Thursday, October 9, 2014

ElectionWatch 2014: What's Going On?

With the Congressional general elections just a few weeks away, the battle for control of the U.S. Senate has become a real horse race. Although establishment Democratic senators are outspending their Republican Tea Party challengers by millions of dollars to try to win re-election in multiple key races, those challengers are staying very close to them in the polls--either neck-and-neck, slightly behind, or slightly ahead. This reflects the fact that the corrupt Washington establishment is slowly losing control of the federal government despite all its efforts to hang on to power. This trend is a hopeful sign for our country's future, even if Republicans fail to win a majority of seats in the Senate this time around, and even if Tea Party control of Washington politics is still some years away.

If polls indicate that American voters in general are turning toward the Tea Party, they also reveal a significant level of dissatisfaction with our nation's corrupt and deeply entrenched two-party system. At the moment, incumbent Democratic politicians can claim the support of 40 to 48 percent of likely voters in most of the key races, but in those very same races, their challengers are in the same boat, unable to gain the support of a majority of likely voters. Doing the math, this indicates that anywhere from four to twenty percent of the voters are not lining up behind either candidate. Of course, some of these voters are undecided at present and will throw their support behind one of the two leading candidates closer to Election Day. Others, however, are simply rejecting the two leading candidates and siding instead with third party or independent candidates. Both of these smaller groups of voters can be considered "swing voters" because they are the ones who will determine the outcome of these close races, whoever they end up voting for. These swing voters, along with many other "mainstream" voters who are already committed to one leading candidate or another, are increasingly disenchanted with the reigning two-party system as they realize that it has come to represent large corporate interests rather than the interests of the American people.

As a grassroots populist movement, the Tea Party offers an attractive alternative to this corrupt establishment, although its mass appeal may be somewhat limited by the fact that it operates within the structure of the Republican Party. I think the Tea Party movement carries within itself the potential to lead America gradually away from the two-party system and back to the non-partisan political system favored by George Washington. This could happen once the Tea Party becomes the unchallenged majority party of America. This won't happen overnight, but it's the direction in which our country is moving. Once that happens, with a general return to smaller, more honest, and more representative constitutional government, the stage will be set for the demise of the two-party system.

Getting back to the present situation, as its own candidates are being consistently outspent by incumbent Democratic politicians, unfortunately the Tea Party leadership cannot resist the temptation to curry favor with corrupt Republican establishment heavyweights in order to give its fundraising efforts a boost. This is detrimental to the movement, both in the short term and in the long term. In my opinion, the Tea Party is shooting itself in the foot by getting cozy with super-wealthy career politicians and business moguls like Mitt Romney and Dick Cheney. Its use of such big names to raise money for a grassroots movement with very different principles and values is blatantly dishonest. It is equally dishonest for such career politicians to represent themselves as friends of the Tea Party movement when their own track records tell a completely different story. The Tea Party must maintain its integrity by clearly and consistently distinguishing itself from the corrupt Republican establishment; otherwise, it will simply melt into that establishment and fail to bring to Washington the significant change and lasting reform it promises.

The race is on for control of the U.S. Senate. Our nation's future is hanging in the balance. Let's keep praying for our country and supporting pro-life Republican and Tea Party candidates. This is the best we can do for now. Stay tuned for further updates.

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