It seems like the country has reached a tipping point. We had a President who has basically nothing to run on. He couldn't run on the economy, because unemployment is higher than it was when he took office. Growth is stagnant. The economy continues to bleed jobs. He couldn't run on Health Care Reform, because the majority of the country opposes it. He couldn't run on bringing the people together, because the country is more divided than ever. All he had was Bin Laden and ending the War in Iraq.
And the Republican Party put forward the ideal candidate to fix the issue that concerns people most: The Economy. And we lost.
I do not see how we win another election in our current environment.
Obama used the strategy of division. He pitted the poor against the rich, and ran on raising taxes so we could take from the rich and give to the poor. He created a false "War on Women", which was so effective that I read tweets from people who seriously wondered if Romney would take birth control, tampons, and even the women's right to vote away. He used the tried-and-true strategy of scaring seniors into believing that Romney would take away their Social Security and Medicare. He used the Republican plans to combat illegal immigration to scare legal immigrants. He picked the biggest voting bases, and then turned them against the smallest voting bases.
And the people bought it.
Obama is the Great Divider, and the strategy has been very effective. But the effect that this strategy has had on our nation is obvious.
The problem is the people. What is the prerequisite to vote in the U.S.? You need to be a person. You don't need an ID, you don't even need to be the person you say you are, and you can go in and vote.
The election becomes a popularity contest.
My dad suggested years ago that, in order to vote, there ought to be a Voter's Test just like we have a Driver's Test. Nothing too complicated, but something to demonstrate there is a basic understanding of what the vote means. That made perfect sense to me.
Basic questions on the Constitution like:
- What are the three branches of government?
- How many votes does the House need to pass a bill?
- How many Senators represent each state?
Maybe a few current event questions like:
- What is the current unemployment rate?
- What is GDP?
- What is the current U.S. debt?
And maybe a math question or two:
- If you spend more than you earn, what is that called?
- Are there any problems associated with simply printing more money?
- If the current budget deficit is $1 trillion, and the top 1% of income earners make a combined $1.3 trillion, what tax rate would they have to be taxed at in order to close the deficit? (Answer: 77%.)
It is obvious from the various videos that were posted of Obama voters bashing on Romney policies only to find out that they were actually Obama policies, to videos of people who have no idea that anything happened in Benghazi, to videos of Jimmy Kimmel talking to a group of black people in a Brooklyn Barbershop about what Romney could do to earn their vote and the first answer is "Turn black", that people are not voting for a President. They are voting for a celebrity.
"IT'S DIFFICULT TO BEAT SANTA CLAUS"
Now don't get me wrong. I know people who are very educated on the issues, and who still vote Democrat. I'm not talking about them. They would easily pass the Voter's Test. But I believe they are now the minority in the Democratic Party.
Rush Limbaugh said it perfectly: It's difficult to beat Santa Claus.
The nice part about running as a Democrat is that you can promise anything. We will end war! Free health care for everybody! Just take a little more from the rich to pay for all our spending! Legalize marijuana! Let the illegal immigrants come on in!
Republicans are cursed by nature to being constrained by reality. So what happens in the long run when you just pull the troops out or define a withdrawal date? Where do you get the money to pay for everybody's health care, and what does that do to costs? What happens when you raise taxes on the rich? What happens when you legalize marijuana? What do you do about the burden that illegal immigrants place on our system?
Democrats are not burdened by reality. And what's more, we found out in this election that Democrats don't care whether promises are fulfilled or not! As long as they get free stuff. Absolutely amazing.
Go ahead and kill the golden goose! As long as I get my share of the meat!
Romney was right when he talked about the 47%. It may or may not be exactly 47%, but there is a near-majority of people that don't know anything about politics, don't know anything about economics or current events, and don't know the first thing about how a job is created.
All they know is that one guy wants to give them stuff, and the other guy doesn't.
Rush said it perfectly again: You've been out of a job for a year, you have a house, you have a car, you have a cell phone, you have a TV, and you've got food. What's the problem?
