Friday, September 10, 2010

Gary Palmer: Beck didn’t organize the parade he is leading

  According to a poll conducted by Politico, an Internet-based political news media outlet, the elites inhabiting our nation’s capitol have strikingly different views than the rest of us about issues and what is of national importance.

  Politico defined the criteria for being considered a Washington elite as someone who lives within the Washington, D.C. metro area, earns more than $75,000 a year, has at least one college degree, is involved in the political process or works on key political issues or policy decisions.

  According to Politico’s polling of the elites living in Washington D.C., more believe the country is on the right track (49 percent) than believe it is on the wrong track (45 percent). That is substantially different from what the rest of the country believes with 61 percent saying we are going in the wrong direction. When it comes to the economy, 44 percent of D.C. elites think we are on right track versus 65 percent of the rest of us who say we are not.

  The D.C. elites have decidedly different ideas about what issues are important. For instance, 53 percent of the general public thinks the immigration issue is very important while only 36 percent of the Washington elites think so. On taxes, 53 percent of the general public thinks taxes are very important, compared with only 36 percent among D.C. elites.

  Among the D.C. elites, the vast majority – 68 percent – think the tea party movement is a fad that will soon go away. It should be noted that this survey was conducted July 9-14, six weeks before the Restore Honor Rally hosted by Glenn Beck. But given the fact that over a million people who marched in Washington on September 12, 2009 were ignored by the Washington elites, it is not likely that they paid any more attention to the 300,000-500,000 who showed up on August 28, 2010 for the Restore Honor Rally.

  The Restore Honor Rally is indicative of what is going on across the nation and neither the elites in Washington and nor the elites in the Democrat and Republican parties understand it. But both parties fear what is happening.

  The Democrats are afraid because they see what happened in the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey and in the special senate election in Massachusetts to fill the seat vacated by the late Ted Kennedy. In all three races, Independents voted against the Democrat candidates by about 2-1.

  Establishment Republicans are afraid because, for the most part, the Tea Party/Restore Honor faithful are not true Republicans. Instead, they are conservative Independents who have become a major threat to old-line liberal-to-moderate Republicans. Just ask defeated senators Robert Bennett and Lisa Murkowski who both lost their primaries.

  Millions of Americans do not believe as the liberals do that our nation’s founding principles have failed us. The principles have not failed us – politicians in both parties have failed us and we have failed ourselves by not getting more involved, by not supporting only those candidates who commit to upholding these principles and then holding them accountable for what they do once in office.

  Even though we let the situation get out of hand, all is not lost. Millions of people are rallying against the growth of government, against the reckless spending that has led America to the brink of disaster and against the abandonment of the Constitution and core moral values. People are rallying for a return to the values and principles on which the nation was founded and for the restoration of the Constitution.

  When it comes to family values, the Politico poll also shows how out of touch the Washington elites of both parties are on these issues, too. Just 23 percent of the D.C. elites think these issues are very important while 62 percent of the American public think so.

  Faith and values are a legitimate part of the national discussion about the direction that America should take regarding the two major issues of this election—the economy and out-of-control government spending. Most people think of morality in the context of social issues, but you cannot disconnect morality from the abuses that have occurred on Wall Street and in Washington. The liberal ideal of a politically correct, value neutral culture has proven to be a total disaster. Liberals proclaimed the mess on Wall Street as proof that capitalism is a failure when in fact, it is proof of the failure of moral relativism.

  Glenn Beck did not initiate this values movement, he simply recognized that the movement had begun to gain momentum and that it was about more than the health care bill or any other nonsense Congress was pushing. He understood that it was really about values and concluded that the long-term restoration of America will be through a religious awakening.

  Beck has simply gotten in front of a parade already in progress.

  About the author: Gary Palmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.

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