I am a self-described independent voter who tends to lean toward conservatism. If this were the 1960s, I would be a John F. Kennedy liberal. JFK promoted civil rights, women’s rights, a hand up for the disadvantaged, educational programs that would improve the lot of motivated youth who yearned for success, inspiration to achieve, and the opportunity to serve one’s country and community — this type of liberalism I could buy.
When the Democratic Party began its leftist shift, as personified by George McGovern, I, and most of the Democrats in my extended family, began to shift too. I did vote for Jimmy Carter — once. Most of the family became Republicans — I suppose that we really became “Reagan Democrats,” but stayed on to vote for the more conservative candidates.
Not long ago, having had enough of both the Republican and Democratic narcissism, I decided that I was an Independent. My JFK liberalism meant that I was moderate on some issues, and my Reagan world-view meant that I was conservative on others. My vote would have to be earned.
I wasn’t a big fan of John McCain but I really believed that the Democratic candidate was too inexperienced, too leftist, and too naive. So I voted for what I saw as the “better of two lessers.” But the nation fired the Republicans. So be it, the people had spoken.
It has been just over a year since President Barack Obama was sworn in as the President of the United States and the Democrats took full command. I have deliberately kept silent hoping that the President would do well and would lead the nation in a bipartisan manner that would promote unity, prosperity, and confidence. That has not happened.
The new president promised openness, bipartisanship, and an end to the Washington politics as usual. That has not happened either. Over the first few months, I had the hope that the President would do as Bill Clinton had done — run toward the left but govern toward the center. It was not to be.
He ran toward the left all right but, once elected, governed toward the far left. The warning signs were there during the campaign, but they were mostly ignored.
Now, American voters are expressing “buyer’s remorse” by voting against the Democrats in ever-increasing numbers. There were rumblings as seen in the recent votes in New Jersey and Virginia but, this Tuesday, a revolution occurred in the Massachusetts Senate race.
The seat held by Ted Kennedy, a seat held by Democrats for nearly 60 years, was given to a Republican by angry and frightened citizens. The vote wasn’t even close. The warning signs were here too.
The Democratic leadership derided and defamed the citizens who participated in tea parties and in town halls, dismissing them as kooks or as tools of the right.
But people who have never been active in politics have been energized to take to the streets and to the ballot boxes to express their concern and, in some cases, outrage.
The President currently has a 52 percent disapproval rating, the approval rating for Congress is in the sewer, and there is a strong anti-incumbent sentiment that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans can afford to ignore.
The so-called conservative and moderate Democrats appear to have been “bought off” by the leftists and are now seen by many as willing participants in the corruption that politics breeds. Republicans dare not gloat — it has only been a year since they were fired for their own incompetence.
Americans — normal Americans, and not those on the fringes of the left or right — are making it clear that they are sick of politicians who are more concerned about their own careers and comfort than they are about the good of the country.
If politicians continue to ignore the will of the people, they should be fired. If the vote last Tuesday is any indication, the voters have had enough. It remains to be seen if the politicians are going to get the message.
[David Epps is the priest and pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King (www.ctkcec.org.) 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277, between Peachtree City and Newnan. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. He is also the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and is the mission pastor of Christ the King Mission in Champaign, IL. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]