Republicans earned a resounding victory Tuesday night as they won, as of when this went to press, roughly 65 seats in the House and seven or eight seats in the Senate.
Voters across the nation, including right here in Fort Collins with the defeat of Rep. Betsy Markey, fired their incumbent congressional representatives.
Republicans were quick, as expected, to view Tuesdayâ€™s vote as a clear mandate from voters to enact their policy initiatives.
But this would be a grave misunderstanding of votersâ€™ intentions.
As CNN astutely noted in election coverage, their analysis showed that voters were overwhelmingly motivated, across the nation, to vote against candidates and policies they detested, rather than vote for candidates and policies they supported.
Here in Colorado, many of us independents voted reluctantly for Ken Buck, despite his frequent asinine comments and general incompetence.
We voted for Buck not as an endorsement of him as a person, but rather as a way of punishing Obama for his failures. Since Bennet was Obamaâ€™s patsy, it was logical to take out our anger on Bennet and also on Markey, who flip-flopped on Obamaâ€™s misguided health care overhaul.
The Democrats made the same error in 2008, when they assumed that an overwhelming electoral victory showed that America wanted progressive liberalism. What America actually was voting for was an end to President Bushâ€™s reign of terror, rather than a move toward European socialism that Democrats thought voters had wanted.
Voters had wanted change, but that desired change was simply a cessation of Bushâ€™s failed wars and economic policies, and not a gigantic liberal social experiment.
Since Democrats misread votersâ€™ wishes, pushed a radical agenda and failed to convince America of its merits, they suffered a historic loss Tuesday.
Their loss appears to be the second greatest loss of seats in one election in the House of Representatives in American history. The
Democrats â€˜losses are even greater than during the great â€œwaveâ€ of 1994 when voters took out their rage on Bill and Hillary Clinton for their extreme â€œHilarycareâ€ health care proposal.
Unlike 1994, the Democrats managed to pass their ruinous health
care proposal this time around, and as a result, they suffered even greater electoral losses than before. Their lemming-like devotion to tried and failed economic â€œstimulusâ€ policies that only inflated the national debt while leaving millions of Americans unemployed also helped ensure their defeat.
The Republicans were elected Tuesday by default. The Democrats were too dangerous, both to our physical health and fiscally to our economic future to possibly be allowed another two years of rule.
We certainly didnâ€™t elect the Republicans because of their great plans for the future. The Republicansâ€™ new â€œContract with Americaâ€ is little more than a joke, and their main economic policy agenda â€“â€“ preserving expensive tax cuts, makes little sense.
Just as America didnâ€™t want Obamaâ€™s radical leftist agenda, they will also reject the extremism of the Tea Party wing of the Republicans. America also doesnâ€™t want a rehash of President Bushâ€™s failed policies.
The American electorate angrily and desperately cried out Tuesday for responsible functional government that will quit tampering with our health care system, quit bailing out failed financial institutions and that will get out-of-control spending under control.
If Republicans interpret Tuesdayâ€™s victory as a mandate to push a wild hard-right agenda, they will find themselves, in the near future, on the receiving end of a similar electoral defeat to the one Democrats suffered this year.
Republicans must realize that we, the American electorate, rejected the Democratic agenda rather than endorsing theirs.
I urge Republicans to take a responsible and reasonable approach with their newly-earned power, rather than trying to cram a partisan agenda down our throats.
At best, we could get a situation similar to what happened after the massacre of Democrats in 1994 when Republicans and President Clinton both moved toward the center, compromised and managed to pass a lot of good bipartisan legislation.
But if Republicans push a radical agenda, or Obama remains headstrong in his support of absurdly out-of-the-mainstream policies, our government will fall into gridlock and the voters will be similarly upset the next time election season rolls around.
Editorials Editor Ian Bezek is a senior economics major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.