A major shift in American politics has occurred. Some 16 Gallup polls conducted from January to September show that 40 percent of U.S. citizens describe their political ideology as conservative.
This marks a shift from 2005 to 2008, when moderates weighed in as nearly even with conservatives. Today's figures show conservatives at 40 percent, moderates at 36 percent and liberals at 20 percent.
With conservatives at 40 percent and moderates at 36 percent, slightly more than three-quarters of the nation in total identify themselves as an electorate that has made a major move to the right, leaving liberals at 20 percent of the voting public.
Such a major shift would indicate that even the liberals on the far left may be tiring of giving other people's money away.
The poll surveyed a larger than normal 16,321 adults, with a margin of error of 1 percentage point.
This marks the greatest shift from liberalism to conservatism since the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Pollsters, political pundits, and disappointed liberals are left searching for answers.
Some Americans are becoming more introspective. As they search within themselves for answers, it becomes more obvious every day that government does not provide all the answers for the culture and the economy of the nation.
This was the great lesson learned during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, that more government was not the be-all, end-all, for the needs of the nation.
The Carter administration left the nation in a malaise, a vague feeling of uneasiness, showing Americans once again and for all time that more government was not the answer.
In retrospect, the Carter administration was necessary. It brought the nation to the realization that it was adrift and that it needed an abrupt change in direction if it were to continue on the time-honored course of the American Dream.
President Ronald Reagan brought back that American Dream by gifting America with his philosophy describing America as "the shining city on the hill."
President Jimmy Carter was very necessary at the time. His misguided administration led the nation to Ronald W. Reagan.
America finds itself at that juncture today. The electorate has mistaken charisma for character in electing the current president, Barack Obama.
In addition, the nation is completely controlled today by the Democrats. Both the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch are in the hands of the Democrats. A 60-vote majority in the Senate gives the Democrats a veto-proof national legislature.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., have a firm grip on the U.S. Congress and Democrat President Barack Obama controls the Executive Branch.
While the situation may seem dire for American conservatives, it is precisely where America was during the Carter Administration.
The present administration is overplaying its hand and the citizens of the nation are beginning to realize this.
Every day it becomes more and more obvious that the U.S. economy is slipping into a deeper recession. The excessive debt that the present administration is accumulating through massive deficit spending added to the massive debt created by various stimulus plans have failed to stimulate job growth as promised.
The present economic downturn and massive unemployment may well turn for the better with this sudden surge of conservatism in America.
Just as Jimmy Carter brought us a Ronald Reagan, just as certain will Barack Obama bring the nation a conservative president in the mold of Ronald Reagan.
In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan solidified conservative strength in the nation as American morals were breaking down and the economy faced a serious downturn.
He brought the nation back to the "shining city on the hill," created 11 million new jobs, and established the Reagan model which has become the conservative standard of today.
The far left-leaning Democrat government of today will, in time, succumb to the regrowth of the conservative movement occurring in America today.
The Reagan movement is patiently waiting in the wings. The moral fiber of the American conservative, with his retrospective outlook on the future, will prevail.
The Obama administration has more than three years yet to run.
There will be many discouraging days ahead for conservatism but in the final analysis the true and strong American character, as it has since the nation's earliest Colonial days, will prevail.
Keep looking for that "shining city on the hill." It is still there, though it may be clouded by the fog of too much government today.
E. Ralph Hostetter, a prominent businessman and publisher, also is an award-winning columnist and Vice Chairman of the Free Congress Foundation Board of Directors. He welcomes e-mail comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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