To borrow a song title from Bob Dylan, I hear a slow train comin’. While the voter turn out at last weeks primaries was a little dismal, all signs point to a major turn over in November. It is fascinating to watch as the voice of the country is heard, and especially in light of the twister of political and cultural turmoil that has lifted so many of us from our couch, and landed us on our collective State house steps. As the arguments over immigration, health care, the ground zero mosque, the burning of Korans, racism and the future of America in general, escalates, a clearer picture emerges each day.
I am glad to see that the Tea Party has coalesced into something tangible and with influence. Yet not so much influence that it sways every race. The Tea Party is credited with the stunning win by Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, yet in the New Hampshire race it seemed to have less impact. It was Kelly Ayotte who won, but barely, over Ovide Lamontagne, but Lamontagnes rise over the last several weeks is noteworthy. I supported Kelly, so I’m happy, though Ovide seemed a solid guy to me, but it is the nature of the people running and the races that is so interesting.
Across the country, “average-Joes” are throwing their hat into the ring. I think this is a good thing. Despite Karl Rove whining about the O’Donnell win and worrying about the Republican party, I think what we are seeing is a return to regular people stepping up to serve their country. This is true Democracy. My feeling is that if it takes an election cycle or two to shake out, we’ll all be better for it, and the election reinforces the notion that folks are fed up with both parties. Rep. Paul Ryan (R), Wisconsin, made the salient point that there is more to this than winning seats and taking back both Houses. There will be something new after the elections in November…the expectation of performance. This will be key, otherwise we could spend the next century flip-flopping back and forth between different groups of hacks. The message from the majority of Americans is clear. We want real change, and we want it now.
I have felt all along that this is not so much a contest between Republicans and Democrats, but a contest between pragmatism and wizardry. We are tired of the promises of the magic wand. The regular folks who gather at the Tea Party outings, and who the national media love to diminish, deride and ridicule, are actually smarter than the folks inside the beltway. For years, even generations, they have worked hard, paid their bills, lived within their means, given back to their community, and, in short, demonstrated what works and why. It’s not rocket science. They are tired of being promised results and instead receiving only an ever-increasing bill.
We’re tired of being told that a broken economy can be fixed with borrowed money and that government can “create” jobs. We watch, grimacing, as federal program after federal program squanders our hard earned money, fails, and then is quickly heralded as a success. Cash for clunkers? That cost the taxpayer about 45 grand per car. Excellent. The health care overhaul? Already over-budget and under-performing. The stimulus bill? Didn’t do a thing as unemployment continues to rise, along with foreclosures and bankruptcies.
And none of us are surprised, because we knew it didn’t make any sense in the first place. But we are tired of being painted as idiots.
Yeah…there’s a train coming. And I didn’t call it an approaching storm for a reason. Storms are fickle and can fizzle out and float away. A run away train, on the other hand, has weight and momentum, and presents an ominous future for anything in its path. In this particular case, that would be Democrats, and the train should be arriving right on time, in early November.