“You know the way to boost your poll numbers is not to do anything.”
That is what President Obama said to a town hall on ‘job creation’ in Ohio yesterday. His reason for saying it was a response to his falling poll numbers and was used to justify his actions that are deemed as ‘unpopular’. However, that statement is not only accurate but far more telling.
First off, one must examine ‘why’ it would lead to falling poll numbers. Obama suggested it was because any effort to make change will ultimately offend some people. This may be true overall, but we aren’t simply talking about ‘some people’ as it would not even be an issue worth addressing if just ‘some’ people were dissatisfied with his performance. What we are actually talking about, and the reason it required a comment from the president, is a growing ‘majority’ of Americans that disapprove of the president’s policies and performance.
So then why is this so? Rather than addressing the fact that American’s disapprove of ‘what’ he is doing, he instead is trying to slide off the blame for the falling poll numbers with the suggestion that ‘anything’ he does to change the status quo will be unpopular – the implication being ‘at first’. (and of course there is also the matter of actual ‘quantifiable results’ which aren’t really being shown by economic indicators or employment figures)
This brings us to the second important item of note. There is a condescension embedded within that simple statement. If the assumption is that it is simply the ‘change’ that is causing the people to be ‘offended’, then what Obama is really saying is that the ‘majority’ of Americans that are now showing disapproval for him and his ‘changes’ are too stupid to know what is good for them – too stupid to know what ‘he’ is doing is the ‘right’ thing to do.
No, Mr. President. We aren’t that stupid. I would suggest that Americans are finally waking up to what you, and your ‘changes’, really represent for America and the future. You’re approval ratings are falling because your policies do nothing to improve that future, and will likely make it worse.
So, in closing, I suggest Obama consider that he really is right and American’s know it. That less government is good government. That ‘doing nothing’ really will boost your approval ratings because it’s not only what Americans “want” from their government, but it is what they prefer and what they know will do the most to improve our future.