama is an abysmal failure. His approval ratings have completely tanked, and that of Congress are at all-time historic lows. Obama has broken nearly every single campaign promise, yet he is not being held accountable for it my many of the people who voted him into office. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, bragged that the House of Representatives, under her watch, would be the “most ethical” administration in U.S. history; another blown promise.
So, I’m going to offer my $0.02 worth on why people still vote democrat even though the democrat party (from my point of view) has failed them. These will be offered as responses to the following question: “I vote democrat because…”
- I am a member in a minority group (African American, Hispanic American, etc.)
- I am a generational democrat (my daddy was a democrat, and his daddy was a democrat, and so on…)
- I am an ideological liberal and the democrat party is my home
- I am a union member and the unions support the democrat party
- I am a member of the economic lower or middle class, and the democrat party is the party of the “little guy”
- I am an independent voter and the democrat candidate is the “best logical choice”
- I am a recipient of a government entitlement program and the democrat party supports continuing and even expanding these programs
There might be some other reasons, but I think I’ve hit the big ones. Let’s break them down a bit.
Reason #1 — I am a member in a minority group. African Americans overwhelmingly vote for the democratic party for reasons that continue to boggle my mind. It was the republicans who supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it was the republicans who emancipated the slaves after the civil war. The late Senator, Robert Byrd (a democrat), was a high ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan! Why do African Americans vote for the party of slavery, Jim Crow and the KKK?
The only reason I can think of is that President Kennedy became associated with Civil Rights because of his association with Martin Luther King Jr. Furthermore, it was the democrats, under Lyndon Johnson, that began the Great Society and all the entitlement programs that are bankrupting our society today. The very programs that are supposed to lift African American out of poverty and give them a leg up have enslaved them all over again.
Reason #2 — I am a generational democrat. Quite frankly, this is a stupid reason to vote for a democrat. If the only reason you vote for someone is because that have a “D” after their name, then you are living proof that we need to implement a voter’s IQ test.
Reason #3 — I am an ideological liberal and the democrat party is my home. While I cannot stand liberalism, I can respect this reason. Much of politics is about competing ideologies.
Reason #4 — I am a union member and the unions support the democrat party. I have less respect for this reason than the previous one. The democrats continue to play the “class envy” game every election cycle. They paint the republican party as the party of “big business” who wants to break the unions and ship their jobs overseas. Yet, as evidenced by the government takeover of the auto industry, it is the unions that are hurting our economy. The pendulum has swung from the extreme of the “robber barons” to the union chiefs. Exorbitant union contracts with lucrative benefits hurt the very employers that give the jobs to the unions. The class warfare game is destroying the economy and the “rank and file” union member is caught in the crossfire as the union bosses get filthy rich.
Reason #5 — I am a member of the economic lower or middle class, and the democrat party is the party of the “little guy.” The comments about class warfare apply to this reason too. The democrats want to punish with excessive tax burdens the very people that employ the lower and middle class.
Reason #6 — I am an independent voter and the democrat candidate is the “best logical choice.” The only way this makes sense to me is if the republican candidate is downright criminal. The past two years of complete democrat control has nearly wrecked our country, why would you vote to continue those policies?
Reason #7 — I am a recipient of a government entitlement program and the democrat party supports continuing and even expanding these programs. As utterly selfish as this reason sounds, it makes logical sense. Why would I vote for the party that wants to de-fund my entitlements? Well, how about this for starters: I don’t want to be a leech on society any longer and I want to support myself instead of having my neighbor support me? I can see a government “safety net” for the truly helpless in society, but we have a lot of able-bodied people feeding at the government trough!
I can understand why people took Congress away from the republicans in 2006 and the White House in 2008. The republicans had, for the most part, lost their ideological way since the 1994 congressional takeover. They squandered the massive budget surplus they accumulated during the 1990’s and spent like…democrats! The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq didn’t help either. Not that I felt we were wrong to enter into those conflicts, but the constant media spin of those conflicts had the effect of wearing down our resolve to continue those wars.
(Sidebar: Can we finally dispense with the notion that we have an objective media? The NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC and most major media outlets are so obviously in the tank for Obama and the democrats it borders on criminal. The media is supposed to be our last line of defense against totalitarianism, and instead they have turned into Pravda.)
Anyway, I can understand why the republicans were booted out of power in 2006 and 2008, but it escapes my comprehension why the senate is still in democrat hands. Not that the 2010 elections were anything but a complete republican victory (+6 seats in the senate and +65 seats in the house), but one wonders if more people would have woken up to the failures of the democratic party how many more seats the republicans would have won.
2012 will definitely be interesting!