Last year Barack Obama, along with many other Democrats, won a stunning political victory that inspired a wave of optimism. This year the Democrats face a rough political sea.
I agree with President Obama’s agendas, and I embrace virtually all of his polices. Unfortunately, agendas and policies are not enough. The eight million people that lost their jobs in the last two years, who still can find work, and the millions of families that lost their homes just don’t care about the medical business, the environment, alternative energy, or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The millions of Americans who are afraid they are about to lose their jobs and their homes don’t care about agendas and policies either. This condition poses a severe political dilemma for the Democrats.
The security of our jobs and homes represents the number one concern of a large segment of voters. We aren’t losing these to terrorists; we’re losing them to a broken economy. President Obama and the Democrats have failed to produce any progress in reversing the current disastrous economic collapse, and there is no tangible evidence that 2010 will produce any positive change. On Election Day many voters will be looking for leadership that can address their top concerns, and it looks like the Democrats will have failed to provide what the voters want. This condition does not present a bright future for the dominant incumbent political party.
Why can’t the Democrats produce any real gains on these two important issues? One answer seems to be that the Democrats continue to listen to the “experts” who caused the problem in the first place. Popular wisdom suggests that continuing on a course of action and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
If conventional economic policies are responsible for the problem then a rational course of action would seem to be to seek out non-conventional approaches to economic policy. The Democrats have not sought out fresh new approaches to economic policy, and non-conventional thinkers simply can’t get access to the politicians. The knowledge for producing immediate and dramatic economic recovery exists, but the politicians have failed to access it. If the Democrats fail to mend their failed practices, then they will have earned the midterm defeat that seems to be on the horizon.
I don’t blame the Democrats for not knowing how to fix the economy. Conventional economic models simply fail to provide useful information about our current economic condition. On the other hand, Democrats should have recognized this failure by now, and they should be seeking non-conventional solutions. They should bust a gut trying. They should have teams of staffers out turning over every rock and shinning a light in every dark hole until every possibility has been examined. From where I stand they seem to have given up on the economy and moved on to “issues”. The lives of millions of Americans are flapping in the wind, and the Democrats have protected the investments of the wealthy and moved on to “issues”.