A Presidential Election Post-Mortem Analysis
"These are the times that try men's souls," so wrote the great man from whom I borrowed my nom de plume, Thomas Paine, in his entreaty The American Crisis. It would seem that we have nearly come full circle once again into trying times that threaten our very liberties. Instead of King George III though, this time it is in the guise of a majority of the American people themselves that are bound and determined to destroy what is left of our nation in hopes of obtaining more of the tax payer's lucre for themselves.
Everybody and their mangy cur dogs have put in their two cents as to why Obama won re-election and why the Republicans faired so poorly. I decided to wait a week or so before doing my post-mortem on the election debacle so that I could be more objective in my analysis and not let my fear, frustration, and deep concern overly color what would likely have been a much more emotional response from me otherwise had I done so on the day right afterwards.
That said, I have read what many of the pundits, bloggers, and political insiders have had to say regarding the reasons for the Democrats’ success. Typically there is indeed some truth in what each one had to offer as for the reasons, and yet nobody quite captured the real bottom line answer; at least not to my mind.
Was Romney the strongest conservative candidate? No way! Did Republicans reach out to Hispanics as well as they could have? Not even. Did Hurricane Sandy help Obama by giving him a chance to “look presidential” and thus save the day and cause the despicable Chris Matthews to give thanks for the storm accordingly? Undoubtedly so. Did many hard core conservatives and fundamentalist Christians stay home on election day. For certain many did. Were Libertarians and disaffected conservatives upset with the “moderation” of our presidential candidate and not vote for Romney accordingly. Yes, and I know too many friends and acquaintances that fall into this category. Did Obama and his surrogates lie and demagogue unabashedly regarding Romney and his policies and past. You betcha, and some of the more candid Democrats even admitted this. Did the sycophantic statist media all but ignore the highly troubling issues such as the death of four Americans in Libya that Obama could have prevented and the entire Fast and Furious program? Disgustingly, yes they did. Did Romney lay out a specific plan that was attacked by the left, while Obama’s platform was more vague and offered just more of the same? Of course. Did voter fraud on behalf of the left help Obama. Almost certainly so; particularly in areas around Philadelphia where in 59 different districts not a single solitary vote went to Romney. (A nearly 20,000 to 0 edge for Obama was the result there.)
All of the above did indeed play roles in the results of the final tally, but no one issue in and of itself captured the real reason why Obama and the Democrats soundly defeated Romney and the conservatives on November 6th. I would submit it is something greater and more insidious because the root is now so entrenched in the American electorate. The real reason that Obama won is because people today are ignorant. I don’t use that term as a pejorative but rather as a definitive term that describes the root problem. Most Americans today are not familiar with our history as a nation. They are unfamiliar with our Constitution and the necessity of the rule of law in abiding by its dictates and defending those rights for us laid out within. Most Americans are unfamiliar with basic economics. They are too caught up in their day to day lives to let their own common sense prevail and tell them what they should already know. Basically it all boils down to the inarguable fact that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody has to pay for that. The bottom line is that with a majority of Americans’ overwhelming ignorance comes their desire to get something for nothing.
Romney was scourged during the campaign for decrying the fact that 47% of Americans are dependent upon government and net benefactors of the tax payers accordingly. The media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) used that comment to mercilessly attack Romney as cruel and uncaring. Now granted, there are significant portions of that 47% that are retirees living on Social Security, military retirees living on their government pensions, and those small few that are genuinely unable to work that are dependent upon our tax payer funded safety net. Many of the others though are capable people that are simply wanting to take all that they can get from Uncle Sam. They want something for nothing… and their chicks for free, I suspect.
John Kennedy famously asked during his inaugural address in 1961, “My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” Nearly 52 years later, a majority of Americans and seemingly all Democrats are asking what the country can do for them, and to hell with what a person can do for the country or their fellow Americans. The mindset has totally changed. Government, instead of providing only necessary functions as specifically outlined in the Constitution, is now looked to for support and the solving of nearly any problem one encounters daily. No longer is there a sense of personal responsibility and rugged individualism. Instead there is a desire to grow an already overbearing nanny state so that one’s needs and desires can be taken care of by the “greedy and evil rich” in this country.
This means that for this problem to be fixed, Americans must learn exactly what it means to be an American once again. The progressive and often incompetent teachers unions have done us no favors in this regard. History and civics have been replaced with revisionist and politically correct diatribes of our past. The importance of voting for candidates that respect and will defend our constitution is an amusing and archaic notion, if it is even considered at all. And this has metastasized into the problem it has because parents typically are aloof or disconnected from their kids and the quality of the education they are receiving. They are unaware or don’t care enough over the last two generations that we are raising a country of whining and ignorant people that want to be taken care of rather than being strong and self-sufficient.
The culture as promulgated by many of our movies and music also reflects this ignorance and further entrenches us into this selfish “gimmee mine” nation that we have become. Unfortunately it has now manifested itself by how a majority of us vote.
I have seen many of the left cheer and jeer that “their side” won the election and that we conservatives should just buck up and deal with it. To many of them, it was a triumph of party politics. To me, and I dare say to many conservatives, it was not a loss for the often incompetent or corrupt Republicans but rather a loss of American ideals. We cannot afford to continue on with the spending that Obama and the progressives of both parties have saddled us with over the last decade in particular. We cannot and should not be funding more entitlements simply to further entrench Americans in their dependency upon government. It is not mere political hyperbole when I say that I fear for the end of America in Obama’s next term. Our spending is unsustainable. We are foolish if we think we can continue unabated. There will be consequences to printing or digitizing our currency by the Federal Reserve. There will be consequences for the usurpation of our God-given rights as codified in our Constitution.
Many Americans are very afraid what the next few years hold in store for us. It is not a matter of if we can wait until 2016 to try again with a better conservative candidate for president. The fear is that there won’t be a recognizable America left by 2016. I noticed yesterday that petitions for secession from the union have been started in 31 states thus far. This fear is real and almost palpable. America has never been so dangerously divided amongst its people. The only solution is to clearly articulate our philosophies as grounded in our history and constitution, and to do it continuously until it seeps into the very fabric of the American culture. We must do so NOW in our classrooms, from our pulpits, and throughout our culture so that we can change this seemingly inexorable tide of selfishness and desired dependence that we have fomented within our population. If we fail to do so starting right now, it won’t be the feckless Republican party that will perish. It will be far more destructive to humanity and freedom than that. It will be the end of the United States of America.
(You can read T. Paine daily at Saving Common Sense)