The Great Disconnect
From a series of six well-constructed polls in 2007 covering the entire American population there has emerged a series of startlingly cohesive opinions that our citizens hold on current political, social, military, economic, religious and scientific issues regardless of their political persuasion.
In fact, these positive opinions garnered majorities of between 70 and 90 percent or more of those polled. When you look at the platforms of the parties, and at the on-going legislative items in congress, you find that there are entrenched opponents to the issues in each party that almost completely stifle legislation that the public strongly desires.
Thus, it can be asserted that the congress, the judiciary and the administration are not reflecting the will of the majority of Americans in their legislation and operation of the government. This is the great disconnect, and it is at the root of serious public discontent with the direction we are being forced to follow.
What are these opinions? Here are a few of the highlights paraphrased from the polls conducted under the auspices of American Solutions, AEI, and the Gallop organization, and documented by Newt Gingrich in his book: Real Change, Regnery Press, 2009. (www.americansolutions.com)
1. By a majority of 85%, the public wants to defend ourselves and our allies.
2. By 75% they want to defeat our enemies where found.
3. By 93% the public believes that Al Qaeda poses a serious threat.
4. Over 85% believe that Iran poses a serious threat.
5. 79% of our citizens want convicted terrorists to receive the death penalty.
6. 83% want a law that makes it a crime to advocate the overthrow of the nation or to advocate killing citizens.
7. 77% want terrorist web sites to be closed down by cyber attack.
8. Over 89% believe that religion and morality are very important to them and their families.
9. 79% believe that religion and morality are important to the country.
10. 87% approve of the reference to the Creator in the Declaration of Independence.
11. 88% approve of the reference to “one nation, under God,” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
12. By 78% citizens approve of displays of the Ten Commandments in public places.
13. Some 81% oppose removing crosses and other such monuments from public places.
14. 94% approve of a moment of silence in schools to allow students to pray.
15. By 90% they approve of placing Christmas Trees in public places.
16. 93% believe it is important to acknowledge that our rights come from the Creator, not man.
17. By 86% citizens choose a candidate that respects the lessons of the founding fathers over a secular candidate.
18. 81% want to protect religious symbols from removal from public places.
19. Over 83% of Americans support an effective visa program for workers.
20. By 89% citizens want a tamperproof ID system for foreign workers.
21. By 93% they want foreign workers to take an oath to obey US laws, and to be deported if they commit a crime.
22. By 88% they want foreign workers that commit a felony to be deported.
23. By 72% citizens believe that current immigration laws are not being enforced.
24. Over 78% support heavy fines for employers that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
25. Some 66% want all illegal immigrants to be deported.
26. Over 87% want English to be the official language of the nation.
27. 77% of Americans believe we should build more oil refineries.
I have no reason to question the methodology or analyses of these poll results, but I would want to repeat the exercise with perhaps a wider support from all political groups, and with a number of additional questions, in order to confirm and expand our knowledge.
The added questions would verify the opinions of our citizens on abortion, same-sex marriage, teen sex problems, and unwed mothers. From earlier referendums in about 11 states, these moral social issues received highly negative votes, on the order of 70% or more opposing them and wanting some kind of corrective action. Again, a huge disconnect emerges between the populace and the government, and for that matter, the populace and their political parties, especially the so-called elites.
While our representative republic is partly designed to cool off the tempers of the public with deliberation and decision when passions are running very high on some immediate issue or another, this set of opinions is not immediate: each one is enduring and deeply held. Many are ultimately founded on the religious and moral beliefs of the citizens, which, to them, are immutable, although the Left daily scorns their positions.
Why does this great disconnect exist, and what must we do about it?Comment Posted By mannning On 18.10.2009 @ 20:54
The most sensible scientific book I have found is:Comment Posted By mannning On 16.10.2009 @ 13:27
"Climate of Extremes", by PhD climatologists Patrich J. kichaels and Robert C. Balling, Jr. Their conclusions support your post quite nicely.
To use LBJ as the lifelong key to a party affiliation is rediculous! So the party leaves it moorings, veers sharply left, and you trot left along with it? Maybe that is what has happened to the Center-Left.Comment Posted By mannning On 15.10.2009 @ 10:54
To me, liberals love America so much that they elected a leftist government and president that is running the nation into the ground---fiscally, socially, militarily, politically, business-wise, and internationally.
