Scott Rasmussen from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Tue, 20 Nov 2018 07:34:26 -0800 Scott Rasmussen from Creators Syndicate 7a07ff0a25cfc843c77f905c23f7d114 Election 2018 in Context: A Political System Out of Sync with the Nation It's Supposed to Serve for 11/15/2018 Thu, 15 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In the wake of Election 2018, analysts have delved deeply into a seemingly limitless supply of data points to explain the details of what happened. What role did suburban women play? Or health care? Was there a Kavanaugh effect?</p> <p>This obsession with details may be causing us to miss the bigger picture of what's going on.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 15, 2018</p> c83c0654cf47f0f18310ff461cac7f25 The Election's Over -- Now What? for 11/08/2018 Thu, 08 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It was almost unsettling to wake up the morning after the election and realize it turned out pretty much as we expected. There were, of course, some individual surprises, but nothing on the seismic shock scale of 2016.</p> <p>For months, it had been expected that Democrats would win a modest House majority, and they did. The popular vote margin for the Democrats was just about right where the Generic Congressional Ballot projected it to be (and also about the same as the RealClearPolitics average of all election polls).<p>Updated: Thu Nov 08, 2018</p> 73df5fb843ebf2fd45a392fe73a647d6 The Midterms Are All About Turnout for 11/01/2018 Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As Election Day approaches, expectations are pretty much where they've been for the past six months. In the Senate, Republicans are more likely to gain seats than lose the majority. In the House, Democrats are favored to win control, but it may not be much of a "blue wave."</p> <p>These general expectations have remained fairly stable because the broad contours of every election are shaped by geography and history. Republicans are expected to do well in the Senate because Democrats must defend many seats in states that are generally GOP turf. Democrats are expected to do well in the House because the party out of power almost always gains ground in midterm elections. Even an average midterm result would put the Democrats in charge.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 01, 2018</p> 5fba087a09e56b089dd9a96abc5bfa48 Which Team Will Be the Lesser of Two Evils on Election Day? for 10/25/2018 Thu, 25 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For the past two years, many Democrats thought that victory in 2018 would simply be a matter of running against Donald Trump. The only question in the minds of some activists was how big the "blue wave" would be.</p> <p>For those in the party, opposing the president seemed to be enough. Two-thirds of Democrats (64 percent) believe that Hillary Clinton would have won the election without any Russian interference. Seventy-four percent of Democrats believe Trump should be impeached and removed from office. <p>Updated: Thu Oct 25, 2018</p> 02794b18ee60df307e96faaa008ad7e8 The Culture Is Powerful Enough to Fix Our Broken Political System for 10/18/2018 Thu, 18 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I've spent a lot of time over the past few years reminding everyone who would listen that the culture leads and politics lag behind. For me, that's an encouraging perspective. It would be beyond depressing if our nation's fate were determined by the agendas of our political leaders.</p> <p>I'm with the 91 percent of people who believe that volunteering for community activities has a more positive impact than engagement in political campaigns. It's exciting when Americans use their freedom to work together in their communities and help create a better world.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 18, 2018</p> 839fb32ffba9eee17e6f87f632cbe84f Fortunately, Our Society Is Not As Polarized As Our Politics for 10/11/2018 Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In the wake of the politically toxic dialogue of recent weeks, it's refreshing to note that 63 percent of voters recognize that American society is not as polarized as American politics. Most understand that who we are as individuals and communities is much more than our political affiliations or ideologies.</p> <p>Still, the impact of our broken political system spills over into society-at-large and creates a variety of social challenges. Four out of 5 voters have a close friend or family member from the other side of the political aisle. How do they navigate Thanksgiving dinners, football games and happy hours? The overwhelming majority (81 percent) simply tries to avoid talking politics.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 11, 2018</p> 4f09e21d51699308b5f28fa07134df8e On Health Care, Voters Want More Choice and Less Politics for 10/04/2018 Thu, 04 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Polls consistently show that health care is one of the top issues on voters' minds heading into the midterm elections. It's a powerful issue because it impacts everyone so personally and can have enormous consequences.</p> <p>At first glance, the opportunity for political action seems clear. Just 34 percent of voters rate our health care system as good or excellent. Despite being a perennial campaign issue, public satisfaction with our health care system has remained low for more than a decade. It was broken before Obamacare was implemented, and it remains broken today.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 04, 2018</p> da5693580948fa4ac7a51c0deca12252 Will the Booming Economy Save Republicans in the Midterms? for 09/27/2018 Thu, 27 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Democrats need to win a net 23 seats in November to gain majority control in the House of Representatives. History suggests that they have a good chance of doing so because the party out of power almost always gains seats in the midterm. Even an average midterm gain would be enough to make Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House. Beyond that, many Democrats are dreaming of a big blue wave that could rival the smashing Republican victory in the Tea Party year of 2010.