CHICAGO -- According to pollsters and pundits, next Tuesday's midterm elections for the 112th Congress are going to be a referendum on the nation's economic travail. Since our Fox News' "War Stories" team returned from Afghanistan three weeks ago, we have been deluged by reminders from so-called "mainstream media" outlets that the Clinton-era political axiom "It's the economy, stupid" is all that matters. President Barack Obama should hope that's true.
If Americans vote only on the question of whether they are better off since Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Obama became the potentates of pork on the Potomac, then Obama may yet salvage his presidency for another term in 2012. He and his very liberal cronies know that today's hot-button issues -- government health insurance mandates, bailouts, buyouts, stimulus debt, unemployment above 9.5 percent and plans to raise taxes on small businesses -- are all likely to diminish in importance as the U.S. economy slowly and inevitably improves.
Obama has acknowledged here in Chicago and elsewhere that though he's not on the ballot, his agenda is. Yet he's also counting on voters' short-term memory -- hoping those we elect next Tuesday won't require him to abide by his oath of office to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." If those we send to Washington next week remember that what matters most isn't just the economy -- but also preserving, protecting and defending our Constitution and our people -- this president's agenda and his hopes for re-election are toast.
The representatives and senators we elect must do more than offer poll-driven seven-second sound bite platitudes about creating jobs, cutting the national debt and reducing home foreclosures. The security of our nation is being squandered by the Obama agenda. That won't change unless those we put in Congress on Nov. 2 have the courage to make real "change" happen.
Every American commander in chief should know who our allies and enemies are, ought to be able to define victory in war, and must be willing to protect our borders. Obama has proved himself unable or unwilling to do any of those. Congress, through the power of the purse, can make them happen.
Congressional authorizations and appropriations provide nearly $50 billion of our tax dollars to foreign countries. Every cent has some kind of string attached. The next Congress must recognize that our enemies are not "criminal extremists," but radical Islamists who have declared war on us. That also means Congress must ensure that support for Israel is not withheld by the O-Team to force some fatally flawed "two-state solution" on our only democratic ally in the Middle East.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.