Just taking the fiscal side as an example, what do we do with a national debt that is 200% or more of the GNP in 2019? How about the jobs that have not materialized? Oh yes, let us scrape and bow before our foreign sources of credit and cheap oil, and blame American for all sorts of sins in front of the international community.
Either they do not see the damage they are causing the nation downstream, in which case they are too stupid and hence unfit to lead, or they do see the damage that is coming and cheer its occurrence, in which case they are diabolically unfit to lead the nation. Even simply holding these ideas in the forefront of their thinking is anti-American. Now they can act with their majority, and they are doing so.
I suggest that they do not love America as she is. What they really seem to love is THEIR OWN IMAGE of a Utopian America that we know from example is an impossibility that will lead ultimately to totalitarianism and chaos. It is the collectivist chimera that wishes to level the wealth of the people into poverty and regulation--all in their usually Godless perversion of humane causes! They are dedicated to killing the goose...
How anyone can say that this liberal mindset and direction signifies a love of country is beyond me.Comment Posted By mannning On 14.10.2009 @ 15:05
TL: Your suggestions are in the right direction; at least you are setting up a debate on positive ideas and contributions, and not resurrected ideological conflicts of the 19th or even 20th century Austria, England and America.
The "whats" are the easy part; it is the "hows" that cause all of the heartache. For me, it is difficult to see how we can strengthen the dollar in a timely manner.
A space elevator is an interesting idea that I have seen somewhere before. I am in agreement that we need to continue our space programs at some affordable level, but at the moment, I would hazard a guess that an elevator, even if technically feasible, would not have any early payoffs, and could become an "all absorbing node"of our efforts, thus adding strongly to the national debt.
There are, as far as I am concerned, at least a dozen or more basic areas where conservative or simply good ideas and approaches might bear fruit, and should be the foci of discussion of both the whats and the hows. The areas include, to name a few: education; culture; natural resources; energy; defense; government; science and technology; health; welfare; foreign affairs; crime; agriculture; infrastructure; and so on.
These in turn break down into significant subsets, such as energy: oil/solar/wind/wave/nuclear/bio-fuels, etc. It is at this breakdown level and lower that useful targets can be found for creative people that would bolster the economy, save resources, and perhaps strengthen the dollar eventually.
If, as conservatives, we could make many such things identifiable and how to make them start to happen, and convince people that these are the things worth doing now, we would win politically, I believe.Comment Posted By mannning On 12.10.2009 @ 20:19
I don't see the influence of rhetoric going away either!
Without rhetoric there is little communication. Your list of topics for rhetoric is not comprehensive, and merely focuses upon those aspects that you disapprove of, I suppose because you sign up to their exact opposite.
Fiscal conservatives have long advocated a reduction in spending as a prime objective, with tax decreases to follow logically. Tax (income) reductions without spending reductions gets you nowhere, as any household manager with tell you very quickly.
The rub is, however, when you look at the spending list, no Democrat wants to axe entitlements, which is the largest budget item. In fact, they seem to want to increase entitlements far beyond fiscal sanity. You can't have it both ways; something or some things must give.
So they look for yet another category for some cuts, and there sits defense as a fat item. Reduce the defense budget and good things happen, they think. Less money for our wars and military involvements and more money to spend on conjured up needs, witness Clinton's cuts of 40%. It is never pointed out that to make up for these cuts, and the money poured down the drain elsewhere, we have had to fight in various engagements with the wrong equipment, undermanned brigades that had to rob others to be fully manned, and less ammo until we could rachet up the industrial sector at huge additional cost to supply our forces sufficiently, and suffer a serious time lag while we catch up.
Holding a sufficient force in constant readiness is far less expensive, more efficient militarily, and a tremendous morale booster for our troops. Democrats will look for the peace dividend every time, yet be willing to push the problem downstream for some other administration to cope with. Today we cut out F-22 production, and we will probably face the need for them and the pilots that know how to use them effectively some five or ten years down the road.
