Thursday, November 18, 2010

Socialism, Alaska Style

What's the first thing that comes to you mind when you think of Alaskans? For me, it's rugged individualism. I've always seen Alaska as the state where its citizens preserve, at least to some degree, the ideal of frontier life. The people there are unique and embody the core ideals of America; tough, self-reliant individuals who make a living in a demanding and somewhat hostile environment.

The state has consistently been represented by Republicans; currently its Governor and Lt. Governor are Republicans, of the 3 person Congressional delegation, two are Republicans and the state legislature is Republican 55 to 45 %. The recently Senatorial election where Lisa Murkowski was re-elected as a write-in over the Tea Party selected Joe Miller should on its surface be somewhat surprising. But I think this election underscores my contention that most Americans are comfortable with a large federal government.

Alaska, I learned depends on the largess of the Federal Government for about 1/3 of its GDP. A significant portion of that is probably the oil profits that are distributed to all the citizens the amount of which was increased by a previous governor, Sarah Palin.

Lisa Murkowski who pretty much inherited her Senate seat when her father died was a protege of Ted Stephens who was famous for his ability to bring home the pork. She instinctively knew that Alaskans didn't want that to end. Joe Miller, whose nomination was endorsed by the Tea Party movement, would have been obligated to not use earmarks and other schemes to raid the federal treasury. So Ms. Murkowski embarked on a write-in campaign and became the first federally elected official to win by write-in since Strom Thurmond in 1954.

This election is just more anecdotal evidence that Americans, even Republicans, are comfortable with the concept of looting ones fellow citizens.

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