For the last several months as I confidently predicted a Mitt Romney victory there were two people who consistently told me I was dead wrong, both are local business owners who deal with people every single day. Their daily interactions with people told them that the country was too far gone and Obama was going to win this election.
I politely listened and disagreed, I looked at the numbers and the trends, I saw where the electorate had seemingly gone and looked at the state of the economy thinking that while here in Massachusetts it was certainly possible people in Massachusetts where so many of our producers had simply left for greener pastures the rest of the country had not reached that point.
I was wrong.
Walter in particular was adamant, he said he hoped I was right but didn’t buy it.
He was right. America did re-elect Barack Obama but there were some interesting oddities such as this from Election Projection:
Four years ago, Democrats made up 39% of the electorate and held a seven-point advantage over Republicans who numbered 32%. Last Tuesday, the Democrats’ share of the vote accounted for just one point less than in 2008 and Republicans failed to improve at all on their 2008 number. Frankly, those results shock me. Republicans who couldn’t bear to vote for Mitt Romney the Moderate or Mitt Romney the Mormon are now faced with having to bear four more years of Barack Obama, the Uber-liberal.
The question is why. Clearly millions of people decided Barack Obama wasn’t for them, so why didn’t the public embrace Mitt Romney?
The answer is really in two parts.
The first is this. While a nice guy personally and an able administrator Mitt Romney was the weakest and least conservative of the GOP choices that ran in 2012 and republicans who turned out for John McCain and Sarah Palin apparently were not willing to show for Mitt Romney.
Second, we didn’t sell, we DUCKED.
No matter how much some people in the professional punditry would like to pretend otherwise, the GOP the party they are a part of is a CONSERVATIVE party. Its electorate is conservative, the folks who do the heavy lifting are conservative and their activists are conservative.
Conservatism is a philosophy. It is a way of life. It is an idea that if you are frugal if you work hard you will get ahead and your success will bring success to many others with you.
Social conservatism is the same, Reality is it better to discourage your daughter from sleeping around then to put her on the pill leave condoms for her boyfriend and hope your insurance pays for an abortion. (even if it wasn’t murder).
And as for equality, It is better to treat everyone the same regardless of race than to decide to grade behavior on a curve based on skin color and ethnicity.
Mitt Romney and the GOP decided it was acceptable to not push these themes, it was enough to say : The economy sucks and Obama is in charge.
Didn’t work did it? Ann at Legal Insurrection quotes an open letter to the GOP establishment:
The grassroots will fix this for you. Please stay out of our way. And don’t do anything stupid like granting citizenship to 15m illegals. We have to persuade Hispanics they are conservatives who belong in the GOP, just like that County GOP Chairman in New Mexico did with Susanna Martinez. We win Hispanics by persuading them that conservatism, that free enterprise rather than entitlement, is the path to the American Dream of individual liberty and prosperity.
Their message is you can’t win without your base, they’re right.
There is an old story about St. John the Apostle during his last days, that he would on the Island of Patmos once a week gather all the believers to teach them. They would sit down and wait for her to talk and then tell them “Love one another” and that was it. One week one of his followers approached him and saying: “Master every week we come here to learn and every week you tell us the same thing.” John smiled and replied: “When you have learned that first lesson then we will move onto the next one.”
The moral of the story is conservatism needs to be taught. It needs to be professed and evangelized in the same religious like way that liberalism is. It’s not enough to say the truth one and count on people believing it, you have to constantly reinforce it.
There is a reason why companies spend millions of dollars to constantly push their product, once the advertising stops, the people forget and easily switch to the next product and the new ad.
Conservatism is the same, it won’t matter how good our product or ideas are, if we don’t’ sell them, if we don’t sell it every single day folks will fall prey to liberal propaganda that promises them everything for nothing.
That’s our job and will be mine for the next four years or at least until I can’t afford to do it anymore.
In Massachusetts the 2nd biggest shock was not so much the defeat of Scott Brown, after all the polling showed it was anyone’s race, but the sheer margin of it, 8 points. That’s a swing of 13 points toward democrats since the last election.
Brown is a decent fellow but the local dems who had no skin in the game in Jan 2010 went all in. And spending months running away from the party didn’t help.
If you are ashamed of saying you are a republican then you tell people that being a republican is something to be ashamed of. That’s not a great selling point, if you don’t believe me ask well running away from the GOP worked for Congressman Richard Tisei.
And I’m sorry if you can’t elect an openly gay republican when you are running against an actual crook then Massachusetts is in real trouble.
The real shock was Question #2
I had little faith that Question #2 would be defeated. When I covered the forum in Hudson weeks ago I was the only media there and it was not picked up widely.
Last week I covered another event that got absolutely no press, a 24 hour Eucharistic Adoration was held in at St. Joseph Church in Medford Ma. I spoke to a woman named Geraldine there and through her got an interview for a show before the election.
There was no thing I was more worried about than question 2, because the idea of making it culturally acceptable to dispose of people in such a way in the name of “compassion” will over time corrupt a society in ways that are abominable, particularly when our future looks so bleak in terms of healthcare costs.
While I was sure of Mitt Romney and cautiously optimistic on Scott Brown I was absolutely convinced that question #2 would pass in a state as liberal as Massachusetts. Reason told me that all of these things were the case and no matter how much I wanted question 2 to be defeated, it was not going to happen
When I looked online just after I got to the Romney victory party it was leading and projected to win.
By the time it was all over the question which was leading in the polls 68-19% just a few weeks ago had lost 51-49.
It was a cause of great joy for me but I was ashamed of my own lack of faith.
So now comes the job of teaching, but if another four years of Barack Obama doesn’t teach the public not sure what will.
Maybe I should ask Walter.