I live in the great state of Massachusetts, commonly known to the rest of the Union as a bastion of liberalism. Last night's election of Republican Scott Brown should prove to others what I have known for years: most of Massachusetts is actually pretty conservative.
I am not a registered Republican or Democrat. The choice between those two parties is the choice between Evil and Incompetence. In the past, I have sided with Incompetence.
In 2008, Incompetence was given an overwhelming mandate and power to return to sixties-style liberalism. That is, the government should do what it can to ensure a baseline standard of living for as many of its citizens as possible. Universal health care is part of that agenda.
Last night, the home state of JFK said "nuts" to that idea.
Brown was elected as a protest against the Obama agenda. Brown himself looks to be a one-term senator, but you should never bet against incumbency. Brown has been sent to Washington to stop the U.S. from joining the rest of the world's modern economies.
That Obama could not organize the Dems last year to get this done shows how little party discipline exists there. Brown's election is the end of Obama's effective presidency.
The level of pettiness, short-sightedness and ignorance on display last night appalls me. The increasing costs of health care and rising global climate temperatures share a common aspect: they are both dangers that can be seen now but whose effects will not be felt for some time. I have notice that as a group, humans do not anticipate future crises well. Groups are reactionary.
The incompetence and arrogance of the Democratic party in Massachusetts once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Martha Coakley evinced an impressively tin-ear when it came to state politics. She tied herself to national politics in the face of understandable (but misdirected) anger toward Obama. It is more correct to say that Coakley lost this election rather than Brown won it. Coakley helped motivate Republican voters.
Nobody has ever liked taxes. In my lifetime, taxes have gone from being perceived as a necessary evil to simply evil. The root of this belief comes from the disconnect between what people pay in taxes and what they get for it. Until state and federal government does a better job making the connection between taxes and services (and hence a pleasant civil life), I expect anti-tax fever to worsen and America continue its slide in Banana Republicanism.