2014: Rulers vs. Radicals
By Steve Deace
There is a tidal wave forming for 2014 that is perhaps unlike anything seen in recent American political history.
The anger, frustration, and disillusion the American people have for the system is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. We didn’t have polling, talk radio, and 24-hour news networks during other tumultuous times in our nation’s history like Reconstruction, the period leading up to the Civil War, or the Whiskey Rebellion during the early days of the republic. So it’s impossible to know where the current anti-establishment mood in the country ranks all-time.
But I do know it’s unprecedented in modern times. Even the counter-culture upheaval of the 1960s didn’t produce such wide-spread vitriol towards the powers-that-be. That was largely a generational clash. This tidal wave transcends generations.
In my line of work I am privy to lots of different data streams from those in-the-know, and they’re telling me they’ve never seen anything like this. It’s also not as simple as the anti-Obama wave we saw in 2010 or the anti-George W. Bush wave we saw in 2008. This is an anti-status quo wave. In the past decade the American people have tried total Democrat control in Washington, D.C., total Republican control, and split government—and none of them have produced the kind of leadership they’re looking for.
Evidence of an uprising is everywhere.
Several entrenched Republican U.S. Senators in Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, and now Kansas are facing credible primary challengers.
One of the leading right-of-center advocacy groups in the country, Club for Growth, has a website called primarymycongressman.com.
Liberal comedian/commentator John Stewart recently destroyed Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius during an interview about Obamacare’s train wreck rollout.
In the Virginia governor’s race both major party candidates have less than 50% approval ratings from voters less than a month before Election Day, but a Libertarian Party candidate with no paid staff is polling anywhere from 8-12%.
Despite all the media hysteria more than 80% of Americans feel as if the ongoing government shutdown has had no impact on their lives, and only 3 in 10 Americans favors raising the debt ceiling.
Congress’ current approval rating is now at 5%. Meanwhile, less than a year after being re-elected, President Obama’s approval ratings are hovering closer to the abysmal 34% approval rating George W. Bush had when he left office than the 51% of the popular vote he received last November.
Only 17% of Americans currently believe the country is on the right track, and there hasn’t been a majority of Americans that believed the country was headed in the right direction in the last 4 years of Rasmussen polling archives.
At this point some of you may ask where was all this anger towards Washington, D.C. in the 2012 election, when 90% of Congressional incumbents were re-elected as well as President Obama. Good question.
Only two states, Iowa and Louisiana, had a higher percentage of eligible voters cast ballots in 2012 than in 2008. Some 93 million eligible voters didn’t even bother to vote in 2012. Despite a record amount of media coverage leading up to the election, and a record amount of campaign spending on both sides, overall turnout in 2012 was below both 2008 and 2004. Furthermore, overall turnout in the 2012 Republican primary cycle was also down compared to 2008, despite the fact the previous election in 2010 was a huge Republican year and 2008 was the worst year for Republicans since Watergate.
What’s happening here is the American people are dividing into three camps. The first camp is party loyalists on both sides. That camp’s ground is shrinking under their feet, especially the younger you go the less partisan they are.
The other two camps seem to be growing simultaneously – low information voters and those that want to drain the swamp of Washington, D.C. Those in the drain the swamp camp seem to have decided that if nobody in either major party is a threat to the system then no one is worth voting for. They believe the system just churns out the same results regardless of which team of bureaucrats are in charge, so what’s the point?
They’re looking for radicals. Right now they appear to be the most engaged of the three camps, as evidenced by the effort to defund Obamacare that confounded the ruling class, and Senator Ted Cruz’s 21-hour quasi-filibuster/anti-ruling class rant that quintupled C-SPAN’s ratings.
If you’ve ever thought about running for public office as the anti-establishment candidate in either party this next cycle for 2014 is your year. This could be cataclysmic if enough of the right kinds of candidates are available to take advantage.
Increasingly people are tired of nibbling around the margins, and they’re tired of nice guy candidates that are no threat to the status quo. Therefore, if you’ve got an extra jawbone of ass or a whip of chords lying around, and don’t care what the people destroying the country thinks about you – 2014 is your time to shine.
(You can friend “Steve Deace” on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow)