Since the 2012 election and now the shutdown, I have heard some seriously outrageous claims about the status of American politics, none of which favorable to the future of the Republican Party. From the Left, the oft-made claim that demographic changes have finally overwhelmed what has long been an increasingly shrinking share of a white Republican-dominated electorate, seems to be a favorite. From the Right, the embarrassingly simple claim that an ever-expanding welfare state has finally produced more “takers than makers” who vote only to keep their government assistance, is just as often stated.
I, however, have been pushing back on these claims with a little something neither the Right or Left seems to care much about – the facts. Without having to re-litigate the Census Bureau report, the bottom line was that a “record turnout” among Hispanic voters did not reelect Barack Obama. In fact, following their usual pattern, Hispanics again voted at a lower rate than the prior election. Nevertheless, let’s go through the issues and determine which party is more in line — ideologically speaking — with the views of the American people.
Entitlements And Government Spending
Regarding the latter claim, selfish “welfare queens” have been around for a long, long time. If you recall that term “welfare queen” was used by then-candidate Ronald Reagan, 35 years ago. During the 2012 campaign, thanks to Jimmy Carter’s grandson, Mother Jones posted the now-infamous video, in which Mitt Willard Romney decided to make his elitist – if not somewhat true – 47 percent comment. Yet the senior citizens who receive the lion’s share of federal transfer payments voted for Mitt Romney, something prior GOP presidential nominees have had a very hard time accomplishing, except for President George W. Bush in 2004.
Furthermore, we can look at actual state data and compare them to the state’s voting behavior to find several examples that debunk this superficial claim. For instance, West Virginia is the largest recipient of federal transfer payments, with 27 percent of the state population dependent on federal checks for income. Yet, West Virginia has seen an astounding rightward shift in their political leanings, despite registered Democrats outnumbering Republicans 3 to 1. PPD currently rates the 2014 Senate race “Likely Republican.” In 2012, Obama lost the seven West Virginia counties he had carried in 2008, which was the first time that any major party’s presidential candidate saw a 55-county shutout.
We can also find evidence of a nationwide willingness to sacrifice in order to shrink the size of government. In fact, before the government shutdown a majority of Americans — 53 percent — said they supported a partial shutdown to force concessions on ObamaCare and government spending, with 2 to 1 opposition to raising the debt ceiling. However, after the Republican Party began to cave, that support fell to 45 percent the following week, and we all know how that ended. But the problem for the GOP was unity, not ideology. People don’t follow leaders that do not have the courage of their own convictions.
Views On Government And Community
A recent Gallup poll found that a record level of Americans believe that the government is “too powerful,” with 6 in 10 Americans saying that is the case. Interestingly, just 7 percent said the government has “too little” power, which is roughly the 9 percent of Americans who identify as being “liberal.” In fact, since Gallup began tracking, at least half of Americans have said the government has too much power, with the latest number reflecting a 1-point increase since the previous high measured last year.
In a recent Fox Poll, a whopping 74 percent of all registered voters said they “think Americans rely too much on the government and not enough on themselves.” In a follow-up question, 50 percent said “to rely on friends, family, their church or other charitable organizations” for fulfillment of needs “is the better way to get families who fall on hard times back on their feet again.” Only 35 percent said that a reliance on “government programs such as food stamps and welfare” was the way to go, and by a 52 percent – 35 percent margin, Americans would rather friends and family in need ask them for a place to stay instead of relying upon government assistance. Furthermore, 57 percent essentially agreed with Mitt Romney’s implied statements that too many people “take advantage” of government assistance, compared to just 36 percent who said most were truly in need.
Rasmussen found that “beyond family, 35 percent say their personal allegiance is to their church and community, while 31 percent say the country comes first – which mirrors the same ideology that accounts for the responses in the Fox Poll, and further demonstrates that Americans overwhelmingly hold conservative views. How is it that President Obama has presided over a rightward-shifting electorate far more conservative than the electorate under President Reagan, when both Obama and Reagan were reelected; Reagan of course, in a landslide election?
