Paul A. Ibbetson
Love, hate, and a dry-eyed look at the future of the country
By Paul A. Ibbetson
December 23, 2010

One reality of the 2010 midterm election is that voters have rejected the current agenda of President Barack Obama. Uncontrolled government spending with its repetitious forays into the private market has not settled well with the American people. The president's promise of decreased unemployment after huge government spending did not come to fruition as promised, and as expected, people began to grumble. For those that are fighting the liberal agenda of the Obama administration, between demented Democrats in denial on one hand and weeping Republicans on the other, it is hard to keep the full reality of what is taking place in perspective. However, since the last couple of years have brought home the truth that elections have consequences, we should be very accurate about the recent midterm election and what it means and what it does not mean for the future of the political parties and this country.

The historical rejection of Democrats can be seen as more than a product of liberal politicians' unwavering support of such plans as Obama's compulsory healthcare program, apocalyptic government spending, or even his backward mentality on national security issues. Yes, the American people opposed Democrats because their policies were bad for the country. However, they came out in droves and voted them out of office in historic numbers because of the Democrats' hostile stance toward anyone who questioned what they were attempting to do. As Barack Obama's policies moved further and further away from the traditional economic and moral blueprint of this country, the voice of the American people rose in opposition. It was then that Democrats decided to forcefully turn their backs on voters to push the liberal agenda of the Obama administration through.

Democrats guaranteed their midterm losses by modeling an appearance of arrogance and disdain toward voters. They projected a belief that the administration's policies were so perfectly constructed that they were beyond question, above scrutiny. The elitism that exuded from the democratic leadership heading up to the 2010 midterm may very well be historic from the perspective that it superseded the usual reflections politicians give to their own political survivability. In the end, Democrats lined up in mass numbers and fell on their swords for the ideological belief system they shared with Barack Obama. The question now is has anything changed? Is anything going to change, or will the country continue moving in the direction of the Obama agenda? Here in reality we have to take a really hard look at the Republican Party.

While it is only fair to allow the House of Representatives with its new Republican majority to settle in before they are judged on what part they will play in correcting the destructive misadventures the country has experienced since 2008, the psychological ramifications of the election are in the forefront and are worthy of evaluation. The first reality that Republicans must acknowledge and model through their direct actions following the aftermath of the midterm is that voters simply rejected Democrats, they did not embrace Republicans. The Republican Party has been blessed with an opportunity to get back into the political game. Opportunities come and go and thus are fleeting in duration. If the Republican Party wishes to gain back its former prominence and the presidency in 2012, they will have to model and articulate a fiscally and socially conservative message for the future. For the Republican Party, this has been much easier said than done.

The GOP needs to put their nose to the grindstone and get back to thinking like free-marketers, constitutionalists, and God-fearing Americans. They must get back to being the innovators and creators of positive ideas. They have a constituency, from the Tea Party to Americans across the country that eagerly wait for their votes to take on meaning. Some would say the GOP is doing that now. I would say if they are, then their marketing stinks. The components of political success for the Republican Party are to have a political vision that is superior to that of their opponents. Republicans have this won even on a bad day, but vision alone will not save the country. To gain political success, the Party must articulate a message more clearly and more effectively than their opposition. Important political success is found with those who can balance the strength of their convictions with the ability to listen to others.

Here the Republican Party has great strides to make. Not only must Republicans come out of the gate in the new Congress with bold initiatives to cut spending, reduce government control and safeguard the Constitution from liberal attack, they must also show a purity of spirit and strength of will as they bring these issues to the forefront. Changing the Obama agenda will be an epic battle not for the faint of heart. In this instance, the success of the GOP and the country itself are tied together. The Obama administration will attempt to use the Republican majority in the House to their advantage and House leader John Boehner as well as the Republican leadership will be called upon to stand for conservative values in stopping more bad legislation from getting through Congress. Love it or hate it, this will not be a battleground of tears, but a dogged fight for the viability of the Republican Party and the future of the country.

© Paul A. Ibbetson


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Paul A. Ibbetson

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact


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