Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Health Reform and the Anger of the Silent Majority

Richard Nixon coined the term “silent majority” in 1969. He was referring to the majority of people who do not agree with government policies but do not express their opinion.

Today, if you believe public opinion polls, the “silent majority” do not approve of President Obama’s health reform bill.

Here are the “average” poll results, based on 10 or more national polls, after passage of the bill.

• President Obama approval, Approve 47.4%, Disapprove 46.8%, +0.6%

• Congressional job approval, Approve 17.4%, Disapprove 77.0%, -59.6%

• Generic party approval, Republicans 44.8%, Democrats 42.2%, +2.6%

• Direction of country, Right Direction 33.0%, Wrong Direction, 60.6%, -27.6%

• Obamacare, For 39.7%, Against 50.4%, - 10.7%

These percentages mean different things to Democrats and Republicans.

• Democrats say results not public opinion are what counts, they know better than the people what is good for them, people will understand and approve once the plan’s details are explained, the vote is “historic” in that it begins to erase wealth inequality.

• Republicans believe the the bill may be unconstitutional in that you cannot force people to buy insurance or force states to establish exchanges, that its passage may incite a widespread civic rebellion against an overreaching government, and that the high costs involved without cost controls will end in a financial debacle.

You decide.

The risk for Democrats is going against the will of the “silent majority” and losing their political majorities.

The risk for Republicans is being labeled as the “Party of No,” with no feasible alternatives to the unsustainable status quo.

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