Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Public Fears of Big Government Near All-Time High

The most recent Gallup Poll is an encouraging one for conservatives. When asked which of the following will be the biggest threat to the country in the future – big business, big labor, or big government – those surveyed responded this way: 64 percent of said big government, 26 percent said big business, and eight percent said big labor.

Gallup’s analysis points out that the portion of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high — while the 26 percent who say big business is down from the 32 percent recorded during the recession. Moreover, Democrats – by a 48 percent v. 44 percent margin – say big government is more of a threat than big business. Sixty-four percent of independents, and 82 percent of Republicans, worry more about big government.

Given the ferocious assault against business, led by the president, these numbers are somewhat surprising. They re-confirm, I think, that this remains a center-right nation, one instinctively committed to limited government and the free market. And that commitment has only deepened during the Obama Era. We’re seeing confidence in government decline to near-record levels, and concern for big government grow to near-record levels, during a period in which liberals have been politically dominant and had their way.

They probably don’t appreciate the irony.

In any event, the Gallup Survey is reason to wonder about the wisdom of the president’s re-election strategy. It’s not simply that he runs government like a “big government liberal;” it’s that more and more he’s sounding like one. That is a dramatic break with his approach in 2008. Mr. Obama’s obsession with class divisions, income inequality, and millionaires and billionaires may excite the left. It may even poll well from time to time. But it has never been a particularly effective election strategy for Democrats — and my guess is that it won’t be again, either.

Mr. Obama may be pursuing the only political strategy that’s available to him, given his wall-to-wall failures as president. But in the process he’s cutting against the American grain. Barack Obama wants to frame this election as one pitting two competing philosophies against each other. To which conservatives should say: Bring it on.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.