Summing up the problem in America is actually quite simple. Just read the opening paragraph from this New Times article:
COLUMBUS, Ohio — President Obama and Mitt Romney enter the closing week of the campaign in an exceedingly narrow race, according to the latest poll by The New York Times and CBS News, with more voters now viewing Mr. Romney as a stronger leader on the economy and Mr. Obama as a better guardian of the middle class.
The rest of the article is meritless. What is important is that it’s first paragraph distills one of America’s greatest problems down to a concise nugget. People can believe that Romney is the best choice as POTUS for our economy and still believe that reelecting Obama would be a better choice for the middle class.
The inherent schism and conflict in that thought process can only be explained in a couple of ways:
- The middle class is utterly divorced from the economy at large and is nothing but an artificial construct maintained through government intervention or;
- The economy is quintessentially combative in nature, with the middle class being pitted against the others in a war for limited and non-renewable resources
As neither of these conditions are true, the belief by some large percentage of the residents of America that one or the other of them is serious problem. It’s the sort of problem that is going to keep us repeating the same bad economic policies and class warfare that we’ve had to endure for the last four years.
Terminating Obama’s employment, while right and necessary for our country’s future, won’t guarantee even a short-term palliative treatment for the problem either. This is a fundamental problem that transcend party lines and socioeconomic strata.
The election of Romney, while a hoped for event, is quite likely to trigger a backlash against Obama’s redistributive policies that is as equally based on these misconceptions of the middle class. That’s not going to solve anything in the long run.
Summing up the problem is easy, though neither as easy nor as obvious as it should be, fixing it is going to bloody difficult.