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Politics for the Non-Political, Vol.2 – Summary of the Misery

 

There is a whole heaping lot of armchair analysis and soul searching being done now by those of us who align with the Political Right.

The GOP lost an election on November 6, 2012 that conventional wisdom suggests it should have won (even if narrowly).

For the non-political, your humble correspondent has taken it upon himself to briefly skim over some of the thoughts being offered right now and provide a summary and commentary along with his own perspectives.

POLITICS FOR THE NON-POLITICAL Disclaimer:

The author will be offering his opinions on these matters. Anyone who says they can discuss politics or civics without any kind of personal bias or preference showing is lying to you.

 

  1. Center Right Country?
     Of the many assumptions those of us on the political Right had that the election of 2012 challenged, the strong belief that this is a Center-Right country is the biggest casualty. It is the conventional wisdom for Conservatives that while we shift ever so slightly from right to left between elections, at our core, we are a Center-Right nation. The accepted analysis was that 2008 (huge Left Wing shift) was an anomaly and 2010 (Conservative wave) was a correction and so a return to normalcy. Now, 2012 is making it look like 2010 was the anomaly and that we are looking at a serious shift in the makeup of the electorate.
     
    It can be argued ad nauseum whether this shift is temporary or more long term… but what cannot be argued is that a shift has occurred. We clearly are not currently a Center-Right country. We are a flat-out Left Wing electorate (we blew right past Center-Left and even Left-Center).
     
    Obama won this close (in the popular vote) election by relying on the utterly unfathomable hope that he could turn out enough far Left Wing base votes. He won 2008 handily by winning the Independent vote by 8 points. In 2012, he lost the Independent vote by 5 points. That’s a 13 -point swing in a group of people that make up about 30% of the electorate. The only way Romney could have lost with that amount of Independent support is if the President was able to get a Left Wing turnout comparable to his unquestionably historical Star Turn in 2008.
     
    And that’s what he did. Truly unthinkable and unbelievable. So, for right now, we are dealing with an electorate that is the realization of FDR and LBJ’s political goals. We have an electorate that is largely dependent upon the Federal Government and so, an electorate which wants Big Government (and particularly the Left Wing/Socialist faction of the Democratic Party).
     
    The silver lining is that this Big Government electorate is a mere plurality. They just happen to reside right where it counts to ensure far Left Wing dominance in the Electoral College for the time being. If there is anything to give Conservatives and Moderates any hope it is this:
     
    {so, clearly, we have the Land to make a difference. We just need Conservatives to move to these open areas and start having babies like crazy! haha}
  2. Winning the current Electorate
    But seriously, in order to stop this march to Communism (we just confirmed a de facto Socialism with this election, so we are past that bench mark) Conservatism has to make inroads into the current electorate.
     
    There is a veritable cornucopia of hand-wringing and navel-gazing among pseudo-Conservatives concerning what the best ways of winning over the hearts and minds of more voters are. But I think the bottom line is that Conservatives have a choice. We can:
     
         * Acknowledge that, despite it being a nasty business, Identity Politics has clearly worked and start engaging in some of our own or
     
         * Learn how to communicate Conservative principles in ways that break through the grip of GroupThink that permeates Identity Politics.
     
    This concern about how to address Identity Politics is due to the demographic numbers we are seeing from the 2012 election exit polls. Put simply, African-American and Hispanic turnout seems to be pretty solidly entrenched at 13 and 10% of the electorate, respectively. This 23% of the total electorate voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. Caucasians made up 72% of the electorate and went for Romney in a less, but still substantial margin. Romney’s dominance of the caucasian vote is the reason why the total popular vote is so relatively close. But, the minority vote which went so heavily for Obama is concentrated in key areas that allowed Obama to carry key states by very small margins. And because these key states allocate their electoral votes in a winner-take-all fashion, Obama walked away with the Electoral Vote tally and so, re-election.
     
