10.10.11

Most of us are right

Posted in Society at 15:57 by RjZ

“In all, 45% of Republicans who vote in primaries are conservative evangelical Christians. They are far less a factor in a general election.”

This quote from a recent CNN article discussing the impact of Mitt Romney’s faith and his chances to become the republican presidential canditate for 2012 really captures one of the great problems in politics in the United States.

Candidates have to run twice. They have to appeal to two very different constituents. Republicans, emboldened by a stuttering economy see an opportunity to play to their perceived strength as fiscal conservatives. Unfortunately, in order to get a chance to run against the so-called tax and spend liberal democrats, they’ll have to pass the socially conservative litmus test of their activist, evangelical Christian, base. Good luck if you don’t have a folksy accent.

Meanwhile, the democratic president who could have been applauded on both sides of the aisle for daring comprimises and bi-partisan concessions is attacked, not only by conservative commentators, but also his own party who feel he has caved in on important policy points like a single-payer health care bill and the Bush tax cuts.

As both sides endeavor to appeal to the base, they forget that the majority of voters are not vocal activists, rather only occasionally interested bystanders. I can’t be sure I’m not as biased as the rest, but the middle voters see government-spending a bit like they home-spending and are uncomfortable with giving out more than you have (or even hope to have). They don’t care whether you’re gay, or what Gods you pray to or don’t. If you demonstrate you’re a good person to them, and generally sound like someone they can agree with and trust, the fact that you snorted cocaine long ago, or happen to be black just isn’t really all that important.

In cities across the United States a movement is building whose organizers claim is really just about pointing out that the rest of us are fed up with the feeling of disenfranchisement we sense. Maybe it’s the 99%, heck, maybe it’s only 92%, fact is, it’s still a whole lot of us, Some are blaming corportations, others, the government, but this movement has one thing absolutely straight. Even if most of can’t agree on the specifics, if the, 92%, fine, we’ll call it 99%, of us are also activists, maybe the candidates will actually speak to our views instead of the extreme base.

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