Nearing the final hours of this campaign I honestly keep asking myself a single question – what am I missing? An economy in shambles. The forced adoption of a health care plan that the vast majority of the country opposes. A failed foreign policy that has greatly diminished the standing of the United States. A national deficit that has grown more in the past four years than it did in the first 225 years. Scandal after scandal in which the current administration is caught directly lying to the American people. With this kind of record for an incumbant President you wouldn’t think that his chances for reelection would be very good. Yet we go into the final day of the campaign with many “experts” considering this a very tight race and probably the majority believing that the incumbant, President Obama, will win. I am SO confused.
Now I have consistently made it clear where I stand on things (Thinking Right Projection), but I really am confused about the apparently genuine fervor that many Americans seem to still have for the reelection of Obama. Yes, he is a charismatic man who is a fantastic speaker. Yes, he is the first black man elected President. Yes, he is a supporter of many government programs to redistribute wealth from those that have earned it to those that he believes needs it. NONE of those things seem to me to be any real justification for supporting the reelection of a man who forecast unemployment under 5.5% by the end of his first term (its hovering around 8%), that promised to cute the deficit in half (it has exploded as detailed above), that promised to reach across the aisle to creat consensus (Obama has been one of the most partisan Presidents ever) and to reestablish America’s place in the world (America’s power is at its ebb compared to any time in the past century).
I think that a big part of it is that people are just choosing to get news and information from places that give them what they want to hear. (The American Political Divide) If you only hear the good stuff about an administration then I am sure you have a very different view of their performance. Similarly, people are also likely to simply reject news reporting or information that conflicts with their pre-existing views. I find it scary that we live in a time when there is directly contradictory factual reporting and no accountability for getting it right.
I also think that we have created a seriously dependent culture that is tenaciously clinging to their “entitlements” not understanding that those are not really entitlements but redistributions of wealth that were made as a policy matter and can be taken away as a policy matter. No one has the “right” to money, goods or services – you only have the right to pursue those things in a fair and even-handed way. Say that last sentence out loud in many crowds and you will instantly be called a “racist,” “elitist” or worse. It is going to be very interesting to watch this play out over the next 36 hours and I truly think one side of the political divide is in for a real surprise – I just hope I have it right.