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Not buying it

Editorial for Sept. 16, 2010

If you watch the network or cable news or if you read the newspapers and the Internet news sites, there is an inescapable theme bombarding Americans every day lately. That is, the Republicans are poised to take over the House of Representatives, and sweep to victories in the Senate and governor's races as well. We hear about a "Republican tide" over and over and louder and louder these days, and it's tough to find a questioning voice. Well, that's why we're here!

Hold your horses, we say. We're not necessarily buying that line.

In the first place, we resent being told what will happen before any votes are cast. This election season is not for pollsters or commentators to decide, it's for the citizens of America to decide.

Listening to the news lately makes us wonder, why bother with holding any elections? After all, everything has been decided by the news media, so what's the point? We think it's ridiculous for analysts to jump the gun and essentially declare the elections over in September. The loud proclamations of newscasters don't seem to allow for the possibility that many voters may not yet have decided yet which way they will go; or, what a crazy thought, that things may somehow change before Election Day.

These prognostications may be fun for some, but they are irrelevant. It's like sports announcers telling us who they think will win a football game before it is played. They make it sound like their views on the different teams are gospel and they have all the stats to back up their views, but how often do the teams they pick to win get their butts kicked? As often as not, it seems.

Second, Americans don't like being told what they are going to do. We're not a predictable bunch. We like to figure things out for ourselves. Maybe the Republicans really will be seen by voters as being better at fixing our economy going forward. If so, that's a decision the people have a right to make.

We have our doubts about that, however. Our memories are not that short. We remember that the U.S.A. had a multi-billion-dollar deficit and severe unemployment levels well before President Obama took office. Obama has not done enough to fix the economic problems our country has been facing and maybe deserves to have his party punished -- but that doesn't change the reality that he inherited, from Republicans, the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.

Third, the Republicans have not offered any coherent plans or programs to fix what ails our economy, at least as far as we can see. There has been a lot of opposition to whatever President Obama proposes, and that's apparently good enough in this hyper-partisan environment we find ourselves in.

Indeed, one of the best political cartoons of this campaign season showed President Obama stating: "I'm in favor of milk and cookies for orphans." In the next panel, there is a Republican elephant carrying a large sign declaring, "Vote NO on the milk and cookies for orphans bill!"

That cartoon sums up the depth of the political dialogue in Washington, D.C., these days.

There does seem to be a lot of anger in the nation lately, and the Democrats deserve their share of the blame for the things that are going wrong. But we don't see Republicans nationally with any wise or clever solutions to the various problems we're facing, and we're not convinced voters will flock to them.

If the voters do decide Republicans deserve to take the wheel again, then so be it. That's the way our system is set up, with majority rule, and -- fairly or unfairly -- the people have every right to throw out one set of politicians and replace them if they want to.

But let's just wait and let the voters have their say. After all, that's the only thing that really matters.



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