Published in TCT on October 7, 2010
By Peter A. Steele
Pundits and pollsters are still scratching their heads at the rise of regular, everyday people who are gaining steam as the mid-term elections rapidly approach.
These “experts” are still perplexed at this nationwide, grassroots movement by the people to reject traditional politicians and to propel ordinary, hard-working folks into the halls of U.S. government.
They need not be perplexed. They just need to attend some of the political rallies happening all across the country—the events they are too quick to ridicule as unsophisticated or ignorant. We attended one of these events, and we realized exactly where this movement is coming from.
They are the young professionals, those citizens who are in their 30s, who are employed in their own business or someone else’s, who have young families and who are getting politically active for the first time in their lives. Growing up with apathy for partisan, party-line politics, many of these folks never voted or paid attention to politics.
Most didn’t even know who their state or federal representatives were. Unlike their parents or grandparents, they grew up with no real allegiance to either party. To them, it appeared that neither party did any better than the other. But now, they can’t afford not to get involved.
Watching the national economy decline, struggling to pay their bills and fearing for their children’s future, these 30-somethings are less worried about social programs and food stamps and more concerned about paychecks and job prospects.
They stood by as Ivy League intellectuals and academic elitists have infiltrated their government, trying to implement economic theories and socialist philosophies, all while the economy sags, unthinkable debts pile up, American influence declines around the globe, hostile nations taunt us and the quality of life ebbs away.
These 30-somethings are now paying close attention to the oily, career politicians who claim to represent them. Most of them are longtime hacks who never had to rely on private-sector jobs or figure out practical solutions to the problems that 30-somethings must contend with every day.
Once these 30-somethings began to look more closely at their elected representatives, they realized how out of touch with middle-class, working families they really are. Bogged down in the Great Recession, these 30-somethings watched as the politicians instead focused on a health-insurance bill that no one wanted; provided economic stimulus to save government jobs and preserve unions; handed out TARP money for banks that caused the economic crisis; gave bailouts to failed auto companies; and rewarded homeowners who agreed to mortgages they couldn’t afford.
Now that these 30-somethings have families with young children, they are appalled as their political representatives add to the skyrocketing debt, ignore declining education scores, refuse to tackle illegal immigration, pander to enemy states and bow to terrorist nations. They are terrified that for the first time in American history, their children may be the first generation that is not as successful as their parents.
Adding to the anger of these 30-somethings are the 20-somethings—the fresh-faced, starry-eyed voters who turned out to elect a hip, cool young President who sounded so good on the campaign trail. But now, a few short years later, they are tired of the droning teleprompter speeches and, more importantly, they can’t find a good-paying job.
Coupled with the anger and bitter disappointment of the 20- and 30-somethings are the rest of us, the 40-somethings and 50-and-over crowd that have watched our career politicians escalate this situation for decades, turning it into the fiasco we are now facing.
The 30-something crowd has mobilized into a political force. They want fixes to this nation’s problems, and they want them now. They don’t want more intellectual postering by Ivy League politicians or their advisors, who descend from the insular halls of academia to conduct experiments in economic theories and social philosophy on the American public. They don’t want yes men and women who will promote the unsustainable socialist agenda of Pelois, Reid & Co.
We saw these 30-somethings at a fundraising event last month for Jason Levesque of Auburn, who is running for U.S. Congress to represent Maine’s 2nd District. In fact, it was the best-attended event for a Republican candidate that we have seen since we started Twin City TIMES almost 12 years ago.
Most of these events in L-A are attended by a mere handful of Republicans, almost all of who are senior citizens. But the event for Levesque packed the room at Martindale Country Club in Auburn. Most of the crowd was comprised the 30-somethings who live and work in Lewiston-Auburn, and most have never supported a candidate.
But now they are looking for candidates who are just like them: people with young families who are working hard in this difficult economy and who understand the daily challenges they face. A family man with young children, a veteran who served his country and a local business owner, Levesque is a 30-something they can relate to. They know he understands firsthand how tough it can be to run both a household and a business in these difficult times.
These 30-somethings don’t want traditional candidates who will get mired in the age-old swamp of partisan politics. They want representatives who will attack these problems in the same manner as they would: by rolling up their sleeves, getting to work, trimming expenses and finding practical, real-world solutions that will get this country moving again.
Quite simply, they want to git ’er done!
If the crowd at Levesque’s fundraiser is representative of the voters that will be heading to the polls in November, then we feel much more confident in the future of our country and our state.