Pull up the radical Left's websites or listen to their leaders and they’re absolutely giddy about the election results. They seem to feel that the thumping conservatives took in the last couple of elections has repudiated in voters’ minds the tenet that the least government is the best government. They’re reading the election results as a referendum that we all want more government intervention in the economy, on the environment and in just about every area of our lives.
Admittedly, the cattle industry is expected to experience a reprieve early on because most of the Leftist agenda has been put on the backburner while the more pressing issues are addressed. Labor, for one, must be rewarded for its unprecedented dollars and support in the election, and the world financial crisis has made it nearly impossible to push immediately for more regulation, more taxes, or more burdens on the economy. But when the economy turns around, and it will, we’re going to see these initiatives move right up the list of priorities.
I still don't believe the election signifies a paradigm shift in the way Americans view government or its role in their everyday lives. I believe it was more a repudiation of the Bush presidency than anything else. Nonetheless, the opponents of our industry are certainly looking at things in a different light.
I suppose it’s been said every year for the last 20 years – “this is a critical time for the industry to get its voice out and to be heard” – but it probably was true every year. And it may be especially true this year as we look at the challenges and political momentum of the day.
Our industry has squandered a multitude of opportunities and much political capital over the last several years. We did this by fighting amongst ourselves instead of focusing on solving the legitimate problems that face us all. Hopefully, we’ll begin to make better assessments of the causes and effects, and band together.