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
In any other business or legal situation, having a person making a decision with the potential to benefit from the result of that decision is a conflict of interest, and would not stand.
But there is no problem with 46,700,000 people who are on food stamps voting for how we handle food stamps. No problem with 4,300,000 people who receive a check in the mail every couple weeks for welfare voting about how we handle welfare. No problem with 5,600,000 people who receive unemployment checks every month voting on how we handle unemployment.
This is the strangest system I have ever seen. Would it make sense for me to be on a University committee that decides whether I get a raise? Which way am I going to vote?!
And the media perpetuates all of these things. The amount of advertising that "news" organizations give to the Democratic candidate is incalculable. They tear on Romney night after night for small things like "binders full of women", and they protect Obama on four Americans being killed in a 7-hour calculated attack on "American soil" in Benghazi.
It frankly is amazing that the Republicans can ever get 49% of the vote. Whatever Romney spent in advertising can't compare to the 24-hour barrage of advertising for Obama by "journalists" and late night shows. There is nothing Republicans can do to combat the main stream media. People turn to news channels expecting to get an unbiased report on the facts, but journalistic integrity is rare these days. Everybody has an agenda.
So when so-called "journalists" spend hour after hour talking about the non-existent "war on women", people believe them. And when someone hears something about Benghazi and tunes to the news and they say it's no big deal.
Romney's single-largest jump in the polls came after the first debate when the media finally wasn't able to control the sound-bites for 90 minutes. The people saw the real Romney for the first time.
But 90 minutes compared to 24-hours a day, 365 days-a-year from the mainstream media is almost insurmountable. It's a shame what the media has become.
The other part that factored into the vote is that 2 million more black individuals voted in 2008 than voted in 2004. Stacey Dash was berated by black individuals because she dared say she was voting for Romney. 93% of black voters this election voted for Obama. What if only 7% of white voters voted for Obama? The media would go nuts with that!
Then there have been tweets and comments and greatly disparaging remarks about Romney's religion. Many "Christian" individuals who normally vote Republican and do their best to uphold Christian values, but would not vote for Romney because of his religion. I wonder how many people chose not to vote for Romney because he was Mormon. Romney got less votes than John McCain in 2008. How is that possible unless certain Republicans decided to stay home?
And then I believe it was Karl Rove last night who talked about how it was unconscionable that the Republicans lose the Latino vote. These are a conservative people! They are hugely family oriented, naturally conservative, religious people. These should be some of the greatest supporters of conservatism.
But, in an irony of ironies, the first black President, who himself is a symbol of racism being erased in our society, works hard to divide this country. He groups blacks or Latinos or women together, and turns them against other individuals. Scare them. Divide and conquer.
It worked. Playing off of existing fears and prejudices has been an effective tactic, so it's not going to stop.
What scares me is what this economy might look like after four more years. (Oh, wait -- I forgot President Obama is going to appoint a Secretary of Business. Never mind. We're all good.)
If the last four years weren't bad enough for Obama voters, I'm wondering how bad it will have to get before they would change their minds. 10% unemployment? 15%? 20%? Where do we need to get to? How high would inflation need to go? How low would GDP need to get? How much much income do middle class families need to lose? What needs to happen to make those individuals change their minds?
How weak would foreign policy and defense need to get? Four Americans killed in Benghazi and a cover up is obviously not enough to raise any eyebrows with Democrats. How weak would our armed forces need to get and what kind of an attack would it take to make a change? How bad does our relationship with Israel need to get? For that matter, how good does our relationship with Russia need to get now that there is "more flexibility" before the average voter becomes concerned?
If the last four years were not enough to convince Obama supporters, what would it take to have them switch their votes?
I honestly don't know. I am an optimistic person, but I do not see the Republicans winning another election in current conditions. We barely eeked out wins in 2000 and 2004. I think we have reached a tipping point, where Democrats have played Santa Claus for so long in order to gain power, that there is no turning back.
As long as there is abortion on demand, gay rights, and free stuff for voters, then who cares about the economy?
I just don't know how bad it would have to get to change enough minds to win an election, but my fear is that we will find out.