this year's election to be like that of 1980, with an outsider -
Ronald Reagan - staring down - former outsider, turned insider -
Jimmy Carter. Others see it as in 1860 when society was in upheaval
and a conflict of visions that ultimately led to secession and war?
Whether or not one agrees with either of these, I think we can all
agree this election represents a struggle between competing visions
One is held by
a small minority of government leaders, an Establishment Elite, who
wish to maintain the status quo. A larger segment is those who
believe the solution to our problems will be found in even bigger
government. In contrast, a growing segment of the population would
say we need a reset that returns us to our traditional standards,
lifestyle and the "American Dream." Naturally, there are
those who represent other views, but the aforementioned approaches
are the ones we most commonly encounter. The impending election will
say much about which view prevails.
wanting to run the show, the Elites, Left and Right, will
periodically trade control of the driver's seat knowing that their
fellow insiders are safely holding the wheel. Their larger
self-serving interests are: control of the government; ensuring their
very healthy incomes; and maintaining luxurious standards of living.
If along the way, their various operating theories of government
spill over into good economic times or an occasional success in
governance - then let the people have those crumbs.
Another vision is that represented by the Occupy
Wall Street Movement (Occupy Movement). Their call is for a new
American Revolution - a redistribution of wealth and power, based on
a new set of values founded on Social Justice Theory of how life
"ought to be." They view the less wealthy, uneducated and
those with lower incomes as dispossessed of any real chance to
succeed in our current culture. Their battle cry is for radical
change to society, business and government. Their preferred targets
of opportunity are the social mores and customs upon which culture is
based. In their scheme, the traditional family structure is
obviously, not the highest priority.
The other new
competing vision is that represented by the Tea Party, Values Voters,
and Constitutional Libertarians. These three groups form a general
alliance seeking a restoration of traditional American values: a
rugged self-reliance - "Don't tread on me!" attitude with a
common moral philosophical basis. As with the others, this coalition
also faces its own problems and detractors.
media seems to go to great lengths to discredit them, rarely having
any praiseworthy news to report about their efforts. The elites fear
them because they are largely self-sufficient and cannot be bought with
government bailouts or contracts. The left despises them because they
believe them selfish and their values old-fashioned.
Not only does
it face attacks from outside, but there are internal stresses as
well. Foremost are jealousies that cause them to keep an ever
watchful eye on one another; lest one group becomes the "tail
wagging the dog." They fear a narrow focus on one group's
agenda, may cause the alliance to miss its main objectives.
for America seek to gain control through the political process. The
important question, facing voter and nonvoter alike, is which vision
will control the US government in January of 2013?
dream of President Obama in the White House and the restoration of
Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. With control of the entire
federal government once more safely in their hands, they will be able
to again pursue their objectives undeterred. The biggest question for
this scenario is what will they do with the Occupy Movement?
Democrat Establishment fears this movement with its extreme zeal and
proposed anarchy challenging the very control the Establishment
exerts. While, both groups share the goal of greater social justice;
getting there - prying the control of the levers of power - is
anathema to the powerful of Washington DC.
dream scenario for Republicans is that Mitt Romney is elected; they
seize the Senate, and continue in power in the House of
Representatives. The danger for the rank and file is that
Establishment Republicans may return to an explosion of government
spending making their control of government a distinction without any
Republicans are scared to death by the influx of new supporters. Tea
Partiers have found themselves just as unwelcome as the Values Voters
who have given the GOP their energy and votes since the 80s. Taking
their support meant staying competitive, as opposed, to being a
permanent minority party begging for crumbs. But the party bosses
chaffed at the moralizing of the religious voters.
Tea Partiers and Values Voters with Ron Paul's Constitutional
Libertarians, you have the equivalent of three leper colonies showing
up at the Republican Country Club Gala Banquet, expecting to be
invited to membership. Establishment nerves are rattled, because true
believers want input on policy, not just work assignments during
question, the greatest opportunity for the country lies in the path
of a final option - one that we will most likely see - continued
divided government between Republicans and Democrats. This
opportunity will be lost if both Establishments coalesce to maintain
control of all the levers of power: jealously protecting their
interests and allowing the nation to stall as they fight over who
gets the corner office. Divided government will only work if the
Establishment elites are deprived of control.
must have a coalition of common sense Republicans and Democrats not
motivated by Left and Right but seeking a distinction of "right
not wrong". Only then can they truly seek practical consensus
solutions to the problems facing America. Competitive problem solvers
face the individual crises and act to resolve them, just as was true
from our Founding Fathers through to the end of the Cold War.
governance will not exclude social activists Left or Right. However,
it will require them to get deeply involved in the problems. It will
require actual solutions to resolvable problems of the hopelessness
that plagues so many Americans. For it is here that opportunity
lies. It is here where people can unite in a new crusade. Here where
a better day dawns. Here where political swords are broken and our
cultural plows breakthrough to a spring of hopeful cultural reset.
serves as the Executive Director of CapStand. Mr Bragan has an
extensive background in political activism having served on numerous
political camnpaigns and, most recently serving on Capitol Hill as a
Congressional Counsel and Legislative Assistant. He has lectured in
20 states on political activism, finance, organization and elections.
He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org