Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brown beats Coakley, the Massachusetts....whatever

Maybe the people of Massachusetts were expressing a referendum on the policies of the administration and its allies in Congress. Maybe it was just a case of a horrible candidate versus a decent candidate. Maybe they weren’t aware of the impact this election may have had on all of our futures. It doesn’t matter. The result is the same. I’m sure there are opinion pieces and articles across the web and in the media with titles like “The Boston Massacre”, “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World....”Something....something....something...Boston Tea Party” and other historical references meant to evoke images of a revolutionary event in Massachusetts. It’s predicable, but in this case, not unwarranted. In fact, I’d like to see this event get a name all its own. I wont presume to provide one here, but I will give a description of what I saw. Maybe someone else can name it.

The group that took control of both houses of Congress, and the White House in 2008 was not just the Democrats. It is a particular faction of the Democrat party. Some would call them liberal or progressives, but those are labels, and labels can change. The important thing is the vision. This faction truly believes that a central authority, comprised of the best and the brightest (as determined by the best and the brightest), could better provide for everyones needs and desires than a free market. The only things standing in the way are the Constitution and the free markets.

The previous administration handed them control of the finincial industry, the auto industry and had already declared a financial disaster looming, of ?Biblical proportions. They had a blank check for both cash and legislation. They belonged to the party that had veto-proof majorities in the House and the Senate, had the majority of Governors, many major media outlets in their corner and the full support of most of Hollywood and University staff.

Then, liberal lion, Senator Ted Kennedy dies. A temporary seat warmer is appointed to save a spot for the Democrat that will be chosen by the party machinery to take Senator Kennedy’s place. The honor is given to Martha Coakley, a loyal soldier who will vote exactly as she is supposed to. It’s not as if the Republicans are going to present a challenge in Masschusetts. But alas, Coakley turns out to be a train wreck. She runs a horrible campaign and manages to verbally offend almost every interest group in the state. Her record as attorney general was less than stellar. Meanwhile, back at the Republican camp. There’s no point wasting a big name contender on this race. Republicans aren’t going to win the Kennedy seat. Go ahead and let an actual human being carry the banner. As it turned out, Scott Brown did strike a chord with real people. So much so that he breezed past the Democrat before the party knew what hit them.

The Repoblicans have not taken over Congress. But the one-party super majority is over. Republicans can’t be completely ignored and perhaps more importantly, Democrats are going to take a much closer look at the what’s going on within their own party.

What if the administration and its allies had proceeded without hinderance? The President promised to “fundamentally transform America”. We had administration officials suggesting that the media be much more tightly controlled. Chavez’s takeover of Venezuela was praised as a great achievement. Chairman Mao was quoted as a favorite philosopher. I don’t think most people pay near as much attention to these things as I do. I’m just telling you what I saw. Many new policy initiatives have been killed before they got off the ground, simply because people found out about them, and to date, we still have freedom of speech. We the people still have weapons at our disposal. The most formidable are awareness and the truth. Bad ideas are not exclusive to one party. We must pay attention and hold our elected officials accountable, regardless of party. This election was one in a series of roadblocks on the way to Utopia, and it’s a doozy. But it was close.

Government oversight of the nation’s health care industry was the holy grail. There’s an old American saying; “Your right to swing your arms stops at my nose.”. It means that if your behavior does me no harm, I have no legitimate objection. It’s a Cliff Notes version of individual rights in a free society. If you make health care a national mandate, to be provided by the government, you have provided a “legitimate objection” for just about any behavior. If everyone is being taxed to provide for everyone’s health care, than everyone’s behavior has a direct impact on the financial welfare of everyone else. It would be lawsuit heaven and a license for the government to legislate everything.

I’ve often said in my posts, although I didn’t like the way the country was headed, I remain optimistic because this country has the capacity to turn on a dime. I think we’re making that pivot. Enough people at least agreed that something is not right, that they broke party ranks and decided to pull the hand break.

This battle, that many are still unaware of, is not between Republicans and Democrats. It’s between individualists and collectivists. The collectivists are vastly outnumbered, but they had stealth going for them. The problem is, once you reach the top, you can’t operate in the shadows anymore, and ultimately, the people still rule here.

Thank you Massachusettes.

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