By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
We here at the Taxpayers Association like to be positive, hopeful and helpful despite working in a political environment famous for doom and gloom. So here are nine positive signs that 2022 may prove to be a breakthrough year for Oregonians who favor low taxes, free enterprise, and capitalism.
#1. President with historic poll collapse: President Biden has had the fastest-falling approval rating of any American president. CNN had had it at 38 percent. As the president falls, so do his supporters at the ballot box in the midterm. When Obama had a terrible midterm in 2010, it resulted in a national backlash with Oregon picking up six state lawmaker seats.
#2. Kate Brown is the most unpopular governor in the United States: Governor Brown’s ratings nosedive also causes extreme damage to her political supporters and liberal backers. This will impact races up and down the ballot.
#3. Most open governor races in more than a decade: Rarely in recent state history has there been an open-seat race with no clear front runner for the most important position in Oregon politics—the office of governor. Simply put, this is the best year in a long time for a free enterprise, and pro-liberty candidate to win.
#4. Wild slate of governor candidates: The strongest Independent candidate in Oregon’s history, Betsy Johnson, has already raised nearly $4 million, hired away two top Oregon consultants, and shaken things up. In the Democratic primary, an outsider candidate, New York Times reporter Nick Kristof, is effectively causing complete disruption to the usual heir-apparent party machine. In the Republican primary, Oregon is witnessing a crowded field with some of the most talented, most qualified candidates to run in recent memory. (State Representative Christine Drazan, Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam, media entrepreneur Bridget Barton, MD and veteran Bud Peirce, tech CEO Jessica Gomez, Baker City Mayor Kerry Mcquisten and award winning filmmaker Tim Huggins are just a few of the highly credentialed candidates generating a lot of buzz, fundraising, and ideas).
#5. Covid restriction overkill has awakened the masses: Oregon politicians have enacted some of the nation’s strictest and longest restrictions, while at the same time, the politicians who have made the rules were found to have violated them (Governor Kate Brown, House Speaker Tina Kotek, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, not to mention four County Commissioners violating travel restriction advisories). The Oregonian editorial board, former Governor John Kitzhaber, and others have chastised our liberal leaders for their failed Covid restrictions.
“Mandating anything into this environment threatens one of the few things over which they feel they still have some control – their sense of freedom. And when their sense of freedom is threatened, it overpowers their sense of community… It is tragically dividing communities that are already struggling. We might have avoided some of this with a different approach…”
Former Governor John Kitzhaber
Editorial against Covid over-reach
#6. School mom awakening: Governor Brown’s attempt to shut down online charter schools during the pandemic (to make them equal with in-person schools) and other terrible school decisions has only fueled a demand for more charter schools and boom in private school enrollment. The 2021 May primary saw unusually high activity in local school board races, which reflects a rising wave of parents angry with the status quo.
#7. Radical leftists are destroying themselves and their liberal backers: The de-funding police campaign is backfiring with the public. Even Democrat officials are fighting against it. Yet, the liberal anti-police movement is not backing down; instead, it’s pushing even newer radical ideas to hinder law enforcement and provide even more early releases for violent criminals. Polling shows the public is not supporting what the extreme leftists are pushing.
#8. Greater party competition puts more elections in play: Looking at the chart of party registration over the last six years shows that Oregon is moving toward greater party competition with the explosive rise in nonaffiliated registered voters. Whoever can reach these independent-minded voters can win at the ballot box.
#9. Economic uncertainty: When the economy begins to shake and people feel the pain in everyday activities, a volatile election is looming. No amount of fancy political ads can discount what families feel every day with financial pressures and uncertain economic outlooks. Simply put, 2022 looks to be very unpredictable and volatile.
The signs are not guarantees or predictions but indeed do reflect underlying tremors to what is surely to be a big social change year. That change could be a boom for low-tax limited government candidates if they properly take advantage of the moment.
PLEASE COMMENT on any ideas we missed that could be added to our list.