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What’s Driving Today’s Vote?

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 2, 2010 9:08 AM |

Will there soon be a run on U-Hauls in Washington DC?

Later this evening we will learn just how many incumbents in Washington are sent packing. In the process, we will assuredly hear from political pundits on both sides of the aisle as to what Americans are saying with their vote. In my opinion, we can dismiss the pundits and the politicians alike. While we are at it, we can throw a heap of cold water over the media as well. How so? Why’s this?

The simple fact is the rage coiling within the American populace has been developing for well over a year and today that rage will be released. The force multiplier of that rage will send a message to Washington and every corner of our great nation that Americans are beyond fed up with politics as usual and the crony capitalism that has flourished within that system. This rage is far different than anything I have ever witnessed in my lifetime. I highlighted it a year ago. While the reality of the rage was clearly evident in late 2009, our political representatives from both sides of the aisle did little to nothing to address it. Today they will pay the price for their lack of attention to the American public.

Let’s take a quick look back to the pulse of our nation in November 2009. Has that pulse remained the same?

I believe the underlying pulse of our nation which fuels this rage and which I evidenced a year ago has not really changed but has actually only quickened.  Let’s navigate back as I wrote What’s Fueling America’s Rage?,

What is fueling America’s populist rage?

Is it the unemployment situation? Is it the volatility in the markets? The weakening greenback? Perhaps the generally perceived level of incompetence amongst our political and corporate leaders? Is it a media that does not hold our public officials and corporate leaders accountable?

While I could write extensively – and I have – on each of these questions, I am firmly convinced the ever increasing levels of populist rage go much deeper than any of these questions. How deep? To the very core of this great nation. What is at the core of any individual, institution, or nation?

Honesty and integrity.

Americans are a strong people. America is a proud land. That said, I believe we have allowed a semblance of moral decay to increasingly infiltrate our very core and we are now paying the price for it. How is this growing moral decay exemplified?

I am not suggesting that those who might hold differing opinions than mine on specific questions addressing ethical and moral topics as being the root of our current problems. I would like to think I am not so narrow-minded or judgmental. I do believe, however, that the rage sweeping our country on both sides of the political aisle stems from the reality that Americans are increasingly convinced that our political representatives, government officials, financial leaders, and their selected constituents have not been honest with America.

This lack of integrity and its growing level of awareness enrages Americans. They are voicing their rage. Congress is starting to hear this rage and is redirecting the anger and frustration toward leaders in Washington, state capitols, and Wall Street. We are now seeing this reality each and every day. America knows a lack of integrity when it sees it or feels it, despite the fact that large swaths of our media (exceptions include Susan Antilla and Jonathan Weil of Bloomberg, to name a few) provide the establishment cover.

Where have we seen a lack of integrity and honesty?

1. Select government reports to the contrary, the massive failings within the financial regulatory structure with specific emphasis on FINRA and the SEC.

2. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s confession just this week that Goldman had engaged in activities that were clearly wrong and led to the economic crisis.

3. I have no doubt that many within our nation believe the Obama administration fundamentally believes in the principle of redistributing wealth via a number of programs. This emphasis on redistribution in one direction while simultaneously bailing out financial institutions leaves a very large percentage of those in the middle and on both sides of the aisle feeling totally disenfranchised. Not only do these people feel disenfranchised, but they feel that the government is not being honest with them regarding its motivations.

Will this situation turn around quickly? No. We did not get here just in the last year. While America is enraged currently, ultimately America itself needs to be held accountable for allowing this lack of integrity and honesty to promulgate over the years.

The cauldron is boiling. Washington and Wall Street feel it. I would expect we will witness more and more statements and acts from our leaders on Wall Street and in Washington to appease the electorate and assuage the rage.

Washington and Wall Street can keep their acts and statements.

Stop lying to America. Only then might we be able to make real progress.


Today the American public will speak. What will they say?

This is our nation. This is our future. Those who cherish truth, transparency, and integrity must speak. I implore people to exercise that greatest of our democratic privileges. Vote!!

Comments, questions, constructive criticisms encouraged and appreciated.

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. As President of Greenwich Investment Management, an SEC regulated privately held registered investment adviser, I am merely a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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