    Minorities did not vote for Obama because his policies have helped them. In fact, African-Americans are disproportionately worse off then they were before Obama took office. My take is that the Minority Voter went for Obama for one of two reasons:
     
         A) They truly believe that the Federal Government will provide for all their needs or
         B) They simply voted for the person whose skin color was closest to their own
     
    Both of these issues need to be addressed at the same time if Conservatives are to make any gains int the electorate. There are a number of fantastic Conservatives who happen to be of minority descent. People like Marco Rubio, Susannah Martinez, and Ted Cruz are political talents who may represent the best future for the Republican Party. In general (stereotype alert), Hispanic people are socially conservative and very family and community oriented. They are turned off by the strident individualistic flavor of Ayn Randian-influenced libertarianism. The GOP would be better off in the long run if it kept the more Objectivist influences to a minimum and instead revisited the Community and traditional institution celebrating Conservatism of Edmund  Burke, Russel Kirk, and especially Robert Nisbet. [ A note to the non-political… don’t feel bad if you have never heard those names. I am a self-professed political and Conservative junkie and I must sheepishly admit that prior to this year{!} I didn’t know of these guys. They are the founders of my personal political philosophy…and I had never heard of them. Shame on me. Just look them up… you won’t be disappointed!]
     
    The African-American community is a bit tougher to open up. For while it would not be difficult to satisfy option number two above (Allen West and Artur Davis come immediately to mind), the Democratic Party’s cynical ploy to make African-Americans dependent on Government (and therefore the Democrats) has really paid off over the last few decades. Now, if an African-American espouses politically Conservative ideas or [gasp!] decides to be a Republican, they are cursed by both white and black democrats alike. They are called all sorts of nasty racial slurs by white democrats and they are called ‘Uncle Tom’ by other black people. 
     
    It’s an uphill climb, and I do not really have any creative solutions at the moment, but my gut says that the Republican Party can once again break African-Americans out of the chains that the Democratic Party keeps them in.
     
    Lastly, we must tackle the problem of what to do with the Youth. Young voters are skewing heavily towards Obama’s brand of Socialism-lite. And this is not entirely their own fault. Their ignorance of how the real world works is one of their flaws… but their blind acceptance of Socialism is simply part of their upbringing. The Progressive’s gambit in Education paid off. Generation after generation of school age children have been indoctrinated into Progressive thought by our public school system. And that was the whole idea (see: John Dewey). Progressives targeted school children and took over our public education system. So now, we have students who can’t add, subtract, or spell… but they sure can sing creepy hymns about Obama! They also know that Republicans are evil. They don’t know why… and since they haven’t been taught how to use their own Reason and intellect, they don’t much care why.
     
    It may take time, or we may see more immediate results… but either way, Conservatives MUSTfind a way to counteract the Progressive indoctrination that envelops students and young people. It seems a silly approach, but Pop Culture is a starting point for getting through to young people. But more importantly, we have to fight for the hearts and minds of our young by getting into the classroom. History classes will give us the most bang for our buck. We must make sure that the textbooks our students are being forced to use do not slant to the Left. If they do, we need to make a stink… a big stink.
     
    And I normally am a bit cautious about using Alinsky’s tactics against the Left (the late, great Andrew Breitbart is who I would call the Father of Fighter Conservatism). But this is a case where I am comfortable turning the tables on the Progressives. It is no secret that we have many teachers who actively try to indoctrinate their students into Progressive thought and Worship of the State (as long as a Liberal is in charge). Unfortunately it’s not enough to have even more teachers who remain neutral in their presentations of history, current events, and social issues. There are too many teachers trying to pull students Leftward. I am advocating a Conservative counter-punch. We’ve got to work to reverse this current indoctrination by offering counter-programming in our public schools.
     
    None of that will matter, however, if we don’t start in our own homes. Engage your children on the issues of the day. Talk things through. Hear what they are being taught and offer them a path to understanding things differently. Most of all… teach them how to Think. They aren’t getting that in many schools right now.    
     
  3. The Extreme Right versus the Extreme Middle
    The long-expected duel is fast approaching. Tea Party Types and libertarian Republicans are going to point their finger at the entrenched Establishment and their Moderate co-horts and start screaming (while foaming at the mouth): “SEE, I TOLD YOU SO. IF WE KEEP NOMINATING SQUISHY MODERATES, WE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO LOSE”.
     
