I see all kinds of things in the Press and on the "Net about what's going on this election. But I don't see a lot about what I think is going on.
The Democratic Party is trying to discover the roots of their low poll numbers. And personally, I think their efforts are little better than scrying in a bowl of murky water. Representative Pelosi is trying to blame Republican fund raising--saying all the money has appeared from nowhere, or from foreign contributors. (I find this to be disingenuous at best--at worst it's common mendacity. The republicans are raising money because people don't like the government that's in power. And the Democrats have raised money from the same kinds of sources that they are labeling "foreign" when it flows into Republican coffers. It comes from corporations that do business in the US, and have US branches. It's not the money I mind--it's the disinformation!) John Kerry is trying to blame Glen Beck. As if Mr. Beck would have an audience if his message didn't resonate with what people are thinking. Mr. Kerry is also voicing the opinion that the American People are frightened, and have abandoned rational thought.
Here's what I think is happening:
First, we have noticed that the share of the GDP that's going to the federal government is now about 25%--one Dollar in four is going to the black hole of federal government. That's money that people could spend themselves, on what they want and need. That spending would more effectively stimulate the economy that the Administrations Stimulus Plan. And we know that the plan that we were told would hold unemployment at no more than 8% allowed it to rise to double digits. it now hovers at close to ten percent, even though we are told the recession is over. We know that it didn't work.
We also know that this recession isn't a normal downturn in the Business Cycle. It's a crisis of debt. And we know that much of the precipitating cause--the burst in the housing bubble--was caused by policies stretching back as far as the Carter Administration, encouraging financial institutions to make risky loans to people who can't afford them to buy houses. This came to a head during the Clinton Administration with laws that essentially required lenders to make such loans.
We also know that the National Debt, which hovered around 40% of the GDP is now around 90%. And since many people felt that 40% was too high, yes people are worried. We have become a nation in danger of bankruptcy.
So the present Administration and Congresses handling of the Economic Crisis isn't passing muster with lots of common folks. By common folks, I don't mean demagogues or candidates who are trying to woo us. I mean people like the guy who posted the magic marker sign on the street I saw this morning: "Bankrupt America? Yes We Can!" Financial policy isn't standing up to scrutiny from the people paying the bills.
But there's something else that's functioning, on a more emotional level. The Democratic Party is casting about for reasons for it's declining appeal, but not looking at itself. It's looking for issues with which to oppose Republicans, and often not being able to make a case, is relying on attack ads to an extent that many believe to be unprecedented, up to and including fabrication of outrageous charges. To the point that in our area, Democratic rank and file, and Liberal spokespersons, are crying foul. They look desperate and week. But what is even more alienating, their "Masterminds", people like Pelosi and Kerry are saying things that seem to place the blame on--the electorate. As if we're too ignorant or stupid to understand what's going on. Or, perhaps, only a fool could possibly disagree with them, or so they seem to be saying to the guy who punches a time clock.
Finally, there are people who are worried about something more basic than even the economy: Liberty. With Administration attempts to gain control of the means of communication, and with things like the FBI being told to consider Free Speech lawsuits by conservatives and pro-lifers as acts of violence, some of us wonder if the Liberties that make being an American unlike being anything else will survive the re-invention of the country that the Dems seem to have in mind.
If the Democratic Party had addressed these concerns effectively, and had not tried so hard to block other concerns by opposing states attempts, under the 10th Amendment, to solve some of their own problems, they could carry this election. But they seem to eager to forge ahead with an agenda that appeals to a loose coalition of special interests and Big Government Advocates, none of which on their own constitute a plurality.
I think they are loosing out, because the average person, senses a feeling of contempt for them, and their concerns, from a Party they perceive as elitist. (It didn't help that John Kerry, a tax fan, parked his hugely expensive yacht in a state other than his own, to lower his tax bill! That made him look hypocritical. Not that I blame him--I would have done the same thing.! But it did look bad. As did Pelosi's bullying the Air Force into providing her a Jet, kept for her use at Tax Payer expense--something no other speaker of the house has had. Looks Bad, again.)