Election Wrap-Up

In yet another game that was not as close as it looked, the mighty Democratic Asses defeated the ponderous, plodding Republican elephants 50-49. This turkey blames a shoddy game plan on the part of the losing team.

In a contest that was run by an incumbent with no positive accomplishments, it should have been easy to attack a predictably weak defense. However, the ‘Phants, intent on pleasing their hard-core fans, some of whom believe they get their orders from God, fragmented their plan. As it turned out, playing good, fundamental football was the least of their problems. It is hard to keep one’s eye on the ball when one has his jockstrap on backward and one of his rogue teammates decided to put some Ben-Gay in there for a joke.

Such is the way of the GOP of late, shooting itself in the foot. A schmuck who claims it is God’s will for a woman to get pregnant if she is raped could have been all that voters needed to hear from in order to run for the hills. Couple that with too much time and effort spent defending an eventually untenable position on gay marriage, and you have one completely fucked up situation.

There were no halftime adjustments, no squelching of the morons who kept cocking the trigger. While allowing the opposing captain to divide and conquer, the Elephants clung to their guns and their religion. They did not do the country any favors by dwelling on minor issues when the wheels were coming off the economy and the country’s future security and survival were the greater problem. The opposition knew that the short-sighted populace could be placated with some handouts, and by portraying the opposition as rich and evil, because like wild animals who are fed, handouts placate voters about issues too big for them to understand, anyway. Keep ‘em poor and dumb down the public educational system to keep ‘em stupid, and you’ve got easily manipulated masses. The home team fans bail on the home team and wind up rooting for the visitors. (From another planet? From another time? Or from Europe?)

During last night’s election results, my thirty-something, hot-looking, French babe cousin messaged me that she was excited for America and she was watching our election from outside Paris. I assumed that she was excited that Obama had won, but she said, no, that she was excited about watching our election process. She said that she probably wasn’t qualified to decide who would be the better candidate, but she liked Obama. Hell, yeah. He’s a likable guy, especially when one doesn’t have to be subjugated by him or have to look at his arrogant face as he lies to the subjugated public.

Later, she said, “I hate our president. He is a socialist!”

Well, there you have it. Even in the stagnant economies of Western Europe, which Obama would love to emulate, thinking people consider socialism a bad thing.

I really do think that the GOP needs to get its act together and understand how voters think, but it will be damn hard to  surmount the handout mentality. Damn hard? Damn near impossible. De Tocqueville said it best in 1835:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”

— Alexis de Tocqueville

So, now we have four more years of carefully plotted divisive rhetoric, increasing handouts, and perhaps another recession to deal with. Thanks, voters. You made your bed, now lie in it. I’m betting that three years down the line, you’ll have stopped caring about our bleak future because you’ve been placated by “free stuff.”

I deviated from the football metaphor because I was getting confused. But mainly what I want to say is that instead of dwelling on inconsequential crap like aboooooooorrrrrrrrrtion and gaaaaaaaaay marriage, we ought to be concerned about the survival of the country. The “free stuffers” don’t give a shit about the latter, so the rest of us have to. At the same time, we have to understand what makes the me-first mentality voters work. They loooooooooove their hot-button issues like “women’s rights” and “gay rights”, whatever the hell those things are defined as at any given moment. You even vaguely allude to an unpopular stance in those areas, and you’ll lose. Sorry, but let’s let government stay out of our lives. Abortion is legal and why should anyone give half a shit about who can marry whom?

I have one additional thing to add, but I didn’t write it. It came from a USMC blog and it was sent to me by a friend. It says a lot, and it does so better than this turkey could, so I present it below. Thanks for reading it, assuming that you’re open-minded enough to do so.

 

The Meaning of Yesterday’s Defeat

(U.S. is no longer a center-right country)

Yesterday was a comprehensive disaster. Here in Minnesota, to add a local perspective, not only did the state go for Obama–no surprise there–but the Democrats recaptured both houses of the legislature, and voters defeated two ballot initiatives, one on gay marriage and one on voter ID. Similar losses were sustained across the nation, although there were a few bright spots here and there. So yesterday’s defeat was not about a flawed presidential candidate or presidential campaign.

What lessons can we draw? To begin with, conventional political wisdom was upended in a number of ways. When a president runs for re-election, the campaign is a referendum on his performance; undecided voters break against the incumbent; it’s the economy, stupid. These and other familiar maxims can be consigned to the dustbin.

But there is a much more important proposition that, I think, was proved false last night: that America is a center-right country. This belief is one that we conservatives have cherished for a long time, but as of today, I think we have to admit that it is false. America is a deeply divided country with a center-left plurality. This plurality includes a vast number of citizens who describe themselves as moderates, but whose views on the issues are identical or similar to those that have historically been deemed liberal.