    Meanwhile, the pah-ty Mah-derates and Establishment types will start offering their oh-so-in-the-know tut-tut’s: “Well, you know, dear chaps, if it weren’t for you extremists, we could be enjoying the Cocktail party of the century, I daresay. Icky, silly fellows, the lot of you are”.
     
    And it’s not even that simple, because there are numerous other overlapping factional fights on the horizon. The social conservatives versus the non-religious libertarians. The isolationists versus the neo-conservative hawks. The hardline anti-illegal immigration folks versus the amnesty favoring crowd. The list goes one (and on and on and on).
     
    And during all this party in-fighting, the Democrats will laugh all the way to the White House.
     
    I would simply like to suggest, that there must be a middle ground between the “Extreme Tea Partiers” and the “Extreme Moderates” (and between all other fighting factions as well).
     
    A Big Tent will only get us so far if the Center cannot hold.
     
    The beauty of on having two major parties is that this normally forces each party to avoid fringe extremes in order to function. In multi-party systems like in Europe, you have a bunch of extreme, fringe, or one-issue mini-parties fighting for total control.
     
    The problem with the current Republican Party is not that it is run by right-wing extremists. The problem is also not that it is run by unprincipled, Establishment country clubbers.
     
    No, the problem is that both sides are so entrenched in their own brand of extremism that we are unable to function as a winning National Party. Before we can ‘work’ with the Democrats, we first have to learn how to work with ourselves!
     
    We need to ignore calls that we give up on social issues and move leftwards there. But we also need to seriously examine what we mean when we say we are the Party of Limited Government. A Federal Government that keeps it’s hands out of your back pocket should also be one that has no interest in what legally goes on in your personal life. If we want to survive as a governing coalition, we have to start being more consistent on the whole.
     
    Ignore calls for blanket amnesty for illegal aliens. But also ignore calls for anti-immigration stances and to “kick them all out!”. We have a serious problem with illegal immigrants in this country. But they are here… we have to deal with that reality and figure out the best way to get them to the place where they can become citizens. I almost hate to say it, but this means that some form of amnesty and absorption into U.S. civil society is required. That must be accompanied by making our legal immigration process more secure, less expensive, and far simpler all at the same time. No small task. And many other immigration and border issues must all be addressed at the same time we are figuring out the things I just mentioned. Bottom line, Conservatives need to stop thinking Comprehensive Immigration Reform is a dirty word… and at the same time, our party elites need to stop thinking that resistance to amnesty has anything to do with xenophobia or racism.
     
    And so many other issues must be tackled. But we have to find the common ground and the best, strongest middle position for all Republicans before we move forward and present our plans to the Nation and start fighting to get the Democrats and the Left to sign onto our thinking.
     
    The road ahead for the Republican Party is one that must avoid the compromise of ALL Conservative Principles… while at the same time must be open to recognizing the realities of our time and our divided electorate.  
     
  4. Final Thoughts
     
    Just my editorializing rambling to follow….
     
    It may very well be that this country is doomed. With our national economy on the verge of permanent collapse, our States may not be United in the near future. If that’s God’s will, then so be it. He has purpose in everything He allows to happen.
     
    Christians in this nation should take this possibility to heart and kneel before the Cross. Start truly living out the Gospel by making our every moment a living sacrifice for the glory of God. We absolutely MUST start taking care of others so much more than we have.
     
    But we cannot shrink away from Life and actively participating in our society while we are re-committing our lives to Him.
     
    We should prepare for the worst, but work for the best!
     
    It’s dangerous to meld your personal faith to any political system. Christians shouldn’t allow themselves to be beholden to any political party or political movement.
     
    But, let’s be honest here.
     
    The Republican Party and the Conservative Movement are the best tools we can use to make a positive change in this country. That’s why I am a little more hopeful today then i was yesterday. America may be on it’s way out, if that’s what God wills. But until this nation shatters, I am going to fight for it. The only way to fight for it is to live Christ-centered and others-focussed lives. And as we are doing that, we must engage the culture and we must engage our government.
     
    With all due respect the the Christian Left and to religious Democrats, the GOP and Conservatism are my chosen instruments to fight this civics war with.
     
     
     
      
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