Every week, NPRI President Andy Matthews writes a column for NPRI’s week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them. Just enter your email in the box on the top right.
Our quadrennial tradition of choosing a president has once more come and gone.
The winner? Both nationally and here in Nevada, the status quo.
America’s voters on Tuesday chose to stick with the same president and, basically, the same U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Voters in the Silver State more or less elected to go with the same state legislature.
It’s a highly interesting development, given the widespread agreement, across ideological lines, that the status quo isn’t working. Again, this is true both nationally and locally. We’ve got stubbornly high national unemployment to go with unfathomable debt, while Nevada’s jobs crisis is the worst in the nation and our education system continues to fail our children.
Yet curiously, given the opportunity to force change, voters opted not to.
Well, here’s one more thing that hasn’t changed: Our task.
Let’s not sugarcoat things. That task has become harder. As you know, we at NPRI don’t endorse candidates or support politicians. But nor can we deny the fact that many of the people who have been responsible for the misguided policies of the past few years are still going to be in charge of policymaking. And now, they’re feeling vindicated, validated and vigorous.
So what do we do? We continue to fight. We know that our principles and our policy ideas are every bit as sound and necessary today as they have always been. But we also need to recognize that we have a lot of work to do to make the case to our fellow citizens that limited government and individual liberty are the keys to opportunity and prosperity.
I’m reminded of something Scott Rasmussen said during his keynote address at NPRI’s 21st Anniversary Celebration last weekend. He said that political change doesn’t come until popular attitudes change. In short, it comes when the people start to demand it.
With that in mind, let’s be sure to take note of the positive signs from Tuesday. All across Nevada, in county after county, voters faced ballot initiatives seeking to raise their taxes to expand government. And across the board, voters said no. They rejected tax hikes in Carson City and Nye County. And in Lyon and Washoe counties as well. In Clark County, voters said no to a property-tax hike that had been misleadingly promoted as a cure for Nevada’s educational woes.
Nevadans want responsible government. They want government to live within its means just as families and individuals must. They want politicians to be held accountable to the people who hire them. They want these things, and they deserve them.
It starts with getting the policies right. At our anniversary celebration, during my remarks to the crowd, I said that no matter what the outcome of this year’s elections, our state and our nation faced some daunting challenges, which meant that no matter what, you and I were going to have a lot of work to do.
Well, here we are. We know what we need to do. So let’s do it.
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