With only a mere 76% of the public responding that they think that the economy is getting worse, not better, in the latest Gallup Poll, you'd think that discussing the economy on Labor Day for any prospective presidential candidates would only be natural. But, no. The latest Republican presidential debate will discuss issues like gay marriage and other social issues instead. What's up with that? If President Obama has any weakness, it's on the economy this Labor Day. Even labor union sponsored events this Labor Day will likely echo disappointment with the economic performance of this White House. Americans sure want to hear how to get the economy moving right now. They want to hear about jobs and the economy, not about gay marriage or other fringe issues more likely to appeal to the Westboro Baptist Church members than to Main Street America . On Labor Day, this sends a terrible message to both labor and the business community alike of the latest wave of candidates being far from the loop of reality, far from the real issue concerns of the public.
This is one of the few times in American history where the economy is so depressed, yet huge waves of inflation are hitting basic goods such as gasoline and groceries. Grocery prices could increase by as much as 1/3 by the end of this year. That's terrible inflation during any economy, good or bad. So, why for the love of God debate social issues like gay marriage instead? Do politicians even have any connect to reality these days. Are they just that crazy?
The American business community also sure wants to hear some plans from the candidates how to fix the economy, otherwise they're unlikely to invest in traditional donations to candidates who don't offer any clear vision how to improve the business environment. Business wants to be able to do business, and wants a healthy economy to work with. Who wants to risk capital on new business ventures when the economy is so shaky? What the business community really wants to hear least right now is that the economy is real bad, but at least we've got a wave of new candidates against gay marriage from the contenders against Obama. That's really encouraging.
If the contenders for the White House think that being aloof about the important issues the voters really care about like the economy will work, then they have another thing coming. For all of his troubles, voters in recent public opinion polls still believe that President cares more about issues that impact them than his opponents so far. And, voters still blame former President Bush for the bad economy by greater numbers than President Obama. The latest bunch of presidential candidates seem to forget that voters will re-elect a president with bad approval ratings if the opponent seems worse yet. Look at the narrow win of George Bush over John Kerry as proof of that.
The ignorance of the true meaning of Labor Day by the latest GOP debate organizers on social issues also sends an aloof message of a party to the American voters that has drifted so far to the right that any discussion of job or economy issues on Labor Day might mean that Republican candidates are somehow sensitive to working people or, god forbid, labor unions. That's one heck of a poor message to send to voters from candidates who really want your votes.
What ever happened to the Labor Days of old, when candidates ate hog dogs at picnics, and talked about jobs, jobs, and more jobs, and gave upbeat visions for the American economy. Well, that's been replaced by two lame parties, both wholly incapable of offering up any solutions to any major modern problem of any value. Neither knows how to fix the economy these days.
In another Gallup Poll, 30% of Americans now fear being laid off, reaching near the 2009 high of a similar poll. On Labor Day, Americans sure want to hear about job security. Who buys a home or car when unemployment is just around the corner? Talking about gay marriage on Labor Day won't fix any of this. Not many voters are going to say, "I don't care about working for a living. Who's against gay marriage, BTW?".
The 2012 presidential election sure isn't going to be about social issues by any means. "It's the economy, stupid", as the popular slogan from 1992 still rings true. People want to hear that debate. Talking about anything other than the economy on Labor Day bites big time. Labor Day used to mean something special for American politics. It was a major event in American politics. But, today it has been downgraded to nothing special at all.
So where's that Labor Day economic pep talk the country sorely needs to hear right about now?