Since I met my wife, I have taken more interest in politics, because it is one of her passions. I accept the 4 and 8 year views of the United States. In my lifetime, George H. W. Bush following Ronald Reagan has been the only time the presidency has been maintained by a political party. I don’t count Nixon-Ford based on the off cycle. What this tells me is that the swing voters who determine the president, as opposed to the staunch Republicans and Democrats whose votes are even split, are usually willing to sell out whoever is in office and try something new.
The exception was George H. W. Bush maintaining Ronald Reagan’s oval office. However people did feel better off in 1988. Also the best quip from the Dukakis-Bentsen ticket was Bentsen deriding Quayle for comparing himself to John F. Kennedy. While memorable, it is not enough to win an election.
Ask what your leaders have done for you, not who can do what needs to be done. Regarding Obama’s first term, his top 50 accomplishments (as reported by Washington Monthly) was an interesting read. I didn’t expect much, but I also didn’t expect the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to make the top 10.
I don’t expect presidents to change the world. I don’t ask myself what I can do for my country. I am split on my views regarding protection of individuals and the economy.
$5.3 Billion was spent by the candidates, political parties and interest groups in 2008 on the congressional and presidential races. About the same as the government spends on the US Postal Service and $0.7B more than the US spends on counterterrorism. At the same time the access to media channels has blown up. It is a matter of another 16-20 years before radical candidates start having a larger presence in Congress and an Independent takes the White House.
This will be the start of the non-violent wrestling of power back to the 99% who as individuals could care less about gay marriage, abortion, mortgage tax loopholes, or capital gains taxes. The US will accept that income redistribution via welfare in the forms of food stamps, social security and medicare are not sustainable. It will be up the philanthropists of the new millennium to prop people up as the government can no longer do it.
Society will splinter and reform with religious organizations providing income redistribution and the state providing only for the common defense. Access to justice is a joke and only a matter of generating legal fees. Domestic tranquility falls on the private staffs of the ultra rich. The general welfare and the blessings of liberty will fall to the lowest denominator. The tax base will be limited to property and sales tax and will be a flat rate nationwide.
The big issue in 2012 may be the economy, but the government has never been capable nor should it be obliged to drive the economy. This is a function of individuals.