Americans Reject Both Parties: So What Now?

Barack Obama’s approval rating is down to 37 percent, according to a new AP poll. That puts him at the popularity level of miserably failed Presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush.

But a new Gallup poll puts Republicans at a popularity of 28 percent.

So if you think that Obama’s declining popularity is good news for seeing dramatically different policies any time soon, think again. 

After Obama’s reelection, I asserted that it was ‘twilight in America.’ I maintain that stance today. Obama could not have been reelected if the country—as a whole—had not deteriorated to a point where most no longer value—or, worse still—no longer understand what freedom and individual rights actually are. 

My interpretation of these latest polls? They’re in line with my ‘twilight in America’ theory.  

Most Americans are disgusted with Obama because he plainly cannot lead, not by any standard. They’re likewise disgusted with the obvious boondoggle Obamacare is turning out to be. (The fact that anyone is surprised strengthens my point that ignorance is rampant.) 

Nevertheless, most Americans do not wish to move in the direction of private property rights, free markets, and individual rights across the board. Their distaste for Republicans shows this fact. It’s doubtful that most Republican politicians really understand or support these things, but that’s what they claim to believe. 

Republicans (accurately or not) are largely associated with the positions of free markets, individual rights, and limited government. Those are not popular ideas. While most Americans probably agree with Republicans that debt and deficits are not a good thing, most Americans continue to expect that social programs such as Medicare and Social Security—the very things bankrupting us, as well as impairing our freedom and liberty—should expand, unabated. 

Republicans have attempted to move in the direction of focusing on individual rights, free markets and private property. They have not done so in a principled or consistent way. Their most stalwart leaders, epitomized by career politicians like John McCain and John Boehner, don’t speak with uplifting principles of any kind. They’re plainly clueless, and Americans are right to reject them. But they’re not rejecting them for the right reasons. Senators like Ted Cruz, refusing to fund Obamacare, are much more principled. But they are not popular, and they’re not improving the fortune of the Republican Party. 

Americans are still a practical people. They largely eschew ideology in favor of ‘what works.’ What they miss is how a bad ideology leads to corruption in practice. Take Obamacare. It’s already a disaster. Most people assume, ‘If that Barack Obama were only more competent, the program would work just fine. They ought to get that up and running.’ How? Somehow. Just like Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ brought to life in our times. 

But Obamacare is based on a corrupt set of ideas. These ideas include the belief that people can and should be forced to buy something they might not be able or wish to buy. We need food to live, but we don’t force people to buy groceries. So why force people to purchase health care? A competitive free market for health care and insurance would drive prices down, but politicians will not permit that. They don’t want to lose power or control, and they get a lot of both by running health care. 

Obamacare is also based on the idea that those who work, plan, save and provide for themselves are responsible for those who do not. It’s taken for granted that those who don’t have health insurance would do so if they could, and are completely innocent in their choice not to handle this important matter for themselves. These are the principles of socialism, not freedom. In principle, a majority of Americans would still probably never vote for ‘socialism.’ But they vote for socialist policies whenever those policies feel right, because they never take the time to examine the underlying ideology.

I’m a psychotherapist by profession. I see people mess up their lives by failing to stop and think about the ideas underlying their emotions and actions. People suffer when they fail to challenge their subconsciously but deeply felt beliefs, beliefs which can be mistaken and put their lives on the wrong course. I see that happening to our society, as a whole, because the vast majority of people reject ideology in favor of ‘what works.’ Increasingly, we are a nation of sheep who refuse to think or challenge anything, leaving us subject to bad political leaders who know less than even we do.

This leaves us with an electorate disgusted with the President because he cannot make his socialism work; and even more disgusted with a Republican Party, who won’t support the President’s ‘ideals’ as the right way to go. 

By default, this will lead to more and more of the same. Americans who express disgust with their politicians are simply seeing their own errors and evasions in the mirror. 

I am very optimistic about the possibility of a turnaround. But I also know this will never happen until people elect to identify, challenge and change their many false beliefs.


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