It's crystal clear what Americans are AGAINST. Do we know, much less do we agree on, what we are FOR?
With a job approval rating hovering around 13 percent, more than three quarters of Americans are unfavorably disposed toward--are against--Congress. We don't like what they do and like even less what they don't do. Americans are particularly distressed by the difference between what our politicians promise and what they deliver. A perfect example is, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." Mr. Bush's (#43) "Mission Accomplished" is another nice demonstration.
We know we don't like politicians like Hillary Clinton who repeatedly lie to us and keep getting away with it. Speaking of getting away with it, we don't like banks who make risky loans and when they go bad, the bankers and investment brokers get bailed out by you and me, the taxpayers.
We deeply resent an American president who apologizes--Cairo speech in June 2009--for American foreign policy and who implies that international unrest, civil discord, war, and genocide can all be laid at our doorstep.
Americans are against politicians who serve themselves first (at our expense), serve their political party second (at the country's expense), and We the People not at all. Sadly, that refers to most of the Beltway.
Hence the popularity of two presidential candidates: Trump and Sanders. The first is a foul-mouthed, anti-politician who knows nothing but has a gut-answer for everything. The second man espouses a socio-economic system, Socialism, proven to be a failure by history. Supporters of Trump or Sanders are not for Trump or Sanders. They are against the status quo, against everything we have now. Trump and Sanders are simply channels for our frustration and ire at the Washington establishment.
Americans are against illegal immigration. Are Americans for "securing our borders" as the federal government is instructed to do by the U.S. Constitution?
Freedom v. Entitlement
Are we for individual liberty and personal responsibility, or are we for government control of individuals, entitlement, and "Father Knows Best"? Are we for a social contract with the less fortunate or not? If we are, what are the terms of the contract?
Are we for risk-and-reward? When someone takes a big risk, should the winner get a big reward? When the risk-taker loses, should he take a big loss? If we are for the truth called cause-and-effect, how can we be for bank bailouts?
Are we for free and open discourse, or are we for political correctness, where the political speech police muzzle people with unorthodox views or who dare question what some call "settled science," viz., climate change? Are we for people like Trump who simply out-shout people who oppose his views?
Globally, we are certainly against terrorism and genocide. Are we for doing what is necessary to combat them? We know we have enemies in the world. Are we for, meaning do we stand beside (not behind) our allies? Do they know it? Do they believe us?
"E" Will Win
Over the last many elections cycles, the majority of Americans have really cast their presidential and Congressional votes against one person rather than for the one whose name we marked on our ballot. Today's crop of presidential hopefuls, both Democrat and Republican, present a perfect example of what we don't want. If there were "E = None of the Above" on the ballot in November 2016, I predict "E" would win in a landslide. I know for sure that "E" would get my vote.
Dr. Deane Waldman MD MBA is author of 4.7-star reviewed "The Cancer in the American Healthcare System;" author of Amazon Bestseller, "Our Allies Have Become Our Enemies; Host of www.wecanfixhealthcare.info; Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, Pathology and Decision Science; and Adjunct Scholar (Healthcare) for the Rio Grande Foundation, a public policy think tank. Dr. Deane sits on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange as Consumer Advocate. Opinions expressed here are solely his and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Board.