There may be a major silver lining for conservatives and for America's future thanks to the foreign and domestic policies of President Obama and the Democrat-controlled House and Senate: For the first time in their lives, millions of Americans are coming to understand the left.
It is difficult to overstate how important this is. For decades, the left has largely controlled the news media, the arts, the universities and the entertainment media. And vast numbers of Americans have imbibed these leftist messages and the leftist critiques of conservatives. What these Americans have never been able to do is to see what the left would actually do if in power.
Of course, all one had to do was look at California and see how a left-wing legislature brought the country's largest state economy to near insolvency and bankruptcy, chased away many of its most productive citizens, and wasted tens of billions of dollars thanks in large measure to union domination of the state's politics.
But most Americans do not observe other states. Most Americans are preoccupied with their lives and, unfortunately, with what is on television.
Now, this has all changed. Americans are watching California enacted on the national stage.
And it is scaring all but the ideologically committed left -- a rather small, if profoundly influential and powerful, minority. This is why last week, Gallup reported an extraordinarily dramatic and quick shift of independent voters' electoral preferences. In the Gallup Poll's words: "Over the course of the year, independents' preference for the Republican candidate in their districts has grown, from a 1-point advantage in July to the current 22-point gap."
In half a year, there has been a 23 percent shift from Democrats to Republicans among independent voters. And nothing particularly bad had occurred -- no further economic meltdown, no terrorist attack from abroad (the Poll preceded the Fort Hood attack).
Now Americans see the left's policies for what they are:
1. The left wants America to abandon its defining commitment to individualism and replace it with a European-style nanny, or welfare, state. At most Americans' core is an abiding belief that we are supposed to take care of ourselves, our families and our neighbors, and not rely on the state to do so.