Paul Jacob

Years ago, my wife and I recounted our early public school experiences to our children. My wife boasted that she finished her schoolwork before her classmates and then got to help the teacher put up elaborate wall-boards and such.

Me? I got in trouble for failing to do the assignments in favor of gazing out the window in my own daydreams.

I summed up this difference for the kids by declaring, “At a young age, your mother gladly worked for the man, while I refused to work for the man.”

As this election hit its homestretch, these thoughts come to mind. Democrats are in trouble. With control of the White House and Congress, they personify “the man.”

No one wants to work for the man.

Whether it be government man, big corporate man, or labor boss man, Americans yearn to shrug off the yoke. What happened to working for ourselves to build our own dreams?

The problem for Democrats isn’t merely the estimated 9.6 percent of Americans unemployed, but the percentage of us who remain working while seeing our future and our country frittered away in corruption and for various utopian schemes.

And polls show Americans may dislike Republicans in even greater percentages.

So, forget Democrats and Republicans. American society is not nearly as deeply spilt as is often asserted (nor were my wife and my experiences in school). There is more consensus in our political thinking than commonly perceived.

The partisan divide is a device to exploit lesser issues to drive emotional wedges between people who generally have the same interests.What better reason to vote Republican than the Democrats? What better reason to vote Democratic than the Republicans?

Voters don’t like either party. The choice of bad or worse has gotten old.

The latest Wall Street Journal poll shows three out of four of us would gladly replace the entire Congress with new folks. Many incumbents, at least compared to recent history, will be defeated this election cycle. That’s for the good, but it won’t be the kind of full-scale house-cleaning that is needed. Regardless of the result, even a change in party control, the congressional leadership of both parties is likely to look too darn familiar come next January.

We need term limits! But, of course, our rulers balk.

Yes, a divide exists. There are two Americas. Those who believe in the “wisdom of crowds” and those who believe in the wisdom of Washington elites. It is a much more meaningful dichotomy to examine than the two parties.


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.