The New Clarion

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November 6, 2012

November 10th, 2012 by Myrhaf · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

I thought Romney would win in a landslide. I was not alone. There was a lot of confidence on the right. Even Romney’s campaign, with all its super-secret polling that is supposed to be so much better than anything we laymen see, was surprised by the defeat on November 6, 2012.

How could we get it so wrong? Was our thinking the triumph of hope over experience?

Here was my thinking: Obama was campaigning to shore up his base. Romney already had his base — where else would they go? — and was campaigning to win moderates and independents. Therefore, Romney would get more votes. Moreover, the polls are all wrong due to liberal bias and the Bradley Effect, in which a small percentage of those polled lie that they will vote for a black man because they do not want to be thought of as racist.

This entire line of thinking turned out to be wrong. The polls were right. The Democrat base was energized and turned out on election day. Most astonishing, Romney did not have his base. Romney got 3,000,000 fewer votes than McCain in 2008 and 7,000,000 fewer than Bush in 2004. If he had just won what McCain got, he would have defeated Obama.

So what happened?

1. American voters have changed for the worse. This is the most depressing conclusion from the election. This thing should not have been close. Obama is the worst president of my lifetime, if not all time. His big government policies have kept unemployment around 8%. His foreign policy is to appease an enemy he pretends does not exist. Obama should have been demolished the way Mondale was in 1984 or McGovern was in 1972.

The American sense of life, an emotional vestige of our 18th and 19th century individualist heritage, is dying. The New Leftist culture, indoctrinated through government schooling, is reforming the American character around collectivism. The Democrats finish off the process by expanding the welfare state. Americans receiving food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, etc. will vote to stay on the gravy train. (This makes the Democrat attack on Romney’s 47% remark particularly hypocritical. Romney was essentially saying that the Democrat strategy of buying votes through handouts is working.)

2. Democrats wanted it more. To the left, power is not just politics, it’s metaphysics. It is the reason they exist. They understood that they had a lot to lose if Romney won. Obamacare would have been repealed, Romney would have repealed Obama’s executive orders, the czars would have been fired, and Democrats would have lost control of the vast array of alphabet agencies through which they plan to fundamentally transform America by bureaucratic fiat.

3. Republicans didn’t want it more. For this I blame two things. First, Romney campaigned as a moderate. He gave the base no reason to vote for him other than “I’m not Obama.” That’s not enough. And his campaign bought the conventional wisdom that Romney had to be a “nice guy” to overcome Democrat smears about Republicans. (Maybe they’re right.)

Second, Republican pragmatists cannot think in principle. These are the people who become Republican because they were born in a country club, not because they read Ludwig von Mises. They view the Tea Party with suspicion and figure it doesn’t really matter that much who is president. Pass the white wine and brie, darling.

4. Lots of other reasons, such as the power of the incumbancy, media liberal bias, Obama’s superior campaign tactics and the failure of Romney’s ORCA thing. It turns out Obama is actually competent at campaigning, as opposed to governing. Romney, for all his supposed business acumen, ran a lousy campaign.

That’s my take on what happened. How bad the consequences will be, we don’t know yet, but I suspect the American people bought themselves a whole lot of sorrow on November 6, 2012.

8 Comments so far ↓

  • Matthew

    Romney was a corporate lackey who only pandered to the rich and ignorant. Obama is a corporate owned puppet who knows well enough to lie to the public. Dump the two party monopoly. Get corporate money out of politics.

  • Steve D

    ‘I thought Romney would win in a landslide.’
    Based on the final two polls, I thought Romney would squeak out a 1% victory in the popular vote but I figured Obama would still win the EC in a nail biter. I was out by about 3.5% and about 80 Electoral College seats.
    ‘American voters have changed for the worse.’
    When both candidates are poor it’s hard to make that argument stick, I think. Although, Romney in my opinion was slightly superior others simply elevated Romney’s bad points and minimized Obama’s based on the issues which were important to them. When neither candidate is very good, that becomes easy to do.

  • Neil Parille

    I thought Romney would win by a small margin.

    As of yesterday the Romney campaign was saying that when all the votes are counted, they would get the same as McCain got. It seems however that Romney wasn’t able to excite working class whites.

    I can’t say it was a bad campaign, but Romney could have been more specific and aggressive.

    Then there is the changing demographics in the country. Contrary to what Republicans say, Hispanics aren’t “natural Republican voters.” They are left on social and fiscal issues. I think it’s pretty much over for the Republicans.

  • Steve D

    The Republicans will have to reinvent themselves as center left conservatives similar to the conservative party in Britain.

  • Antacid

    Steve D, if that was true, then McCain would have won. I’ve spoken with a number of friends and neighbors who voted in the northern Orlando area, and they were mostly very uninformed about the candidates, choosing based on false narratives and misconceptions.

  • Steve D

    Antacid: In that case it appears that the sliver of voters who make the difference are the ones who are least informed. It’s hard to believe that in this day and age people don’t make even a small effort to inform themselves. Also if you are right then the US may be in bigger trouble than Europe, where come countries such as Germany appear to have reached some type of right/left equilibrium.

  • Michael Neibel

    This comment is partly what I wrote to a friend.
    You know, this election proves decisively the truth of two of Rand’s identifications:
    1. is that politics is last on a chain of causal events, that to change a political system one must start with the dominate ideas in metaphysics, epistemology and ethics that led to that political system. This does not mean that the culture has to be persuaded to Objectivist philosophy en mass, but that the main ideas must be challenged.

    2. is that when voters are presented with a false dichotomy between the practical and the moral, they will always go with the moral. Romney kept pushing the idea that he has experience in business and knows how to turn the economy around and create jobs, all of which is true. The Dems could not refute his practical arguments. They didn’t need to. They used the moral argument. With a slavish press, voters were bombarded with constant cries of how republican policies-even the practical ones-were immoral,unkind, cruel and even pictures of republicans throwing grandma off a cliff.

    During the campaign I only heard Romney use a moral argument once (though I may have missed others) and that was when he said he would not apologize for his success. He should have rode that horse-and its implications-longer and harder. He didn’t and he lost.

    The republican party leadership is obviously brain dead and ripe for an intellectual takeover.

  • Myrhaf

    The Democrats certainly understand the power of morality. In today’s press conference Obama made a show of indignation when Susan Rice was attacked, despite the fact that his argument was logically incoherent. (Why did he send her out to talk about Benghazi if she knew nothing about it?) And the left loves when Democrats get in the right’s face. It doesn’t matter what they say, so long as they show moral indignation.