Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A common misconception from last year's election is that moderates leaned left.

They didn't. They rejected Bush, McCain and the GOP (probably in that order) but they did not endorse liberal values.

It makes sense when you break it down. Take an independent who leans somewhat conservative, opposes most tax hikes, doesn't believe that government is the solution to every problem, dislikes aggressive foreign policy yet wants to feel safe and generally is proud of America and is somewhat liberal on some social issues although they don't abortion should be easily available as it is.

Those are core beliefs, molded over years and years... and why would anyone think that someone is going to change their core beliefs on a dime? It makes no sense... "I don't like the job Bush has done... so I'm now in favor of higher taxes? I don't think McCain is all that sharp... so I'm going to now be in favor of a government takeover of health care?

People don't change their core beliefs. They pick candidates they think best match up with those beliefs.

And Obama was able to persuade enough of a population that leans right to support him (or, in some cases, to withhold their support for McCain)... but Obama did so by convincing people (some people don't need that much convincing) that he was in tune with their concerns and values... and not because he or the failures of the Bush Presidency convinced them to cross over to the dark side of liberalism.

And the silver lining for conservatives in all this? There are actually two:

Obama and the Democrats believe that people, in voting for Obama, expressed support for a liberal approach. And thus, they're going to keep pushing policies that the people don't support which will alienate the public and, by extension, help GOP challengers next year.

And, apropos of the saying 'fool me once... ", the American public is going to be a lot more skeptical of the next liberal who comes along professing to be post-partisan. As it is said... once burned...