Voters are now skeptical of all elected officials. Returning tax dollars to states and congressional districts no longer justifies reelection. Instead, voters expect national problems to be solved and political impasses to be overcome. They know the atmosphere in Washington is poisonous and they want it fixed. They realize every American owes some $53,000 on the national debt and they want that number reduced. They see political judgments dictating IRS policy and voters don’t like it. Voters see an unaccountable government, and they want it changed. Voters see more government dependency throughout our free enterprise system, and they object.
Radio talk show host Dennis Miller, commenting on the Cantor loss, ranted that Cantor should “get a job like the rest of us” and be dismissed from the ivory tower that has become the comfortable resting place of the national political class.
Twenty years ago, I made the point that for 30 years, my opponent had received a reliable government check, escaping the uncertainty that besets working class Americans trying to manage in the free market economy with its uncertainties of recessions, economic competition and private sector challenges. Incumbents today face the same anti-government objections because those operating our government have forgotten whose money pays their way.
The Cantor election outcome was less a shock and more a wakeup call for those entrusted to act responsibly for the people they represent.
George R. Nethercutt, Jr. served in the US House from 1995-2005. He is a lawyer and serves as chairman of the nonprofit George Nethercutt Foundation, dedicated to helping Americans, particularly students, receive a better civics education.