The Indianapolis Star has a front-paged story entitled “War, Economy Have Red State Thinking Blue.” The article is about a recent poll that shows Hoosiers’ dissatisfaction with President Bush and their willingness to support a Democratic ticket with Evan Bayh on it. Evan Bayh is currently the U.S. Senator from Indiana. As Indiana Governor, he was rather conservative in that he was open to balanced budgets and tax cuts. As Senator, unfortunately, he more or less votes along the liberal Democratic line.
The poll did not say how Hoosiers feel about the Democratic Congress. Sure, Bush and Cheney have low approval ratings throughout the country, but so does the Democratic Congress, so why declare the death of Indiana as a red state?
Moreover, the poll does not prove that most Hoosiers are becoming liberal. They disapprove of Bush’s handling of the economy and the federal budget, but so do many conservatives. I like the Bush tax cuts, but out-of-control federal spending and printing lots of paper money are bad ideas, regardless of which party is in power. Hoosiers are evenly divided on keeping the Bush tax cuts, with 39% wanting them to expire, 42 % supporting them, and 19 % answering “Undecided.” But there is overwhelming opposition to Bush’s immigration policy, as 69% disapprove of giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. Of course, the author of the story got some liberal professor to explain that away, saying, “If the economy was doing better, people would not see it as such a big issue…I think a lot of people are kind of blaming job losses and other expenditures they can’t account for on the issue of illegal immigration.” Isn’t that like a lot of liberals? The average American disagrees with them, so he must be simple-minded.
There is one part of the poll that discourages me, and that is that 60% support socialized medicine. I’m sorry to act like that professor on the illegal immigration issue, but I think that many Americans support socialized medicine because they see it as the only alternative to the status quo. In reality, there are horror stories about countries that have “universal health care.” Moreover, if more government spending is problematic for the economy, then why should the government spend more on health care or education, as the Democrats propose?
I know liberals will seize upon this study to argue that conservatism does not work, and that the solution is to support candidates who want to raise taxes and spending, grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, and prevent the oil drilling that is so necessary to bring down gas prices. But the problem is not that conservatism doesn’t work. The problem is that it hasn’t been thoroughly tried. And, if the Democrats gain power, it won’t be.