Hillsdale president dissects a contradictory election

Does President Obama’s re-election mean a turn to the left for the American electorate? Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn doesn’t think so. He dissected the election results in a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, as transcribed in the latest edition of Hillsdale’s Imprimis.

Arnn: … [T]here are good reasons to know that the game isn’t over.

HH: What are the reasons?

[Arnn]: One of them is that the election is shot through with contradictions. The obvious contradiction is that we have a divided government. The presidency and the Senate are in the hands of one party, and the House of Representatives and most governorships are in the hands of the other. A second contradiction is that a large majority of people continued to say in the exit polls that they were against raising taxes in order to cut the deficit. One might be cynical and put that down to an irresponsible refusal to pay for existing benefits—to get more and more “free stuff.” But for a long time now, opinion polls have pointed towards the existence of a broad majority of Americans who favor smaller government. This obviously contradicts the re-election of the president and the Democratic gains in the Senate. The country is still a house divided against itself, and that’s dangerous. But it doesn’t mean that there’s been a resolution. It means in fact the opposite: there is not a resolution. That resolution still has to be made, and the making of it lies ahead of us, and not behind us.

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