Decades ago my father, the least cynical of men, quoted a political scientist who wrote that democracy will survive until people figure out that they can vote themselves money. That appears to be the point at which we have arrived. Put bluntly, the takers outnumber the makers. The polls in this election cycle diverged in a number of ways, but in one respect they were remarkably consistent: every poll I saw, including those that forecast an Obama victory, found that most people believed Mitt Romney would do a better job than Barack Obama on the economy. So with the economy the dominant issue in the campaign, why did that consensus not assure a Romney victory? Because a great many people live outside the real, competitive economy. Over 100 million receive means tested benefits from the federal government, many more from the states. And, of course, a great many more are public employees. To many millions of Americans, the economy is mostly an abstraction.

Then there is the fact that relatively few Americans actually pay for the government they consume. To a greater extent than any other developed nation, we rely on upper-income people to finance our federal government. When that is combined with the fact that around 40% of our federal spending isn’t paid for at all–it is borrowed–it is small wonder that many self-interested voters are happy to vote themselves more government. Mitt Romney proclaimed that Barack Obama was the candidate of “free stuff,” and voters took him at his word.

The question is, can this vicious cycle ever be broken? Once we are governed by a majority that no longer believes in the America of the Founding, is there any path back to freedom and prosperity? The next four years will bring unprecedented levels of spending, borrowing and taxation. The national debt will rise to $20 trillion or more. When interest rates increase, as they inevitably must, interest costs will squeeze out other government spending. That might not be all bad, except that defense will go first. If Obama’s second term turns into a disaster, fiscal or otherwise, voter revulsion may return the Republicans to power. But that doesn’t mean that America will be saved.

To me, the most telling incident of the campaign season was a poll that found that among young Americans, socialism enjoys a higher favorability rating than free enterprise. How can this possibly be, given the catastrophic failure of socialism, and the corresponding success of free enterprise, throughout history? The answer is that conservatives have entirely lost control over the culture. The educational system, the entertainment industry, the news media and every cultural institution that comes to mind are all dedicated to turning out liberals. To an appalling degree, they have succeeded. Historical illiteracy is just one consequence. Unless conservatives somehow succeed in regaining parity or better in the culture, the drift toward statism will inevitably continue, even if Republicans win the occasional election.

This is not primarily the job of politicians, but politicians cannot escape it, either. I have been grumbling for a long time that Ronald Reagan was the last politician who made a real effort to teach the principles of conservatism to the American public. Since the 1980s, we have largely been coasting on his legacy. The prevailing assumption has been that America is a center-right country, and if Republican politicians run a good tactical campaign and get their voters to the polls, they will generally win. That strategy no longer works, and conservative politicians need to try much harder not just to appeal to conservative voters, but to help create new ones.

The stark question posed by the country’s unmistakable drift to the left is, does America have a future? Can we once again become a beacon of freedom, or will talented young Americans be forced to look elsewhere for opportunity? Barack Obama’s budget–the one that was too extreme to garner a single vote in either the House or the Senate–projects that in four years, we will have a $20 trillion debt. That debt will be paid off by a relatively small minority of our young people, the most productive. If you were in that category, and had to make a choice between staying in the United States and inheriting a debt that could well be $1 million or more, and starting fresh in another country, what would you do? And if you were an investor, where would you put your money? In the United States, where hopelessness reigns and where high unemployment and close to zero growth are now accepted as normal, or in a country with limited government and a dynamic, growing economy?

These are dark days, indeed.

_____

And here’s one other that I received in today’s election comments from friends. This comes from a Wall Street friend of a friend:

I am not only mad but I am sad this morning, not for me but for our kids reference the results of last night’s elections. I feel I lost part of my soul. Like RAP music and Snowboarding, perhaps I am out of tune with America. I tried boarding and enjoy some RAP. But I am a skier and rocker.

Life as we or at least I knew and understood it is over. We are quickly slipping into a Western European economy. Less kids, higher taxes, less healthcare, more regulation, greater government dependency, a poorer upper and middle class and less hope. Italy and France have zero population growth, 40% of their 30 year-olds live at home, and they have one car, no A/C, and no dryer at home. Go figure. That’s what we want? Wait. We have iPhones and cable. Maybe that’s enough.

We have officially lost the traditional American values associated with hard work, success and entrepreneurism. Success is becoming demonized versus admired. The new immigrants are not like the old. The new immigrants take from the melting pot, versus adding to the melting pot.

To think how hard we work and sacrifice and to see that we will be asked to give more for less and be demonized by those who accept living on the dole infuriates me. To see we will be over-regulated and over-governed upsets me. To feel embarrassed for being independent and successful is incomprehensible for me, as that was the American Dream. I’m lost in my own country.

