By Malcolm Out Loud, Contributor, US Daily Review.
While Democrats and Republicans fight over which party has the best plan for America, the average American is struggling to simply stay afloat! Between finding a job, paying the mortgage and being able to afford gas and groceries, people are distracted with real life and don’t have the time to pay attention to the details of politics. The truth is they’ve convinced themselves that there is nothing they can do to change the steady decline of “American Exceptionalism”. They hear the media sound bites, they might catch a headline here or there, but they don’t have the capacity to look below the surface. And that is where the problem lies!
Many Americans have lost hope. They don’t know which political party to believe -hell, they’ve been let down by both parties time and again. The problem I see is that most people don’t believe their vote is going to make a difference. They don’t see anything changing in Washington, thus there is a lack of enthusiasm on the streets of America. The proof can be seen in voter turnout. For a country that markets itself as the leader of democracy, the number of Americans who get out and vote on election day is abysmal. Only half of Americans who are eligible to vote actually do vote in a presidential election, and only a third in a non-presidential year.
Historically voter turnout is always higher in presidential election years. In 2008 it was 56.8% and in 2004 it was 55.3% of the voting-age population. In 2010 it was 37.8% and in 2006, 37.1%. Thus far in the Republican primary, voter turnout is less than expected probably because voters are not excited in their conservative choices. No one candidate has yet resonated with the American people and the 2012 race continues to be as volatile as ever.
We are in a period of change. The Occupy Movement has woken up some Americans to realize that massive greed and opportunists are jeopardizing our system of fairness. The Tea Party Movement has splintered the republican party into the fiscal conservatives and the more moderate social conservatives. The Tea Party has adopted an even more libertarian viewpoint. At this point of the game, even some liberals are realizing that America can no longer spend it’s way to prosperity.Keep in mind that what was acceptable in previous elections isn’t quite so acceptable in 2012. People recognize that it’s not business as usual.
Now the conundrum, the conservative movement has lost its way. Don’t get me wrong, there are those conservatives that are fighting the fight everyday – but it is a battle and they are just a few. Many so-called conservatives are really not that different from liberal spenders and the party lines have blurred.
If you look back at the last Bush Presidency, it’s relatively easy to understand our plight. The earmarks were plenty, the spending was reckless, the bailouts were unconscionable and all under the name of conservatism! I believe this was a defining moment in our political landscape. It convinced enough Americans to vote for Barack Obama, who came into office and made the Washington mess into an even bigger mess. When times are good, why worry about fiscal responsibility? Spend, spend, spend!
My prediction is that Barack Obama will get another 4 years in office. Remember, we have a history of re-electing our presidents. As Obama’s favorability ratings inch up and economic indicators shows small signs of improvement, Republicans will have a harder time painting a dire picture for the American voters. This can change, there is a great deal of daylight between now and November and the economic picture may be very different then.
So our foundation is cracked and needs desperate repair. Americans don’t believe either party is telling the truth anymore. They hear the cheap talk and fancy over-the-top sound bites from the GOP Candidates, but then they look at the records and it doesn’t match up – what gives?
“A lot of us feel that the Republican Party lost its way in the past,” stated Romney. “Republicans spent too much money, borrowed too much money, earmarked too much, and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have to be held accountable.”
All this from a man who has a history of taxing, spending and big government programs! To rebound, Romney is working to make his chief rivals — all of them running to the right of him — unacceptable in the eyes of conservatives by casting them as big-spending Washington insiders.
Conservatives have been as guilty as liberals when it comes to big bailouts, raising the debt ceiling, increasing spending on entitlement programs, approving earmarks by the billions, and the list goes on. How does the conservative party prove to voters that they’ve suddenly found their way, when they’ve been an equal part of building our bloated government? Many conservatives in congress hide behind their tainted records, as they preach conservative values on the talk shows. But the truth of the matter is when you shine a light their way, they avoid answering the questions and move the conversation to another talking point.
The republican party can’t choose to be conservative when it’s convenient. There is a great deal of work ahead if we are to repair the American dream. America needs a new priority list, a contract with the American people that embraces sound fiscal conservatism values, move the power to the states, and tread carefully with social issues that divide Americans, both republicans and democrats alike! The GOP cannot thrive again, let alone survive if it does not practice what it preaches.
America needs to embrace a conservative agenda of politics and get our fiscal house in order – or suffer the consequences of a declining society here at home. The challenges around the world beckon for an “America of Yesteryear”, one of fairness to young and old, rich and poor, liberal and conservative.
About Malcolm Out Loud:
Social and political news commentator Malcolm Out Loud is also the host of WebTV show Malcolm Out Loud TV, an acclaimed motivational speaker, founder of Brink Thinking and the author of the book Smash The Competition. More about him at www.MalcolmOutLoud.TV