</p> <p>However, polling shows that 77 percent of Republicans expect the GOP to remain in charge after all the votes are counted. Part of this, of course, is simply the result of partisan blinders. Additionally, many Republican voters remember how Hillary Clinton was universally projected to win in 2016. As a result, they dismiss out of hand any evidence of bad news in 2018.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 27, 2018</p> 2781d5de8fe6ee4fb517941976f3df79 Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh Fail to Move Public Opinion for 09/20/2018 Thu, 20 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Despite enormous media coverage and intense discussions in official Washington, the allegations leveled against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have had little impact on public opinion (so far).</p> <p>Before his confirmation hearings, a survey found that 48 percent of voters wanted their senator to confirm Kavanaugh. After the hearings, but before the accusations, 52 percent favored confirmation. Now, after the accusations, that number is 49 percent. Keep in mind that the poll has a 3-point margin of error.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 20, 2018</p> 8d93db8ee366e406768dc6791a077879 Not Every Problem Needs a Federal Solution for 09/13/2018 Thu, 13 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Fifty-five percent of voters believe that Facebook has too much power. Forty-seven percent believe the same about Twitter. For those in the political world, such numbers represent an obvious call for government action.</p> <p>But voters disagree. Just 21 percent want the federal government to regulate social media giants.</p> <p>That gap is partly due to general skepticism about the government. Only 18 percent trust the gang in D.C. to do the right thing most of the time. Most (55 percent) believe government regulators would be even more biased than the social media companies they're supposed to regulate.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 13, 2018</p> 0176f16327965da04ee40c41cc4df2e5 Protesting During the National Anthem, Freedom of Speech and Justice for 09/06/2018 Thu, 06 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Sixty-nine percent of voters nationwide believe freedom of speech is "absolutely essential." Another 23 percent believe it is "very important." In a deeply polarized political era, it's encouraging &#8212; and amazing &#8212; to find that 9 in 10 Americans recognize this basic freedom as being so important.</p> <p>However, agreeing that free speech is important doesn't mean agreeing with the way others use that freedom. A prime example of this in today's world has been the intense debate about NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 06, 2018</p> 1125ec3209020d9b6b9abe5b9cdd2862 Most Recognize That Tech Titans Have Bigger Impact Than Presidents for 08/30/2018 Thu, 30 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Following the national news about the upcoming midterm elections, it's easy to believe that the future of the United States is on the line. The nation's political junkies get so caught up in the game that they forget there is much more to governing society than government.</p> <p>The reality is that culture and technology lead the nation forward; politics and politicians lag behind. Fortunately, most Americans recognize this reality and have a much healthier perspective on the nation's future.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 30, 2018</p> 83cac673abec0d1e095b4044391d52a9 Contrary to Media Coverage, Most Americans Aren't That Into Politics for 08/29/2018 Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For many obsessed with politics, the upcoming midterm elections are perceived as a fight between good and evil that will determine the fate of the nation. In the narrative framed by true believers and much media coverage, it's a fight between those who are convinced that President Donald Trump can make America great and those who dream of a socialist future.</p> <p>Fifty-four percent of Americans don't fit into that narrative. Just 27 percent strongly disapprove of the president and believe things would have been better if Hillary Clinton had been elected. On the other side, 19 percent strongly approve of the president and believe things would be worse if Hillary Clinton were living in the White House today. The rest have more mixed views.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 29, 2018</p> 3a97b6f6db2b1ca75880f7f2a1ba01ee On the Eve of the Fall Campaign Season for 08/23/2018 Thu, 23 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>While political activists have been caught up in the 2018 midterm elections for most of the past two years, most Americans haven't been paying attention. That will begin to change after Labor Day as people who don't obsess about politics begin to consider the choices before them.</p> <p>Because so many people are just starting to get engaged, it's challenging to predict what the results will look like when the votes are finally counted in November. However, as the summer winds down, it is clear that Republicans face an uphill battle to maintain control of the House. As for the Senate, it's the Democrats who face a difficult environment.</p> <p>In the House of Representatives, Democrats need to pick up a net of 23 seats to gain control. Race-by-race projections at show that 8 Republican House seats are already projected to flip to the Democrats. No Democratic seats are projected to flip the other way.