This is the beginning of the downfall of capitalism. We have shifted from JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” to Obama’s welfare state and the Western Europeanization of America. As Ronald Reagan said, we are just a generation away from losing our freedom. Please never forget that.

My only hope is that I am so correct that in the next four years things will deteriorate so badly economically that perhaps it will wake up the masses and we can focus on the key backbone of this wonderful economic machine: capitalism and free enterprise.

It is through those successes that the rights and option of liberty have been provided to the people. However, the people seem to have forgotten what fed those freedoms. A downfall is our last hope, before we cross the fiscal cliff and can never claw back. And we need a Reagan-like communicator to sound the alarm.

Our party must wake up and stop involving women’s rights and focus on the economic machine that improves all lives, liberties and the pursuit of happiness. This is the key reason why we lost. In addition, we are seen as racist, yet 33% of Caucasians vote for a black man. But the fact that 95% of blacks vote for a Black man versus a white man is not racist. Ok!? Hypocrisy by the media.

I feel like that American Indian in that great 1970’s commercial who, wearing a beautiful headdress and riding his horse, stumbles onto a garbage pile. A tear runs from his eye as he realizes the sad extent of his lost homeland. Like the loss of the natural beauty of this country for that Indian, we have lost the wonderful basis and values of what built America, which allowed us to obtain all these wonderful things and opportunities for all. Today’s election for me, is similar to that American Indian stumbling onto the garbage suddenly forced to accept that his worst fears have become realities.

Comments

  1. says

    i still remember the tocqueville quote from when you posted it four years ago. it’s been very illuminating and somewhat foretelling.

    my take on the whole thing? the mayans were right.

    also: tax everyone. if this country demands the government spend massively then everyone pays for it. deductions for children only. tax wealth as well as income, and let’s see everyone’s real colors.

    the above statement is out of spite.

    • says

      If the worker bees were to adopt the attitude that the queen is so different from them that they couldn’t accept her as queen, the entire hive would die and there would be no honey.

      “But she was born with a royal jelly spoon in her mouth and never had to work a day in her life. How could she understand our plight?”

      No matter whether it is the superorganism of a beehive or the abstraction of human society, leaders are required, and they will inevitably be different. To envy a leader because of what made him a leader is a ludicrous concession to mob rule.

      “The people” (meaning the homogenized lemmings who have never achieved anything measurable for themselves) have been coaxed to disdain success, which is easy because they’ve never tasted it and don’t know how to achieve it. They unwittingly choose a leader whose dirty little secret is that he never wants them to have even a taste of it. Their chosen demagogue takes control of their mind, convincing them that there’s an “easier way.” Who needs success when you’re fat, dumb, and happy with the opiate-laden cookies the Master serves them?

      All the while, the brilliant strategy of promoting class warfare is effectively dividing the classes even further, because the political elites win, garnering power, riches, and entrenchment from the stupidity and greed of the masses, who languish as the slaves of the elites. Didn’t we learn anything from Communism’s failed experiment? How did Mr. Obama make his millions without ever having worked in a real job? He’s been a government servant all his working life — or a community organizer. Why is getting rich at the behest of the public such a good thing while getting rich through private industry is so bad?

      I’ll tell you why. Greed. The lemmings will gladly overlook Obama’s wealth being achieved on their account because they can count on him for — yes — free stuff. They weren’t so sure about Mitt because Obama’s handlers portrayed him as an uncaring, rich-ass business leader, as if business itself was a bad thing and leading a business is even worse. That bad man over there will take away your job! He’ll use you! But we’ve got a better idea — we’ll take money from the rich, successful folks so you don’t HAVE to work. How’s that?

      If that’s not using people to achieve personal gain, then I’m the Dalai Lama.

      I hope against hope that our society wakes up from its “me-first” orientation. Alas, it won’t. We’re doomed, and de Tocqueville was absolutely correct in 1835 when he wrote that it was inevitable. This election, in my opinion, was the “tipping point” (as the hack writers call it), the passage of the point of no return. As Pat Caddell opined, this was the first elections where issues took a backseat to entrenchment.

      There is little “greater good of society” sentiment out there among the electorate anymore, just individual greed, and greed is winning.

      —TNT

  2. BigAl says

    I don’t agree that the vote represents an electorate enthralled by “free stuff”. A certain part of it has been and always will be bought by “free stuff,” but they’re not big enough to win a national election.

    IMO As a “moderate” and independant voter, I believe Several correctable positions/issues cost the Repubs this election:

    1) Their position on immigration reform cost them the Hispanic vote. Amnesty is not a solution, but neither is deporting all of the illegals back to wherever they came from. If they had listened to Rubio (or nominated him for VEEP) Mittens might have won.

