Saturday, April 09, 2005

The American People Are Conservative

This according to Mister McBobo himself, David Brooks, Americans are rejecting the Republicans because they are conservative, and the Republicans are proposing big changes. Yep, the country is conservative. You heard it here. Or there.
. . . here is Social Security reform. Republicans set forth with a plan to give people some control over their own retirement accounts. Here, too, Republicans have been surprised by the tepid public support.

Americans understand that there is a big problem, but right now most oppose personal accounts invested in the markets. According to a Wall Street Journal poll this week, a third of Republicans currently oppose them.

Being conservative, many Americans are suspicious of bold government initiatives, especially ones that seem complicated and involve borrowing. Being conservative, they prefer the old and familiar over the new and untried.
Except, I don't know if that is the right explanation. I think it might be fairer to say that Americans are practical. When the American people have been sold on a program, even a radical one, they do get behind it. If the Republicans were able to sell their social security reform as a real improvement the American people might get behind it. Instead they seem to be making a lot of pie in the sky promises that may or may not pay off. And so the American people aren't interested.

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