In the graph above, which uses an omnibus measure of the public’s support for government entitlement programs that was created by political scientist James Stimson. Stimson gathered hundreds of different survey questions, in which we can easily observe that the prevailing wisdom calling for the imminent destruction of the Republican party, is incorrect. In this graph, the absolute numbers are arbitrary; by itself, “50” doesn’t mean anything. What is important is how the numbers shift over time. Again, we can see that Americans are far less liberal — and it’s still dropping — then they were when President Reagan won two landslide victories in a D+15 electorate.
Religious Freedom And Religion In Society
On the issue of religion in society, for instance, which is always portrayed as a liability for conservative candidates in the liberal media, such as it was with former Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mike Huckabee, the political Right in America is truly the political center. Gallup found that 75% of Americans believe that more religion in society would be positive for America, while Rasmussen found almost 60 percent believe it is “essential to a healthy society.” A survey just released found 52 percent of Americans think public schools need more religion, and a plurality thinks the legal system is used to attack religion far too much, with 53 percent saying liberal justices are more hostile to religion than our Founding Fathers intended.
Yet the consultants in the GOP establishment, and consequentially those they advise, cower at the debate over secularization in the face of deeply unpopular groups like the “New Atheists” and the ACLU.
The same is true of offshoot religious issues, such as abortion, where liberals have completely lost the argument and now live on the fringe, yet never cower from a fight, even when they are extreme. Since 1995, when Gallup measured a 23 percent advantage for the pro-choice designation, support for abortion has steadily ceded ground to the pro-life designation. Support for late-term abortion bans is broad and cuts across party, gender and demographics.
Illegal Immigration, Reform, And Amnesty
On the issue of immigration, even though 53 percent favor an immigration reform plan that gives legal status to many of those now here illegally as long as the border is really secured to prevent future illegal immigration. Liberals would like to apply the new California standard nationwide, but 63 percent oppose public benefits for those who receive work permits, while 68 percent believe illegal immigrants should not be eligible for a driver’s license in their state, up from 63 percent measured in August of 2012.
Again, we find that the GOP establishment is caving, because they are less in touch with the American people than the Democratic establishment. That is not to say that the Demcoratic Party cares about what the American people want and need, it just means that they know what they want, which enables them to exploit Americans. They need a permanent underclass, and couldn’t care less about opportunity to Hispanics. You can read why and how that is true, by clicking here if you’d like.
Why The GOP Loses When Majority Holds Conservative Views
The simplest way to explain this anomaly is to recognize the sad fact that – even though they may agree with their ideology – Americans do not like the Republican Party. The reason: the Republican Party – at least the element referred to as the GOP — is just very stupid, plain and simple. Americans’ views of the Republican Party have always trailed the Democratic Party, though they are now both at historic lows, but Americans principally hold conservative views. What good does that do when you are led by leaders who do not live or govern by those principles, and cannot practice effective message discipline? Americans know BS when they see it and, at least with the Democrats, they know that they will use government to help them.
Following the financial crisis, the Democratic Party successfully pinned the blame on the Republican Party, whom of which have since ran from the debate and their principles, rather than fighting back and standing up to cronyism and for the everyday American. On almost every issue or ideological preference, the GOP runs from their beliefs — which are beliefs held by a majority of Americans — because they fear the false narratives being carved out by liberals and a complicate liberal media.
Until the financial crisis, it was the Democrats who were running scared, staring into the mirror and wondering if they were looking at a dead party walking (for reference, please see the aftermath of the 2004 election). We, too, can rebuild our party into an unbeatable conservative Republican Party coalition, as I wrote in an earlier article, but we must be unafraid to be who we are and offer real solutions that reflect an unabashed belief in true conservatism.
We cannot constantly attempt to brew a new brand of Democrat-light beer that tastes and smells like bitter old skunk, because when the ObamaCare train wreck hurts the lives of real Americans, and it will, we need to be ready with bold conservative ideas that will once again offer our fellow-citizens the opportunity to live free and prosper.