Last month, after forty-five months of unemployment near or above eight percent, record numbers of Americans on welfare and receiving food stamps; increasing numbers of Americans receiving federal disability and Medicaid; four straight years of record, trillion-dollar deficits which has led to four years of record-breaking debt levels due to record-breaking borrowing resulting from record-breaking spending, sparking a series of “relief measures” known as quantitative easing, which has devalued the dollar, increased food prices along with consistently high gas and energy prices, all of which (and more) has led to the economic stagnation and market uncertainty that has come to characterize the Obama presidency, roughly 51% of Americans who voted decided that we needed another four years of economic misery.
That some people would vote for a continuation of a government-controlled economy at the expense of the private sector is understandable and unfortunately, expected. Many of those who voted in favor of the continuance of these economic policies have something to gain from the prolongation of Democrat/progressive statism- be it the reception or maintenance of government-extended benefits or retention of power and influence. That the majority of Americans decidedly voted for the policies which have been a clear disaster and a detriment to resurrecting the American, free-market economic machine is confusing and disheartening.
The day after the election, the stock market fell roughly 300 points. Several days later, the heads of several major businesses and corporations revealed that they would be laying off hundreds and in some cases, thousands of employees. Both of these unfortunate realities were said to be precautionary, the result of avoiding what many have termed “taxmageddon,” the significant increase of taxation due to expiring tax rates and as it relates to businesses complying with taxes and regulations associated with the implementation of Obamacare. This was no coincidence and is but a small sample of what is still to come.
Aside from literally electing to continue the policies that have failed time and again- not only here but also overseas- both contemporarily and in the history of the late nineteenth and twentieth century, the result of the election is informative for a couple of reasons. First, although President Obama received close to ten million fewer votes than he received in 2008, his re-election- which was predicated on a vision of big government and class warfare- is a triumph of fifty years of liberal miseducation. Only in a society that has forsaken its economic foundation of the free-market and has preferred to teach several generations of publicly-educated children- up to and through college- the benefit of government-induced, economic collectivism could create an environment where a president with such a demonstrably disastrous economic record could be taken serious enough to be re-elected.
The second reason, which is predicated on the first, is that America has now reached a point where it is comfortable making emotionally-reactive decisions at the expense of common sense and reason to the detriment of the country. This is an essential characteristic of liberalism and the policies birthed from it. Whether Americans chose to re-elect the president because he was black (and many did) or they bought into the rhetoric of class warfare or because they felt entitled to the fruit of someone else’s labor through the immoral course of redistribution, these reasons are based on emotion. Why? Because color offers no recourse in determining a person’s ability and punitive taxation at the expense of the wealthy never solves deficit spending or justifies excessive entitlements; it’s also theft. It may indeed feel good voting for a person based on their skin color and punishing the “rich” through disproportionate taxation, but feeling good at the expense of reason isn’t sound economic policy.
Unfortunately, the fundamental character of America has changed and fifty-one percent feels good about it.