Tuesday, November 2, saw a political tsunami wash across the America nation. It’s biggest waves were felt in the American heart-land and southern states, but much of the surging tide reached New England and parts of the West.
Let’s thank our gracious God who heard our prayers. Credit a spirited Tea Party movement that renewed a sizable portion of the Republican Party. Credit also the average American citizen who got involved in the political process because they knew the future of America was at stake.
What was the thunderous message?
We reject socialism.
We want to remain America-the land of the free.
I’d like to highlight ten lessons that we’ve learned from the 2010 Mid-term elections. First, let’s survey the changed political landscape through the eyes of individuals or groups that played a leading role in the political tsunami.
One of the most pro-active faith & family groups in the United States is the Family Research Council led by Tony Perkins and headquartered in Washington, D.C. Their extensive “bus tour” of Iowa during the month of October was probably the single largest reason that three notorious, incumbent, activist judges were defeated in that state. 155 out of 182 of FRC’s backed candidates won. If you don’t receive FRC’s daily “Washington Update” alert, you can sign up for it here.
Tony Perkin’s take on the historic mid-terms:
“On November 2, 2010, the Republican Party made its largest single day gains in the House of Representatives since 1948 and, I have been told credibly, the largest gains of any political party in local, state, and federal races combined in more than 100 years.”
“The last time the GOP controlled this many state legislatures, the year was 1928–and the only thing flying higher than the Republican Party was Amelia Earhart. Call it a tsunami, a bloodbath, a good-old fashioned spanking, but any way you slice it, Tuesday was a population explosion for conservatives via the Republican Party. In state legislatures alone, Republicans picked up 680 seats, the highest gains for one political party in two centuries. Sixteen states are now completely controlled by the GOP, meaning that it dominates the Governor’s offices and both chambers (with the exception of Nebraska, which only has one chamber to begin with).”
“Democrats have coughed up 19 chambers to conservative Republicans. The takeover was so complete that the GOP even snagged Minnesota. Talk about a conservative drought in the state of 10,000 lakes. This was the first time in U.S. history that Minnesota’s chambers flipped Republican. And while Americans didn’t have the option of electing a new president, they did manage to choose seven chief executives, as the GOP stormed to power in a majority of governorships, bringing the grand total to at least 31.”
Erick Erickson’s Redstate.com put the political landslide in these terms:
“Nineteen state legislative bodies ultimately flipped to the GOP. Of the 18 states that will gain or lose seats in Congress for the next decade, the GOP controls 12 of the 18 Governor’s Mansions. The Democrats have been wiped out except among coastal elites and majority-minority districts. The GOP, long said to not be able to make inroads in New England, now controls the Maine Governor’s Mansion, the Maine legislature, the New Hampshire Legislature, a New Hampshire Senate seat, and several congressional seats.”
I recently read one of Newt Gingrich’s novels on America history. To Try Men’s Souls is a gripping treatise on the turning point battle of the Revolutionary War–Washington crossing the Delaware at night and surprising and routing the Hessian mercenaries at Trenton. It was courage and conviction that won that battle. Here’s how the former Speaker of the House describes the mid-term wins:
“Congress wasn’t the only thing Republicans gained in last night’s election. The Republican State Leadership Committee reports that the GOP also took control of nineteen state legislative chambers with the election of over 500 new Republicans to state houses across the country – the largest GOP gain in state house seats in history. The GOP will control the Minnesota Senate for the first time in the state’s history and the Republican Party will hold majorities in the Alabama and North Carolina legislative chambers for the first time since the 1800s.”
“Republican gains were particularly strong in the south where the GOP now controls 18 of the 28 legislative chambers and a majority of all southern legislative seats for the first time since Reconstruction. At the same time, Republican Gubernatorial challengers earned victories in ten states, including the key swing states of Ohio, Florida, and Iowa that play such an important role in presidential elections.The GOP now controls 54 out of 99 statehouses–and it could go as high as 59.”
Another organization I highly respect and encourage you to join is the Heritage Foundation. They possess some of the clearest thinkers in America today. Their Morning Bell daily blog gives pertinent facts each day on the issues facing our nation. You can sign up for it here.
Heritage gives some wise advice for our newly elected leaders:
“If Republicans are smart, they’ll see these victories–not as an endorsement of their leadership, but a repudiation of Obama’s. At its core, this is a center-right country where things like “hope” and “change” are still measured against our greatest ideals. It’s still a place where freedom matters more than “progress.” Where faith is fought for, not against. And where standing for life means not standing alone.”
“Voters are looking to the GOP to take us–not down the path of least resistance–but the road less traveled. But let’s be clear, now we must all get to work. The new Congress has a choice: answer the call of renewal or betray the hopes of the American people.”
So what did we learn from the 2010 mid-term elections? Here are my top ten:
1. The Biggest National Loser – President Barack Obama, whose policies and national priorities went down in flames. Defeat was not a communication problem, the stupidity of the voters, or just a bad economy. President Obama’s socialistic policies were repudiated. And though the president campaigned for thirty different candidates around the nation, less than 10% of them won =.100. That’s a lot of strike-outs.
