The Washington Post

America hasn’t quit on itself

There is good news for Republicans in the latest Fox News poll, including the fact that Mitt Romney holds a lead over President Obama, 45-to-44 percent.  Even more significant, the poll asks an important question that I haven’t seen asked in previous polls.  The poll results aren’t just good news for Republicans or Romney, they’re good news for American society.  Someone finally, in a sensible way, asked the question of voters, “If you could send just one of the following two messages to the federal government right now, would it be ‘lend me a hand’ or would it be ‘leave me alone.’ ” A clear majority say they want the government out of their lives (54 percent) rather than deeply involved in their lives (35 percent).  

This country was founded on the premise that hard work would produce success and independence.  Obama and the Democrats have abandoned that premise and now promise dependency as a way of life. In fact, this poll confirms what many have long suspected.  59 percent of Democrats want government to “lend them a hand,” encouraging dependency; while 80 percent of Republicans want the government to “leave them alone” and to let them succeed independent of government intervention. 

The 2012 election will answer a lot of questions, and not just about who will be on the television in everyone’s living room for the next four years, Obama or Romney.  The election will also partially be a referendum on dependency. And this poll shows that Americans as a whole haven’t quit or given up, even if many Democrats already have and want others to as well.

The Republican convention will showcase not just what has become the most celebrated gaffe that Obama has made during his presidency but also the fact that Americans still do want to — and believe they can — build something themselves. 

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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