No Need to Pander?

One sometimes wonders why there are any conservatives left in the United States. Conservative ideas are mostly absent from our mass media and our universities except when they are being attacked, and it’s been a generation since we had political leaders who were effective teachers of conservative principles.
Somehow, though, Americans keep catching on to the fact that conservatism works better than liberalism. That’s the optimistic implication of this Rasmussen survey on how government should respond to current economic conditions:

[A] new nationwide telephone survey show[s] that 48% of voters say the best thing the government can do is get out of the way by reducing taxes and regulations. The Rasmussen Reports poll found that 36% disagree with that approach while 16% are not sure.
Republicans agree that government should get out of the way by a 64% to 24% margin. Democrats disagree by a 48% to 35% margin. Forty-nine percent (49%) of unaffiliated voters agree that the best thing the government can do is get out of the way. Thirty-four percent (34%) disagree. ***
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of all voters believe it is more important to create economic growth than to reduce the income gap between rich and poor. Thirty-five percent (35%) hold the opposite view and believe that reducing the income gap should be a higher priority. Democrats are evenly divided while Republicans and unaffiliated voters place a higher priority on economic growth.
While economists and politicians talk of economic stimulus in terms of new government spending or tax cuts, 49% of voters now say the best policy approach would be for the government to cut spending. Twenty-four percent (24%) say that tax cuts are the best policy prescription while 12% prefer interest rate cuts. Only 5% favor an increase in government spending.

These data suggest that the economy can be a winning issue for John McCain if he can tap into voters’ suspicion of liberal economic policies. Unfortunately, while McCain is passionate and inspiring when talking about national security, I’ve never heard him advocate economic freedom with the same conviction. Maybe in his spare time on the bus he should read Wealth and Poverty and watch tapes of Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp, circa 1980.


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