On Nov. 6, the people spoke and rehired President Obama for another term and, in California, we elected a Democratic supermajority in the state legislature. Additionally, we chose not to end the dominance of the public-sector unions in California politics.
In the case of the presidency, the election was not the "performance review" that most presidents receive at the end of a first term.
Exit polls revealed that 77 percent of voters said the economy was bad and only 25 percent said they were better off than four years ago. No modern president has ever been re-elected with the poor employment and right-track-wrong-track numbers that this president has. Rather than performance, people voted their "feelings" and on President Obama's "likeability," hoping he will do better next time.
That his performance was not a factor is astounding. Obama did prove that social issues are very divisive.
At the same time, the Republicans proved once again to be the party of "stupid" by losing a "give me" election by rolling over and playing dead. Romney was presented as a highly successful corporate person, yet his communication skills implied otherwise. It is hard to imagine him successfully sponsoring an important business proposal.
At any rate, several things seem assured:
Federal regulation and taxes will be increasing, as evidenced by President Obama's request recently for $1.6 trillion tax increase.
Similarly, Californians voted for the status quo plus more taxes. The out-of-control spending Democrats appear to have won a supermajority in both houses and will now be able to raise taxes unilaterally at the state level and open the door for more taxes at the local level. With a supermajority, they can override a veto from the governor and put initiatives on state ballots. It relieves pressure on the Democrats to cut spending.
Sacramento last saw a single-party supermajority in 1933, and that was under Republicans. Between the passage of Proposition 30 and the ever-increasing cost to Californians for regulation of almost everything, being a Californian will be even more expensive and restrictive over the next several years.
What does this mean to conservatives and the Tea Party? If the ideas of fiscally responsible government, constitutionally limited government and free market economies were valid principles before the election, why would they not be after?
Our disappointment is that the message will now have to be learned via hard economic times similar to those of the Depression generation. If the policies of the last four years continue, the nation will slip further into fiscal insolvency while more liberty will be lost. Whether the country can recover as it did from the 1930s is yet to be determined.
The Tea Party's job is to continue promoting the basic tenets that have made this country great; i.e., fiscally limited and responsible government, constitutionally limited government and support of free market economies.
Reagan famously said, "Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again."
Will we heed the warning for the sake of our children and grandchildren?
Find out more by attending the Lodi Tea Party general meeting Monday, Nov. 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the United Congregational Christian Church, 701 S. Hutchins St., Lodi. This month's featured speaker is Richard Fields from the Pacific Legal Foundation, the oldest public interest legal organization that litigates for property rights, limited government and free enterprise.
Ed Miller of Lodi helps monitor local government spending and is active in the Lodi-area TEA Party.