2. Biggest Question going forward: Will Barack Obama pivot and move toward the wishes of the America people as Bill Clinton did in 1994? Early signs appears to be no. Obama is an ideologue who cares less about popularity and more about taking the US in a social democracy direction. He’s not going to change course–and will probably be defeated in 2012 due to his stubbornness. Jay Leno put it this way: “Americans thought they were voting against George’s Bush’s third term by rejecting John McCain. Instead, they were voting for Jimmy Carter’s second term in Barack Obama.”
3. Biggest State Winner – Ohio–with a new Republican governor, a GOP-controlled House, a new US senator, and come January, many other statewide offices will be a sea of red. John Kasich took the governorship away from Ted Strickland. The GOP also won: secretary of state, state auditor, attorney general, and state treasurer. Leadership also changed hands in the Ohio House of Representatives. Republicans picked up a dozen seats to give them the majority in the House. They also managed to extend their already-strong Senate majority. On the national level, Rob Portman comfortably beat Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher to capture a seat in the U.S. Senate.
Guess which state is the pivotal state in presidential elections (i.e. 2012)? Ohio.
3. Biggest State Loser – California. It’s hard to fathom that the nation’s largest state elected as governor, for the second time, the man who helped create their 100 billion dollar pension problems in the first place (Jerry Brown). They also re-elected Barbara Boxer over successful entrepreneur and executive Carly Fiorina. What are they smoking out there? It must be a stupifying mix of Hollywood values, union control, and illegal (entitlement) voters. For the first time in fifty years, California is losing people and businesses–with a corresponding loss of congressional seats. California is in deep trouble–and desperately needs a heaven-sent revival.
4. Biggest National Winner – Sarah Palin – she won 66% of her House race endorsements and 60% of her Senate endorsements giving her a combined batting average of .630. And most of those picks were challengers, not incumbents. Quite a feat. Maybe those Mama Grizzlies do understand the issues that most Americans care about.
5. Second Biggest National Winner – Conservatives. Conservatism is the political expression of Christian ideals (faith, family, freedom, work, justice, responsibility, accountability, compassion, etc.) A new generation of conservative leaders are emerging in the United States. Keep your eyes on and focus your prayers on numerous conservative governors or former governors such at Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, John Kasich, Haley Barber, Nicky Haley, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, and Bob O’Donnell. They are the future. Also rising Congressional stars such as Michelle Bachmann, Mark Rubio and Rand Paul.
6. Third Biggest National Winner – The Grand Old Party. They re-took the US House of Representatives by historic margins (could be as high as 66 seats), added at least six seats to the US Senate, and gained 680 state legislative positions nationwide. Even more importantly, the Republican Party will also control re-apportionment (re-districting) for the next twelve years. That fact alone will re-shape American politics. Let’s hope they understand why they’ve been “re-hired.”
7. A Providential Loss? – Harry Reid’s win in Nevada. This can probably be attributed to a weak Republican challenger, tons of money, and a great ground game. Still, I’m stunned that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid could be re-elected in a state with 14% unemployment – and it’s his Big Goverment, anti-business policies and that are prolonging it. However, here’s what’s interesting. If Harry Reid had lost, and the Republicans taken over the Senate, that would have made 2012 a much easier year for Barack Obama. He could blame many things on a Republican-controlled Congress. Now he can’t. Harry Reid’s still in control. This might prove extremely providential for the 2012 election
8. The Blessing of Gridlock – If a car enters a freeway going the wrong way, the best thing that can happen is for traffic gridlock to be occurring to slow down and stop its destructive path. Don’t buy the lie that “gridlock” is now bad for America for the next two years. No, it’s extremely good. The speeding socialist jalopy will be limited by the traffic jam until the right direction can be re-established in 2012. Praise God for gridlock. It will save many lives.
9. The Danger of Compromise – The losing side desperatelywants to keep America on the socialist path. Their new strategy is to encourage our leaders to compromise and join them in re-shaping America. Pray that our new senators and representatives will not budge an inch. Freedom won. Socialism lost. Bi-partisanship is negative if it doesn’t include right principles and policies. In politics and in life you compromise on minor items, never major ones. For example: On keeping tax rates where they are for all income groups, we must not compromise. We are already over-taxed. The problem is spending. We can compromise with the president on minor details. But not on the principle of over taxation–especially during a recession. Memo to our newly elected leaders: Stick to the principles for which the American people sent you into office.
10. Biggest Ultimate Winner – Freedom and the American people.
In historic fashion, we prayed, gave, voted, and worked for positive political change in 2010. God honored our faith and action. But this is only one victory in a much bigger war.
The American people rose up and rejected socialism in 2010. We must continue the march of freedom through 2012 and beyond.
“In God We Trust.”