No Democrat has ever won the White House running against Ronald Wilson Reagan. Walter Mondale tried, but barely won his own state. Michael Dukakis tried to make the 1988 election about competency instead of ideology, but George H.W. Bush made it about Ronald Reagan and Michael Dukakis. The Gipper’s Vice President won forty states that year. Had that Bush remembered the Gipper, he might have held his own four years later against Bill Clinton who, understanding the appeal of the Fortieth President, promised a middle class tax cut.
So strong was the appeal of the Gipper’s idea of cutting taxes (instead of raising them in order to feed the federal behemoth) that even the most liberal Senator in the most recent (completed) Congress borrowed the idea and used it to win nearly the same percentage of the popular vote that H.W. had won twenty years previously.
But, tax cuts aren’t the only Reaganite idea which resonates. The Gipper realized that Americans don’t have much of a taste for big government. And recent polls confirm that even five years after that great man’s passing, we haven’t regained that unfortunate appetite.
That hasn’t, however, deterred the incumbent President and Democratic Congress from pushing such initiiatives, even as he’s finding less of a welcome for his proposed changes among the American people than he had hoped.
With Democrats having run up the national debt with their various programs they’ve passed these past five months, the American people are less and less open to the President’s costly reforms. We still don’t know the tab for Obamacare, with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) finding the various proposals more costly than advertised. Now that the American people have wised up to the real nature of the President’s policies, expett concerns about costs to cause them to speak out against such reforms instead of reacting as they did to the “stimulus” with lukewarm support, mild indifference or silent opposition.
Indeed, Americans are becoming increasingly skeptical about that “stimulus” given its failure to stimulate the economy. So, will they now become more outspoken in their support of smaller government and stand up against Democrats’ proposed health care reforms, causing Obamacare to founder on the shoals of popular opinion, the same popular opinion then-candidate Obama channeled in promising a “net spending cut”? And this public opinion to close to Ronald Reagan’s own vision of a smaller federal government with more individual freedom.