It is ironic that Jack Davis returned to his successful business after losing his congressional election campaign, while many in his district continue to lose their jobs.
Many still cherish the ideology and memory of past partisan leaders even as their promises were broken and the entire area crumbled in the wake of their policies. Yet many also forget the authors of our current economic policies were themselves formerly principal active participants and enormous beneficiaries of collective bargaining, through the Screen Actors Guild and the NFL Players Association.
Buffalo News columnists gave Davis credit for drawing huge expenditures and manpower away from other contests contributing to Democratic victories elsewhere, but they downplayed the popularity of his main campaign issue.
The facts seem to indicate Davis lost the election because he is not a politician, not because he misjudged voter attitudes on the trade issue. Davis' $2.5 million campaign investment on our behalf should not be shortchanged.
This apolitical loner, financing his own campaign and offering to represent his constituents for $1, with little outside support in a gerrymandered Republican district, managed to pull off a 49 percent-to-51 percent election result.
He came this close despite being overwhelmingly outspent and bombarded with an unprecedented volume of maligning ads. Rep. Thomas Reynolds, his well-connected incumbent opponent, managed to squeak through only because the October surprise storm provided distraction from his role in the Mark Foley scandal and afforded Reynolds center stage to present himself in a positive light.
While other candidates campaigned against the war in Iraq and President Bush, Davis stuck to his main theme of saving jobs by curtailing unfair trade agreements.
Davis' ideas are consistent with the New Deal. Current policies reflect the old deal with an unbridled market and unregulated foreign and domestic workplaces controlling everything. As in the time of Dickens, only a very small percentage of national population (the very rich) is gaining in this environment.
There may be a sign the lion is slowly waking from its collective torpor and overcoming media influences with reason and expectation of actual performance, instead of worshipping the magic combination of character assassination and pure showmanship. Davis' degree of success with this single issue demonstrates that ignoring unfair trade is no longer a viable option.
Voters in the future may again be able to have a real choice at the polls for a better America. God bless this gentleman. God bless him!
Louis L. Boehm lives in Orchard Park.