    2) Their voter fraud initiatives were counterproductive. All they did was piss off blacks and make them more determined to show up to vote for Obama. Yes, I’m pretty sure Obama would have gotten 95% of the blacks that showed up to vote regardless, but those thinly veiled efforts at minority vote suppression probably energized the “base” and increased black turnout.

    3) The party heirarchy needs to quit coddling the evangelicals. Instead of requiring all Republican candidates to dance to their tune on abortion and gay rights, maybe its time to nominate somebody who believes that Roe Vs Wade is settled law and that its time to (in Ms Peetz favorite term ) “move on” and put a “laser focus” on what’s really important. Besides, where are the bible bangers going to go? The Democrats don’t want them, so their only choices are to either stop voting or create their own party. (perhaps with a rattlesnake as the party symbol)

    4) Romney didn’t come up with specifics on how he would cut spending and reform the tax code. Many “moderates” got the impression that Mittens intended to achieve the spending cuts by gutting Medicare and Social
    Security while increasing spending on the military (must be time to invade Iran) and reducing taxes on the “rich.”

    Despite what you conservatives think, Medicare and Social Security are not “ENTITLEMENTS” rather, they are UNDERFUNDED pension and medical insurance plans. Rather than being abolished (as Ryan wanted to do), most moderates believe they should be funded correctly by increasing individual contributions and/or delaying/cutting benefits.

    Despite all that, I voted for Romney anyway (because of Obama’s dismal record), but other “moderates”, I know didn’t. I also hedged my bet by voting against the Republican candidate for the US Senate, because I didn’t don’t trust either party enough to give them control of both Congress and the Presidency.

    • says

      I agree with 1), 2), and 3). I don’t think 4) was a decided advantage either way, because Obama had no specifics, either. The reason the masses chose to believe O was, in part, the masterful job his team did in promoting wealth envy. Sorry, but I just can’t handle the divisiveness being fostered by the WH. The whole notion of Romney being “not like me” bites the big one. Leaders are not SUPPOSED to be like the lemmings. They’re supposed to stand out. Jealousy about Mitt’s wealth lost him a lot of votes. Why weren’t those same voters upset about Obama’s wealth? And where did his millions come from, anyway? Romney could have asked a few questions and gained back some voter confidence.

      Don’t pontificate to me about what Social Security and Medicare are. They are what you want them to be. I’m collecting both, so don’t be putting words into my mouth.

      I’d be a Libertarian if it weren’t for that little thing about the need for a standing army. I’m not a mainstream GOP conservative, which I define as the schmucks who call the rest of us RINOs. Except now, I’m not even a Republican, so I can’t even say “us”. I changed my voter registration to reflect no party affiliation a couple of years ago.

      You obviously have some sort of radical Tea Party impression of me that needs to be dispelled. That ain’t me.

      —The,Not Tea

      • BigAl says

        Sorry I got the wrong impression regarding your political views. That comment by DeToqueville kind of set me off.

        It’s become a tired staple for the hardcore right wing (along with the comment from Ben Franklin?? that democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat.)

        Those comments smack of conservative elitism i.e. we’re much more principled and know what’s best for the uneducated, stupid masses. That attitude is basically the flip side of the left wing/communist elitism.

        Then again, my attitude toward conservatives is probably a little biased because I spent too much time dealing with right wing Capitol Hill staffers. Facts were less important to them than their ideology. And they seemed to have a chip on their shoulder – probably as a result of being the nerdy fat kid in high school who couldn’t play sports or get laid.

        • says

          There is nothing we can do to change the results of the election. However, one of my many predictions was realized today in Obama’s speech, in which he returned to his old, arrogant self, telling us what’s best for us, concentrating on increasing taxes, never once mentioning spending cuts. The purpose of the speech was thus obviously not to herald a new era in cooperation across the aisle, but precisely the opposite: business as usual. He is setting up the GOP to be embarrassed into acceding to his wishes on increasing taxation on “the rich.” One way or the other, he’ll blame the forthcoming recession on his loyal opposition. I hope McConnell and Boehner have the fortitude not to succumb to his manipulation.

          Another prediction that I think will come to pass sooner rather than later are the resignations of Hillary and Panetta.

          My overarching prediction is that Obama and his handlers will take the low road, considering the re-election a mandate to impose their ideology on us. The first term was all ideology. He has a choice to make a mark on the country by devoting the second term to doing what’s right for the country, but as indicated by today’s regression to the mean, he will likely squander it in favor of clinging to his leftist agenda.

          And now, back to a different Big Red – hahahahhaha.

          —TNT