Let me state at the outset that I am a bit angry over the results of the election, but those were the results I’d come to expect. It is easy to point fingers at the enemy and throw blame on the victors and the mainstream media. It’s much more difficult to look into the mirror or to the disparate types of conservatives that sit around a common campfire and seek the truth. Here is my initial reaction to the election and it’s failure to bring needed change. All we can do now is hope that somehow there is a return to comity and bipartisanship while holding firmly to principle in the discussions.
After taking some time to think things over and to put them all together in one sitting this morning after the election before going to bed, all I can say as a summary is that I have seen the enemy and the enemy is us – or at least some of us.
President Obama has been projected as the winner of the 2012 election and considering the tough fight, he earned it. Pundits and TEA Party extremists will blame Republicans for blowing it because they elect moderates. I think that is totally wrong. In fact, I think the TEA Party extremists are the source of this defeat by forcing Mitt Romney to act like someone he’s not when it comes to social issues.
I think Republicans need to concentrate on who has the best chance of winning and allow them to run as themselves; not some nut job out on the fringe. Case in point are the multiple losses in the U.S. Senate races by candidates who are social conservatives and clearly outside the mainstream of America. I give them credit for being themselves in their campaigns, but I would argue that who they are makes running them pointless. They rarely win and more often cause damage to the top of the ticket.
Let’s just look at some examples:
Two years ago, the Republicans should have won three additional seats and managed a 50%/50% split in the Senate forcing the Vice President to be the tie vote on controversial issues where party line votes occurred. Instead of electing main stream candidates, they choose people with radical religious and social views that they made clear they would use for guidance in establishing, updating or abolishing laws – laws which are to apply equally to everyone; the religious and the non religious, the Christian, Jew and Muslim etc. It’s an impossible task if government is to show no favor to one religion over another or to the religious over the non-beliver.
In the first example, let’s remember how vulnerable Senate Majority Leader Reid was and how he pulled a rabbit out of the hat by the name of Sharron Angle. Ms. Angle was and remains a gaffe prone religious zealot. Example: Angle, in answering a question, advised a hypothetical 13-year-old rape-incest victim to steer clear of abortion and make “a lemon situation into lemonade.” This is nothing more than trying to spin a pregnancy resulting from an incestuous rape by a brother or father into something sweet and refreshing. Really?
Here’s another: she called BP’s $20 billion escrow account for oil spill victims a “slush fund” and chided President Obama for bullying private industry. “Government shouldn’t be doing that to a private company”. So what should the government do when a company pollutes both private and state owned beachfront as well as endangering wildlife habitat, and damage to an entire fishing industry? Nothing? Is compensation for damages truly establishing and passing damages to innocents whose lives and way of live have been unalterably changed a slush fund?
How does that juxtapose with the actions taken by then Governor Sarah Palin when she extorted “windfall profits” from the oil companies working Alaska? At what point do profits come to be defined as a windfall? Is this the thinking and action of a fiscal conservative? How about a small government conservative? How about a free market conservative? How about conservatives who believe in the sanctity of man’s natural rights above all else; especially regarding private property and the right to keep what one has earned.
You can add hypocrite to Ms. Palin’s descriptors. After profiting politically from forcing the oil companies to pay Alaska a windfall tax under her “Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share” principles, she later chided President Obama for encouraging the Congress to do the same nationally. Many Republicans still feel that Palin’s hypocritical and extremist positions which she made clear that she expected others to follow hurt McCain, although, I feel that McCain never had a chance due to his own pragmatism and abandonment of free speech principles with the McCain/Feingold and other such legislation.
Next, from that campaign season, we have candidate Ken Buck of Colorado being pushed by TEA Party forces. Mr. Buck, in a televised debate between himself and his opponent on Meet the Press, was asked by host David Gregory, if he believes that being gay is a choice. Buck responded that he thought it was a choice, but allowed that “birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things.” Huh? He beat the mainstream choice in the Primaries by 2%. He lost in the general to a poor candidate by 2%. What kind of conservative is Mr. Buck?
