Today, voters across America will send a message to Washington, D.C. It won’t be one of approval. It won’t be one of thanks. And it most certainly won’t be a vote to reward President Barack Obama and the Democrats on Capitol Hill for ramming their radical legislative agenda down the throats of the American people. The Republican Party will regain control of thousands of elected offices across the nation. With their new control, particularly in Congress, they will put the brakes on Obama’s runaway liberal agenda. But why is this election so important for so many Americans?

In 2008, Americans were fed up with two seemingly endless wars overseas, congressional scandals and increasing doubts about the economy. In casting their votes for Obama, they voted for change from the status quo. They didn’t vote for European-style, big-government socialism.

Obama and congressional leaders like Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) and Harry Reid (D–Nev.) began at once to churn out the far-left legislation that would become their political death knell. They started with the stimulus package, and then cap-and-trade legislation in the House, followed by an overbearing and unconstitutional health care “reform” bill. Even in the face of enormous public opposition, Obama, Reid and Pelosi pushed full steam ahead, going to whatever ends necessary and making whatever back room deals required to pass their dream legislation.

The American people woke up. It’s not difficult to understand that this legislation, taxation and deficit spending can only harm our country in the long run. Every American today owes $40,000 toward the national debt. Every child born owes that amount as well, and the number rises every day. The generational theft currently being perpetrated by big spenders in Washington, D.C. and by the Democratic Party is simply immoral and won’t be tolerated. Shame on Congress for failing to represent their constituents and engaging in a spending binge while everyday Americans are cutting back.

The healthcare “reform” legislation will lead to higher premiums, more individuals losing coverage and eventual bankruptcy of remaining insurance companies, leading to a single-payer system. Frivolous regulations imposed on virtually every industry in the United States under the cap-and-trade bill — which has yet to fully make its way through Congress — will raise prices in every sector of the economy and force many companies to cut jobs or go out of business.

Today, Democrats will be punished for being too heavy and liberal in their use of power and for going too far. They will be punished for spending away their constituents’ money before it was earned, and for squandering their children’s future. Today, the American people will send an emphatic and clear message to Washington, D.C. that we don’t want European-style socialism, more government interference in our lives or higher taxes and fees at every level of government. They will tell Congress and Obama loud and clear that they don’t want the government to plan out their future or the economy, that they don’t want the government to tell them what to buy and that they don’t want to be taken care of by government from cradle to grave.

It’s critical that voters exercise their franchise today. This is truly the most important election of our lifetimes thus far. Silence is complicity: If we fail to resoundingly reject the false virtues of government largesse and liberal extremism, we risk going further downhill into a future full of unemployment, disastrous fiscal policies and little or no hope for economic growth, with an ever-growing and over-regulating government. We risk losing our national identity as the land of opportunity, and we risk losing the American dream.

Our country was built on the virtues of self-reliance and personal responsibility. These virtues inspired the Founding Fathers to create a government that would protect the rights and freedoms of every American. These freedoms and virtues have allowed us to become the greatest nation on earth and have seen us through our toughest times and greatest triumphs. The American people cherish and protect these freedoms and values, and don’t respond kindly to an out-of-control and out-of-touch Congress that tries to violate those freedoms and values. And they will do what is necessary to protect those freedoms and values by voting out the Democrat majority in Congress today.

In 2008, the American people didn’t vote for what they got, and they didn’t get what they voted for. Today, they’re taking the first steps to correct those mistakes.

This viewpoint was written by Brian Koziara on behalf of the University’s Chapter of the College Republicans.

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