Cut welfare? Oh no. Off limits!
Cut entitlements? Not this time!
Cut farm subsidies? Hell no!
Find cost reductions within the government? Sure you will! Like $400 million from Medicare!
Oh well, let's just use deficit spending so we can all take our share. That game is coming to a frightful end rather soon, and it is a problem fully owned now by the Democrats.
You are so right that elections cement the leadership, for better or worse!Comment Posted By mannning On 12.10.2009 @ 14:59
I suggest that some people are listening to the wilder fringe of the conservative movement, not the sober, reasoned, and prudent people I know and observe here in Central Virginia. It does not take an intellectual leadership up front and squawking to realize that we are on the wrong path, and should return to the practical, frugal and productive paths we have known for a long time.
The strawmen issues of running chimps, a negative agenda, using the courts, czars, greatly lowered taxes, massive defense increases, and legislating morality, are the overwrought, unfiltered and unintegrated thrusts of well-meaning but rather far-from-the-leadership members of the right, I believe.
I firmly believe also that sane and respected leaders will emerge to help move the right onto the proper paths, and they will not take much notice of these extreme or "massive" strawmen, because they will seem so ridiculous to purposeful men.
Nor will they have to dive into the books or academia very far to dust off lists of conservative principles, because they already have them at their fingertips and in daily use.
It will be left to those who have the intellectual persuasion to document the course, after the fact, thus putting the figurative head back onto the conservative horseman---from their intellectual point of view.Comment Posted By mannning On 12.10.2009 @ 12:15
After trying the loyal opposition approach for a few bills, it became quite clear to the GOP that, to the Dems, bipartisanship meant going along with them, and not changing anything. The Dems continued to plead for bipartisanship as a cover while ensuring that virtually no contributions from the GOP were included, and every amendment offered by the GOP was voted down. Such is the tyranny of supermajorities.Comment Posted By mannning On 10.10.2009 @ 14:46
Fingers did not spell correctly: divisive is right!Comment Posted By mannning On 9.10.2009 @ 14:12
You got it, busboy! 9mm P (Lugar)--that fits most of my weapons, including the carbine. Yes, AMD is Advanced Medical Directive, which our hospital promotes at every turn, and gets you to update at each opportunity.
The difficulty I see in all of this is that people simply do not believe that the US government can grow to be your worst enemy in certain domains. The old "I am from the government, and I am here to help!" says it well.
Things usually begin reasonably well in a new agency or department, with high hopes and a ferver to do something to serve the public. It goes downhill from there, some rapidly, and some more gradually, until you can't read their "mission statement" without derisive laughter.
This isn't merely an emotional bias with me, because I have seen this phenomena several times over first hand, and it is my government that is screwing up mightily, which is painful to witness. The more complex the issue, the more likelihood there is for a screwup, and the more layers of bureaucracy that become involved. Once it is bucked high enough it becomes politicized, and all hope is lost. We all have shudders from the Terry Schiavo experience. I could talk about quite a few more flubs in government that are equally appalling.
Don't get me started on the Engineer Corps and New Orleans, for instance, or on the INS and State, illegals, and visas.
In the medical field, I believe the government is just about far enough into the problem. We need solutions, for sure, but most of them can be accomodated without the government crashing through, taking a heavy managerial role, and creating major opportunities for mission creep, egregious errors, and bumbelitis for the next decades. A few rules and regulation changes might be in order, but I'd keep the government bureaucrats away from the field!
The real brainpower in the field is with the doctors, and I cannot imagine how the government could match their collective talent and knowledge across the full spectrum of medical problems in a timely manner, much less for them to keep up with new developments adequately.
In another vein, I voted for Bush twice, and I believe we ended up with the better choice each time, but from the outset of his second term I was greatly disappointed with his efforts and the efforts of his party in Congress, and in what I believed to be the total mismanagement of the Iraqi situation.
But, then, I am far, far more disappointed with Obama, his czars, and his leftwing ilk, and I think I'd have been disappointed with McCain too. The nation thirsts for a leader that we can have confidence in to get us rolling again and it shore ain't Obama. He is far too devisive.Comment Posted By mannning On 9.10.2009 @ 14:09