Is America all that ‘different’?
Florida Rep. Doug Broxson, a Republican, said something curious after the Nov. 6 election, in which a Democratic president was returned to office and a number of “liberal” ballot measures around the country were approved.
“We are in a different country than you or I know,” he told the Daily News’ Tom McLaughlin. “I think the people spoke and it’s a much different message than any we’ve heard before. I don’t know what to do about that. I think we’re moving to a country that we’ve never known before.”
Rep. Broxson speaks for a lot of Republicans who have claimed to be, well, disoriented by the election’s outcome.
If he truly doesn’t know what to do about that, we have a suggestion: He should embrace the conservative ideals that underlie many of the changes he and others on the right find so alarming.
That’s right. Conservative.
It’s true that voters nationwide re-elected a president who pursues liberal economic and social policies.
But as Steve Chapman pointed out in his Nov. 10 column, a traditional conservative impulse is to stick with the status quo.
Remember: Voters also kept the House of Representatives in Republican hands and the Senate under Democratic control.
It’s true as well that voters in a handful of states OK’d gay marriages and legalized marijuana. Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote. Minnesota voters rejected a measure that would have banned same-sex marriages. Washington state and Colorado made legal the recreational use of small amounts of marijuana.
In each of those instances, voters sided with the right of individuals to do as they wish in the privacy of their homes, to live their lives as they please, and against government attempts to regulate peaceful conduct.
More important, these votes on gay marriage and marijuana are decisions made at the state level, where such determinations should always be made, and not by a centralized government in Washington, D.C. This is what “states’ rights” are all about.
So relax. The country is still pretty conservative after all.
The Northwest Florida Daily News