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A look back on election, a look forward to what it all means

  • A look back on election, a look forward to what it all means

  • 10 November 2006 by 0 Comments

A look back on election, a look forward to what it all means
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 11/10/06

The ultimate display of sovereignty in a democratic republic such as ours is the peaceful transfer of power resulting from free elections. Regardless of one’s perspective on the outcome of Tuesday’s election, we should all rejoice at the marvel of this country of ours. The fact that we can express our opinions at the ballot box and cause the musical chair act of changing of the guard occur as it does is remarkable.

Encouraging is the tone emerging from Washington in the days following the election. President Bush accepts Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation, thereby removing one of the biggest lightening rods to his administration, and Nancy Pelosi, probable Speaker of the House, calls for increased civility in political discourse in Washington. Makes me wonder if she will be told to quit whining as I was when I used this forum calling for the same a short time ago. Rumsfeld will undoubtedly not be the last administration casualty to the new congress. Over the past several years we have witnessed incredible intolerance for anyone who doesn’t agree with them .

It will be interesting to see if the new majority in Congress can generate a plan, or actually learn to work with the President on some of the pressing issues the country is facing now. They have had no plans heretofore. All they have done is criticize profusely without positing substantive alternatives. Since the new congress and the President are of like mind on immigration, there will be, in all likelihood, a comprehensive immigration bill including amnesty for some 12 million illegal aliens here.

The tax cuts implemented by the President will undoubtedly expire without extension or being made permanent. Yes, that’s the series of tax cuts that has caused our U.S. economy to generate more growth in the last 30 months than the entire Chinese economy. The tax cuts that have left nearly $2,000 per year in the pockets of the average family of four. The tax cuts that have spurred business growth to the extent that we enjoy an astounding 4.4% unemployment rate. And the tax cuts that have, despite lowering rates, has caused an unparalleled surge in treasury revenue.

The new congress has been criticizing the old congress for excessive spending. Will they have the discipline to do better? Forty years of prior history say no.

But perhaps of greatest significance is the fact that the new congress will have to come to grips with the reality of the war on terror. They have criticized President Bush for going too far in trying to secure our homeland, but then they say we aren’t any safer. Either they’re speaking out of both sides of their mouths or we have to do more to secure the nation from those who seek our destruction. Based on their actions and their rhetoric for the past six years they haven’t the stomach for doing what needs to be done.

They need to realize that the conflict in Iraq is part of the larger war on terror. After all, who are we fighting there? Terrorists! They seem to think Iraq is some isolated, incongruous fight unconnected with fanatics who seek our demise. And they have to come to grips with the fact that combatus interuptus in Iraq would lead to a vacuum like Somalia and like Afghanistan was under Taliban rule, and would make of Iraq a veritable haven for terrorists. Whereas a free, democratic Iraq would be an immensely valuable ally in the ongoing struggle
For some reason, those who lead the new congress can’t seem to grasp the concept of victory. Perhaps they’re stymied by memories of Vietnam, or perhaps are just too ethnocentric, thinking it’s better that millions of Iraqis die from a collapsing central government there, rather than a few thousand brave American soldiers, as we saw in Vietnam.

There are some local races that were very surprising in their outcomes, as well as how some local candidates campaigns were conducted. The local Republican party fielded perhaps the best slate of candidates ever. Yet only one of them won. Gratefully, however, Ken Andrus’ victory was over a challenger who used about the most deceptive, fallacious, and inflammatory propaganda I have ever seen in a local election. Such misrepresentations and wild extrapolation of issues and facts are not only unwarranted but they’re dishonest. Do these politicians really think we’re that stupid? Apparently so. What’s really scary about this is that there were nearly enough ill-informed voters in Bannock County for Andersons’ tactics to succeed.

Nationally, the Democrats didn’t earn the right to regain congressional power, Republicans lost it by failing to bring the assured results. If voters in Bannock County had responded the same way, based on performance, Republicans would have swept county races.

Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at

About the

More than anything, I want my readers to think. We're told what to think by the education establishment, which is then parroted by politicians from the left, and then reinforced by the mainstream media. Steeped in classical liberalism, my ideological roots are based in the Constitution and our founding documents. Armed with facts, data, and correct principles, today's conservatives can see through the liberal haze and bring clarity to any political discussion.

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