By Richard Larsen
Ralph Waldo Emerson penned the “Concord Hymn” in 1837, citing a “shot heard round the world.” The shot he so eloquently referred to was the opening salvo fired in 1775 in the Massachusetts townships of Lexington and Concord. Those shots marked the fiery inception of the American Civil War as American colonialists began their revolt against financial and political oppression imposed by the English Crown.
More than 230 years later, a similarly astonishing “shot” has been heard, if not round the world, at least across the land and hopefully echoing loudly in the halls of Congress. This shot was fired collectively by the bluest of blue electorate of that same commonwealth, and catapulted a relatively unknown state senator, Scott Brown, into the U.S. Senate seat held by John Kennedy, and then Edward Kennedy, since 1953.
The “shot” metaphor may not fully capture the significance of the election of a Republican Senator from a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1. Throughout his campaign, Brown consistently and convincingly articulated a conservative message of returning to common sense and true fiscal responsibility. In short, he ran against Obama’s agenda in the bluest state in the union. And won.
Exit polling conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates, an independent polling firm, was precise in its conclusions that “Obamacare” and the way the congress was ramming it down the nations’ throat was the reason for Brown’s victory. Their data indicated that “fully 48% of voters say that health care was the issue deciding their vote. When combined with their second choice issue, health care mentions reached 62%. Brown’s health care position/opposition to Obama health care plan was the top reason for voting for him by wide margin. A plurality of voters said their vote was a vote to stop the President’s health care plan – more than those saying it was a vote against his policies in general. A majority of these voters oppose the President’s health care plan and disapprove of the job he’s doing on health care.”
These conclusions echo the sentiments expressed in an email forwarded to me by dear friend in California. It was originally sent to him by a family member who lives in Massachusetts. The family member said, “As a Conservative Democrat, (not yet an Independent) I want Washington to wake up, toss out Pelosi, arrogant politician that she is, who will still try to ram through decisions Americans do not want… but yesterday, again, Massachusetts ‘fired the shot heard round the world.’ Independence began here and it is still here. Walking by the Old Granary Burial Ground here this morning, I thought I heard the voices of Paul Revere, John Hancock and Sam Adams whispering: ‘Well done, Massachusetts sons and daughters.’”
As the American Thinker published earlier this week, “Sure, Martha Coakley ran a horrible campaign. But Democrats win safe seats with horrible campaigns all the time. Brown ran a great campaign, but good candidates lose uphill battles all the time in places like Massachusetts.” To put this in perspective, Obama won Massachusetts by 26 points just a year ago.
While reasons for Brown’s victory may be many, there is clearly a change of mood throughout the nation as more and more citizens become disenchanted with the direction Washington is taking the country. “Buyers’ remorse” is common in a retail setting, and it appears obvious that what we are witnessing is political buyers’ remorse by many who bought into the “hope and change” mantra.
Such buyers’ remorse was evidenced this week by Mort Zuckerman, former Harvard Business School professor and current editor of the U.S. News and World Report and an Obama supporter. He admitted on CNBC this week that he sees nothing in the Obama economic agenda that makes sense and predicts Massachusetts-like electoral reversals across the country in November leading to a Republican landslide if Washington leadership continues unabated on their populist anti-capitalism agenda.
In his acceptance speech to supporters Tuesday night, Brown declared, “Across this country — to all those folks who are listening, if you’re covering me — we are united by basic convictions that only need to be clearly stated to win a majority — and if anyone doubts that in this next election season that’s about to begin — well, let them take a look at what happened here in Massachusetts. Because what happened here in Mass can happen all over America.” How we pray he is right!
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