When George W. Bush won two terms as president, political scientists and analysts looked at the rise of so-called values voters as one of the key components of Bush’s success.
These values voters looked at important social and cultural issues and used those to base their selection for president. Karl Rove became famous for engaging this part of the GOP base, in particular the evangelical side, and winning.
But when it comes to government, and the way it reacts to its people, there wasn’t a clear difference between Bush and either of his opponents in the general election.
This is, of course, why Rove set up the narrative the way he did: an election has to have a clear choice.
It’s why we have a two-party system.
McCain v. Obama presented two very different candidates. There was a clear choice.
And America’s voice was both loud and clear: we want someone new and different.
When nothing changed in two years, the Republican (and more specifically Tea Party) movement brushed back this progressive wave of liberal ideology.
The Wall Street Journal presented this choice through the lens of government spending.
They call it “the 6 trillion dollar difference.”
Romney wants to reign in government spending, Obama wants to expand it.
Despite Obama’s unmitigated failures to grow the economy with his exorbitant spending and his promises of economic prosperity, his argument has been that the government hasn’t spent enough money.
Obama has even gone so far as to say that the private sector “is doing fine,” (whether you believe he meant that or not is certainly up for debate), and that more local officials (Republicans we are to assume) are to blame for losing so many public sector jobs.
Obama’s preference is to tax more and spend more, despite the fact that neither of those things will create a burgeoning market place outside of government.
We know now, three years in, that President Obama’s intention has never been to grow the private sector. His idea is to grow the economy through government spending, by growing government.
This election is not about values voters anymore. Lefties tried to push the war on women thing, but Romney never fit the mold.
Obama has tried to make gay marriage an issue, but most people saw through the thinly-veiled political game.
November is about the way you view the government’s role in our lives.
Obama wants more, Romney wants less.
All of the other issues truly are superfluous to that issue.
The president has no real power when it comes to gay marriage or reproductive issues (unless he’s issuing unilateral mandates violating constitutional rights).
What the president can control is the direction of governmental influence in the life if of its citizens.
It’s clear that the last three years of additional government interference in the market, bloated bureaucratic regulations, and reckless spending doesn’t improve the lives of the average citizens. Instead, it only serves to grow the rapidly expanding powers of government, lessening your freedoms and your chance to control your own destiny.
That’s the choice we have in November. And with two candidates with such starkly contrasting ideologies, voters should have no trouble seeing who is the better fit to end this economic crisis.