It has been almost two weeks now and I have watched and listened and read what the pundits have had to say about this year's elections. Here is my two cents.
We are a divided hostile nation still fighting the wars of the 1970s in the 21st Century. Our political parties are defining themselves based on social agendas rather than pragmatic government. It is time that this strategy has to stop.
We have 15 million people unemployed in this country. That is the equivalent of the populations of New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles combined. This election was a call to arms for jobs, jobs, and did I mention, jobs!
We have to create an environment for new jobs to be created in the private sector. If that means tax cuts for everyone, so be it. If that means trimming the Federal deficit, so be it. If that means a new type of stimulus package that can pay for itself, so be it. Bottom line, we have to come up with a solution to this creeping economy before the angst becomes more unruly than what is evident now.
If the Republicans take this as a mandate for anything else, then they will lose power as historically as they obtained it on November 2, 2010. The problem with my Democratic friends in the US House was their gun-ho, yet schizophrenic nature. They wanted to push an agenda they had been sitting on since 1994 and, by God, they got it done from January 2009 to November 2010. Fair pay for women, Increasing the minimum wage, Health Care Reform, TARP, The Economic Stimulus Package, etc...
Speaker Pelosi was one of the most active House leaders in the history of the country, despite dealing with Blue Dogs like Travis Childers and Gene Taylor, who ended up like most things that stand in the middle of the road, they got run over. Her progressive vision blinded her from our nation's most pressing need: personal economic security for our citizens.
And when the American people's needs are ignored, they take it out in the voting booth or they stay at home. Both dynamics happened in the last election. Core Democrats in the South felt they had no one to vote for and angry Independents overwhelmed progressives in the Midwest at the polls.
The President failed to feel the pain of the electorate and he suffered his worst defeat since he ran against Rep. Bobby Rush in the 90s. The magic he had in 2008 had lost its effectiveness in an atmosphere of fear and misplaced anger. The President admits he made a mistake. The question becomes will he learn from it.
Will he be defiant like Jimmy Carter or pragmatic like Bill Clinton? Only time will tell. In the meantime, it is my hope that those individuals who will show up in the Beltway for the first time bring more than anger to Congress. It is time for the innovation that has made America the greatest country in the world.
Let's do away with the tax on overtime pay, create funds for abandoned buildings to be purchased and renovated for small business expansion, revised the 2001 tax cut package to reflect our current economic situation, grant incentives to banks for more commercial lending rather than mortgages, promote entrepreneurship/financial literacy in our educational system, make pragmatic cuts to our government bureaucracy...
Whoa! I'm getting excited. Hopefully, our new Congress and our President will be this excited and creative when they convene soon. Gridlock is not an option, unless they want the American people to really get angry and show out in November 2012.