By Paul Gable
An early poll of potential presidential candidates for 2016 showed American voters don’t have anyone they really like at this point.
A sampling of the results:
Thirty percent of Republicans say they definitely won’t vote for Chris Christie.
Fifty percent of Americans say they definitely won’t vote for Jeb Bush.
Thirty-two percent of Americans say they definitely won’t vote for Hillary Clinton while twenty-five percent say they definitely will.
This far out, these polls mean virtually nothing other than providing an early list of possible candidates.
(The Democrats are in trouble in 2016 if Hillary Clinton is the only candidate worth looking at right now.)
The polls do show that the liberal/conservative divide among Americans remains as strong as ever with neither side willing to budge.
Liberals listen to Rachel Maddow, watch MSNBC and read liberal blogs. Conservatives listen to Rush Limbaugh, watch Fox News and read conservative blogs. And the twain never meets.
It would help if the two major parties stopped trying to be parliamentary style parties in a democratic republic.
Rather than trying to get at the heart of an issue, American voters only go to those media outlets that support their position. Are we that insecure?
2016 is probably a pivotal year in the history of the American Republic. We have had two straight administrations who have failed to govern effectively (in some cases not at all) while pandering to their respective bases.
We have seen the economy go in the tank and stay there while the national debt has risen from $5.67 trillion, when George W. Bush took office in 2001, to $16.74 trillion at the end of 2013.
As a matter of history, the national debt was $907 billion when Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, pledging to cut taxes, reduce the deficit and let “trickle down” magic work. It didn’t work, but the Reagan presidency began the polarization of the two main political parties which has only increased in the intervening 33 years.
Hopefully, someone will emerge in 2016 who will rise above sound bites and attack ads to become a real leader.
In a democratic republic, leadership means compromise. Otherwise it’s just hot air. We’ve had enough of that for the past 33 years.