Editorials and Opinions

Midterm elections stir up age-old conflicts

By James Palmer
Published: October 2010

America is divided. There are liberals and there are conservatives. As November 2 draws closer, we are constantly reminded of the division between these groups as the tensions are rising as both groups scratch and claw their way into office or remain in their seats.
With hundreds of seats on the line in Congress and the senate, not to mention individual state legislatures and governorships, both Republicans and Democrats are fighting for control of the country.
As it stands, the Democrats, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll., are facing significant loses and I for one, like much of the country, look forward to it.
As shocking as it may seem to hear this from a Newtonian, bred in our excessively liberal political environment, I do not lie when I say I hope the Republicans, even those “Tea Baggers, win a majority of seats in the legislature.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not want the Republicans to the control of the country – far from it. I just don’t think we are any better off with the Democratic Party in control.
The key to freedom and prosperity in our great nation is and always has been balance.
Since the founding of our country over 200 years ago and the establishment of the Constitution, Americans have been fiercely opinionated and aggressive when it comes to their government, fighting for the values and policies they believed would benefit themselves personally as well as the entire country.
These early citizens organized themselves into groups that held similar values and began the never-ending, if sometimes interrupted battle of American Politics, as the heart of which is the Two Party System.
Since the beginning of this internal struggle, those who have evolved into conservatives and liberals, have brawled in an excessive battle of wits, cunning, bribery, and beliefs that has many times psychologically, and once, literally torn this country apart.
Both sides use slander and abuse the message of their enemies while extolling their own virtue.
The liberal democrats promote their ideal of a country where everyone is treated with equality and respect, while given equal opportunity to better themselves, sometimes aided by their government if needed.
The conservative Republicans see the country of freedom and prosperity, where they live unobstructed by excessive taxes and bureaucracy and where hard working people can fully receive the fruits of their labor.
The fact is that neither of the scenarios is very likely if either party is in control. Were either party to gain unrestricted control of the country, we all would be facing a hell of epic proportions.
If the United States were controlled solely by conservatives and the Republican Party, the country would be headed for trouble.
Chances are the national debt would go down, as would taxes, and the economy would probably recover faster without the tax burden.
Unfortunately however, there would be a few problems. Aid to the poor would decrease significantly and these families would be left without assistance.
Lack of regulation could result in a repeat of the economic recession. Additionally, there would likely be a decrease in public works due to less tax revenue.
The road the country would face with a solely liberal government is just as foreboding.
Though public works and aid to the poor would likely increase, and the regulation of the economy would likely prevent another major recession, the administration would not be successful.
Higher taxes would mean that the economy would recover much more slowly.
With high taxes to pay for government programs and bureaucracy, businesses would not be able to hire as many people, and as a result, more workers would continue to be unemployed.
More people out of work would need government aid and the government would need to raise taxes further, hurting the economy even more.
It would create a vicious cycle of taxes and recession.
I believe that the reason that the United States has been able to become the most powerful country in the world is because neither one of these scenarios has been able to transpire.
The success of America is the balance between these two groups.
Neither the liberals nor the conservatives have been able to dominate one another – at least not for an extended period of time.
When one group becomes too powerful, the results are usually disastrous. Take, for example, the Great Depression, which occurred after a decade of Republican control of the government, or the great recession of the 70s after the democrats held the government for a long period.
Only through balance and moderation can the country succeed. Look at some of the United States’ most successful eras. In the 50s, under Dwight Eisenhower, the economy boomed under a Republican president and a Democratic Congress.
During the Regan years, there was a Democratic Congress, and during the Clinton years a Republican Senate and Congress.
When power is split, the two sides are able to balance one another out.
The conservatives can combat high taxation and an over-expanded government, while the liberals can fight for the necessary government projects and the funding to pay for them. A divided federal government is best.
With this we come back to the elections in the coming week. As is stands, the country is run by a Democratic president, Congress, and Senate and let’s face it, things are not going well.
The economic crisis is far from over as thousands of people are still being laid off from their jobs every month. It might not be the dire situation it was, but the recession is far from being over.
On November 2 we have a chance to change this. We have a change to end the domination of one party and bring back some balance. I believe this is the only way that we can get our country back on track. So for those hardcore conservatives out there, I am with you on Election Day.
And for those liberals out there, who dread this day that might reverse all that they worked so hard to achieve since 2008, this possible turnover isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it just might be what the country needs.

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