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 24, 2018</p> 09f731b4f53ace115e7193cab2c360c4 The Senate Protects Our Freedoms for 07/19/2018 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Based upon census bureau projections, 69 percent of all Americans are projected to live in the 16 largest states. Given the uncertainties of predicting how people will live in an era of self-driving cars and other cultural changes, the precise numbers may be a bit off. But, it is certainly true that a handful of large states will hold the bulk of the population. That's the way it's always been and probably always will be.</p> <p>These states will dominate the House of Representatives. If they have 69 percent of the population, they will have roughly 69 percent of the seats in Congress.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 19, 2018</p> 626378ccbef8e8f4f60e2a1c5e06e661 The Culture Leads, Not the Supreme Court for 07/12/2018 Thu, 12 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Just about every American election year is peppered with quotes from seemingly very serious people claiming that, for some reason, this is the most important election of our lifetime. This year, we're also being told that the political battle to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy may be the most important confirmation vote of all time. News stories are littered with references to how it will change the direction of the court and the country for a generation or more.</p> <p>Such rhetoric misses the important reality that we live in a land where the culture leads and politics lag behind. Yes, elections are important. They have consequences. Yes, it matters who serves on the Supreme Court. That, too, has consequences.</p> <p>But elected politicians and appointed Supreme Court Justices do not lead the nation. They follow.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 12, 2018</p> a7ef3d50041a3a89927c0ce7e918834a Is Populism a Blessing or Curse? for 07/05/2018 Thu, 05 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>As we celebrate our nation's 242nd birthday, America is caught up in a populist moment. Whether this is a good thing or not depends largely upon how you define populism.</p> <p>For some, populism is nothing more than a belief that, in America, the people are supposed to be in charge. It's reminding government officials of the timeless principles eloquently expressed in the Declaration of Independence: governments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed. All of us are created equal with an unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.</p> <p>If that's what populism is all about, it's a real blessing.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 05, 2018</p> 411ec673eab07389e0eb4f386cf7e49c The Immigration Mess for 06/28/2018 Thu, 28 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Problems with U.S. immigration policy played a big role in the 2016 presidential election and are likely to do so in election after election until significant changes are made. It's a serious issue worthy of substantial public debate. However, what passes for a public dialogue on the issue is anything but serious.</p> <p>It is, for example, heartbreaking to hear about and see pictures of young children separated from their parents at the U.S. border. According to a CBS poll, only 4 percent of Americans support that approach for dealing with families who enter the country illegally. But beyond that, there's not a clear consensus on what should be done.</p> <p>Under the Obama Administration, families who entered the country illegally were released into the United States and required to report back for a hearing on their status at a later date. Not surprisingly, many failed to report as promised. Also not surprising is the fact that only 21 percent of Americans support that policy.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 28, 2018</p> edff0f6af604f4a47c7f396fa59fab96 Politicians Learn How Governments Are Held Accountable for 06/14/2018 Thu, 14 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Political leaders often talk as if the right to vote is our most powerful tool for holding government accountable. Voting is important, but its impact is limited by an electoral process that protects incumbents and offers voters few meaningful options. </p> <p>Fortunately, as the Seattle City Council learned recently, there are other ways to hold politicians and governments accountable.</p> <p>The Seattle politicians passed a law requiring big companies to pay a special tax for every person on the payroll. This "head tax" was the brainchild of a socialist council member Kshama Sawant. She apparently reasoned that big companies like Amazon had enough money and should be forced to kick in a bit more for the good of the city. <p>Updated: Thu Jun 14, 2018</p> 127886fb77ed0abd89f224d1586df476 Let's End Official White House Visits for Sports Champions for 06/07/2018 Thu, 07 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>One of this week's silliest news "controversies" swirled around the Philadelphia Eagles' cancelled visit to the White House. Pundits on the right were offended that many players refused the honor of a White House invitation just because they don't like the president. On the left, CNN's Chris Cillizza was deeply offended by President Trump's decision to rescind the invite and his "appalling" statement about it.</p> <p>In other words, the entire episode was simply a Rorschach test that provided a platform for partisans on both sides to voice entirely predictable opinions. If the president said his favorite color was yellow, some would hail the wisdom of the choice while others would find evidence of corruption. That's just the way things work in politics today.</p> <p>But this incident reveals a deeper rot in the entire political process. Both sides in the partisan sniping implicitly assume that the president should act like royalty and treat the White House like a palace. It's part of a larger attitude pretending that the president's every utterance is of supreme importance and that he must express an opinion on just about everything.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 07, 2018</p>