And let’s not forget our Dear Ms. Christine O’Donnell from the good State of Delaware where Mike Castle had a lock on defeating his Democrat rival in the general election. How did she do? Just think “witchcraft”, Bill Maher, and Sarah Palin lite where the way she lives personally collides with her stated principles. Hypocrite kook!
This season we have candidates Richard Mourdock, Todd Akin, George “Mukaka” Allen and others such as candidate Tom Allen of Pennsylvania:
And then, since we are now in Pennsylvania, let’s not forget his fellow Pennsylvanian, Rick “Sanctimonious” Santorum who would love nothing more than to see the United States become a new age version of Christendom where we send our Crusaders out to destroy all the anti-Christian forces of the world and to declare victory for the Pope. Yep…he’s a bag of acorns too.
How is this view any different than that of say, the Taliban who also believe that a woman’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is decided by the end of a man’s penis and God’s/Allah’s will? Men victimize women and it is the women who are left to suffer the consequence. Does anyone think that opting to abort a child is an easy decision?
So long as these irrationally thinking individual I’ve described and highlighted, or people with similar views, jump onto center stage and preach that their religious views are important enough to be considered for inclusion in what is intended to be secular law, the conservative movement, left undefined, but not all inclusive will rarely gain power. And when they do, they will do so because of an utter failure of a liberal government, and even then, only as a temporary custodian until a better liberal can be found.
These people are fine candidates for statewide elections, but not for national office. Until these quasi-religious issues are left for the states to deal with and are allowed to work their way up through the courts, they will never be solved. Because these candidates among others were brought front and center again, and because prominent candidates with severe religious and misogynistic beliefs bring fear and diminished liberty in their messages, we on the right of center lost yet again.
It’s time to cut the social conservatives loose and let them caucus and speak for themselves. We can make those who wish to vote with us welcome, but by cutting extreme planks out, we open the party to a broader base and demonstrate that Republicans and fiscal conservative prefer reason over mysticism and a different set of rules for the women of America. Lord help these people should women gain a super majority of the population and begin looking at testicles as something threatening by their very existence.
We won’t know the extent of this loss until 2016. Hopefully, between now and then, conservatives will define themselves in a way that can be cogently presented to the public. It must consider how best to find and elect competent and thoughtfully sound federal officials who can clearly and concisely define themselves and their vision of America in a way that inspires and assures the public of an honest administration and execution of duties. That vision must be one that fits mainstream thinking on economics, national security, and on how to best limit the scope, reach and size of government going forward. It must entail the need for and the means to push as much the federal functions and usurped power back to the individual states as can be sanely and rationally accomplished.
We also need to dump the Grover Norquists of the world, and instead, demand that our candidates act with rational judgment in the best interests of the nation and specifically with respect national security, a strong military, sound foreign policy, a politically deaf secular supreme court that respects the rule of law, small government/maximum liberty principles.
The best way to cure social ills is to begin at home. Next is to work with your local government as a town meeting rep or a city councilor, a town or city clerk, a mayor or a combination board of selectmen/town manager. Next would be to work within or in oversight of the various functions and allowances by your state government. The last place to seek respite from our social ills is the federal government. You can say that you don’t want the federal government acting like some nanny telling you what you can and can’t do, but if you turn to the federal government to cure social ills instead of working to clean up your own community, well, all you can call yourself, then, is a hypocrite.
We failed to do all of the above in this election. The consequence is that President Obama will likely appoint three Supreme Court Justices and as a result all but ensure that Roe vs Wade endures another half century, if not forever. So, in the end, the battle cry for an end to abortion and continued prejudices toward those who are different in their circumstances, views, and physical or psychological makeup provided the very thing those same cries were meant to limit. To all of those Christians out there who saw Romney as “not Christian enough” or a member of a pseudo-Christian cult who didn’t come out to vote – pat yourselves on the back for reelecting Obama and making abortion rights a foundation of the America fabric that you can now only seek to limit – not stop.