“In almost every sphere of public opinion, Americans are moving away from the administration, not toward it.”
Read all of Brooks’ column (and I will try and get him on today’s show) because in a few brief paragraphs he accurately summarizes what is underway in America –which is a rejection of elites and the ideas they embrace:
The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.
The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.
The story is the same in foreign affairs. The educated class is internationalist, so isolationist sentiment is now at an all-time high, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The educated class believes in multilateral action, so the number of Americans who believe we should “go our own way” has risen sharply.
A year ago, the Obama supporters were the passionate ones. Now the tea party brigades have all the intensity.
The Republicans are of course not natural populists, but they have in the past been able to understand populist agendas, as with the Sage Brush Rebellion in the late ’70s and the Contract with America. The GOP agenda for 2010 should thus be simple and very focused on the common ground between the Tea Party patriots and the center-right activists of long standing. I wrote about this yesterday and will spend most of the show on it today.
A first test comes in Massachusetts where an old-school, big government lefty wants Teddy Kennedy’s seat and is being opposed by Scott Brown, an attractive, energetic Republican. It would be a great sign if Brown could get within 10 points, and a sign of the end of all things were he to win. (You can contribute to his campaign via this link.)