Take a good long look at the map below. Pay special attention to the areas that are in blue. Compare them, in size and location, to the areas that are in red. Then let me tell you why the numbers (and the colors) are so significant.
What you’re looking at is a map of the 2008 Presidential election, broken down by the results in each county. If Barack Obama received most of the votes in a particular county, it appears in blue. If John McCain was the winner, that county is in red.
If you added up the land mass of every blue and red county you’d see something really striking—the Republicans won 80 percent of this country, when measured by acreage. John McCain got a majority of votes in 2,417,000 square miles of the United States. Barack Obama, by comparison, won in just 580,000 square miles.
Ah, but now let’s look at the population numbers for each county. McCain still came out ahead, but not by much. The total population of counties won by Republicans was 143 million, while the population of counties won by Democrats was 127 million.
Basically, the Democrats swept the populations centers—the cities and more populated suburban areas—while the Republicans won everything else.
Now, guess what you would find if you could then overlay this map with one showing the distribution of food stamps, unemployment checks, subsidized housing and other welfare payments? Sure, there will be some in all of those red areas. There are plenty of Republicans receiving Social Security and Medicare. I’m sure there are even some Republican farmers who get paid not to grow crops. And there are certainly some Republican businessmen getting subsidies from Uncle Sam.
But the overwhelming majority of voters in the red areas pay more into government than they receive; while just the opposite is true in the blue areas. The majority of people there receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes. In fact, 45 percent of adults in America pay no income taxes at all. Not one red penny. Zero. Nada. Zilch.
Can you guess where most of those people live? And which party they vote for? While you ponder the significance of these statistics let me repeat a quotation I used in last week’s column when I was discussing the differences between a republic and a democracy:
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, and is always followed by a dictatorship.”
The statement does not come from one of our Founding Fathers (although I’m sure that, to a man, they would agree with its warning). No, it was written long after our revolution, by a Scottish historian named Alexander Fraser Tytler. By the way, he wasn’t predicting the collapse of our republic; he was talking about what happened to the Athenian democracy 2,000 years ago.
Back to that map that’s bothered me so much. In most of the country the numbers are so close that an election can go either way, depending on which side is the most motivated. If the Democrats and their union allies and community organizers do a better job of getting out the vote, they win.
If the Republicans are inspired and enthusiastic enough about their candidate that they become almost evangelical in getting their friends and neighbors to vote, they carry the day. (This is especially true if they can appeal to enough independents to put the good of the country ahead of their own desire for some of that government booty.)
Now, let me ask you another question. How do you think this very delicate balance will change if several million illegal aliens are allowed to vote in our elections? May I see a show of hands of everyone who thinks the Republicans will get a majority of those votes? Anyone? Anyone?
I think you can guess where I’m going with this. For a lot of reasons we’ve discussed before, the Democrats not only won the White House two years ago, they also won a super-majority in Congress. Until Scott Brown won the Senate seat in Massachusetts last year the Republicans didn’t even have the manpower to mount a filibuster.
If you went by the numbers alone you’d have to conclude that the Democrats could pass anything they wanted. And yet look at all the trouble they’ve had getting their legislative program adopted. Yes, by using enough bribes, bluster and baloney they finally got Obamacare approved. But just by the skin of their teeth. Almost everything else they’ve wanted and Obama has promised is dead in the water. Cap and trade? Card check for unions? Unemployment payments forever? Fuggedaboutit. They just won’t happen. Not unless a lot more Democrats become a lot more suicidal.
Remember, the vast majority of people in Congress aren’t dedicated liberals or dedicated conservatives. The only thing they’re dedicated to is staying in office. They love the power and perks that come with being a member of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Where else would you get to spend billions of dollars of other people’s money—and usually be thanked for it?
Remember, when you rob Peter to pay Paul you can count on getting the thanks of Paul. And his vote, too.
So what can we do about it? To paraphrase a comment I received from an alert reader a few weeks ago, we have three boxes we can use.
The first is the soap box. By and large, we’re doing a good job telling ourselves what’s wrong. But we’re not doing as well telling others.
If the fate of this republic depended on it, over the next four months, could you get one other person to share your concerns and vote accordingly? Believe it or not, that’s all it would take. Conservatives would win enough seats in the House to bring Obama’s socialistic schemes to a screeching halt. (And a lot of members who used to rubber-stamp every liberal boondoggle would begin to sound like Sarah Palin.)
That brings me to the second box we need to use—the ballot box. If just 10 percent of the people who voted right last time got one more person to vote with them, the politicians who promise to help take back our country would win in a landslide.
Listen, we have all the resources we need to turn things around. No matter how much some on the left might like to, government can’t shut us up or shut us down. We have all of the time, the talent and the funds we need. Let’s use them while we still can.
If we don’t, the day may come when the only avenue left to defeat total government is the third box. It’s the one that won our liberty the first time. I’m talking about the ammo box. Pray God we won’t have to use it again.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.