That's perhaps the best word that I can use to describe how yesterday's election left me. Not angered or bitter - just utterly and completely dumbfounded.
Looking at the conditions prior to yesterday's vote - I worked off of the belief that the majority of people would be rational - they would use their own common sense and analysis to look beyond the ideological and emotional aspects of the issues to make their determination. I looked at 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2010 - thinking that 2008 was the outlier - not expecting 2010 to be the outlier. But in many ways, that is, at this time, the outlier election.
Yesterday was not a good day for Republicans, Conservatives, or, in my opinion, the nation. We could have witnessed the death of not only the Reagan Revolution - but the death of the concept of American exceptionalism and traditional American values. Here's how Bill O'Reilly noted it -
“It’s not a traditional America anymore. People want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. He knows it and he ran on it. Whereby twenty years ago President Obama would be roundly defeated by an establishment candidate like Mitt Romney. The white establishment is now the minority. The voters, many of them, feel like the economic system is stacked against them. And they want stuff. You’re going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel they are entitled to things. And which candidate between the two is going to give them things?“It's hard to run against Santa Claus - particularly when Santa Claus is there promising that every day will be Christmas. People look at 'social justice' and see 'fairness' - and expect that they will be on the getting side far more than they will on the giving side. Half our country, according to the popular vote, is fully embracing progressivism and all that it stands for.
They are doing this even as we can look across the 'pond' to Europe - and see the economic implosion that progressivism brings. They have no concept around the implosion or failure. There is always a bailout to lessen the pain, to lessen the affects of that implosion. If you are GM or Chrysler and mortgage your future to appease the auto unions - to the point that your firm is no longer viable - no worries, the government will step in to bail you out. If you are an investment bank and have your greed and avarice win out over good business practices and decisions - no worries, the government will step in to bail you out. If you are Greece, or Spain, or soon to be Italy and France, and become insolvent because of reckless spending, vapid fiscal policies, and a population that thinks the can can be kicked down the road forever - no worries, the population is right and some other nation will bail you out.
Who will bail us out?
Half our population accepts that wealth and income redistribution is the right thing to do. After all it's only 'fair' that those who risk and produce should provide for those who don't / can't risk or produce. [Let's not consider what happens next in human nature when those who risk and produce begin to realize that it's a lot easier to become a taker than to remain a maker.] This same half of the population is so self-centered and obsessed with trivia - that they are willing to let the nanny state take care of them, to pick winners and losers, and control the markets under the false promises of 'fairness' and 'social justice'. The government has a lot of 'wealthy' to tax - plenty of checks in the checkbook - and the ability to just print more money [QE] when they need to. Why worry about the details when we have 'fairness', 'social justice', and free contraceptives to hand out. Nothing imploded when we added $6 trillion in debt in 4 years - or didn't even pass a budget - we still managed to spend more than $1 trillion more than we took in each year.
That is just one aspect of the lessons from yesterday.
Another aspect is that the sophistry and propaganda from the mainstream media who want to fundamentally change this country into a 'heaven on earth' unfortunately works far too well. As does the practice of demonization, small and negative campaigning. This created a 'perfect storm' of messages which the self-centered, narcissistic, and those who think they are entitled to 'stuff' - lapped up. They never considered the ramifications - just the short term 'high' around being promised and getting stuff and things apparently for 'nothing' from the government.
So, they voted to keep things as they are - with the appearances of a check and balances government. But even this is a mirage. The message isn't really so much coming from the 120 million + who voted, but the 13 million (10 million fewer for Barack Obama and 3 million fewer for the GOP candidate) who voted in 2008 and didn't see the need or importance to vote yesterday. These 13 million - and more who did not participate in the election - effectively voted present. Despite all signs to the contrary since 2010 - the GOP turnout in 2012 was effectively the same as it was in 2008.
Too many didn't care.
They didn't care that the President didn't have a record to run on - they bought the propaganda tossed at them by the mainstream media that 42 months of a stagnant economy was because of Bush - and Romney was just another Bush.
The saddest part about this is that we, conservatives and believers in the traditional American values that made this country the wealth and powerhouse that it is, are clearly outnumbered by those who want stuff and believe they are entitled to things - and that the role of government is to give them stuff and things. We are the ones who have turnout in every election in order too offset being outnumbered.
I'm afraid that we've crossed the Rubicon in terms of the direction of this country. Every day forward, it's going to be harder and harder to put the toothpaste back into the tube. Complacency and avarice are going to be difficult to overcome - because for the most part, we as a people no longer are willing to do something right if it is hard or painful to do. We're going to take the easy path....and that is path we've crossed to Rubicon to get on.
The progressive left for a long time styled themselves the guerrilla fighting the establishment. Now they are the establishment - and we conservatives have to be the guerrillas.
I fear that too many Republicans or Conservatives are going to blame the Romney / Ryan ticket for the loss - pointing fingers at this or that tactical 'mistake' as being what cost the election. I also fear the effects of the message of having to sell out conservative principles in order to attract more minority support - as if a progressive lite party will either a) be able to defeat progressive heavy or b) not sell out traditional American values. Being more of what we oppose doesn't produce victories. But we need to move forward with our eyes fully opened at the scope of our opposition - and the power of the media pulpit they hold and use so effectively.
We need to fight each step further to the left - while focusing on getting our message out via the new media that it are our values that offer real 'fairness' and real 'justice'. We also need to fight to ensure that we get our base out. That's why yesterday was such a bad day - we didn't turnout in the numbers needed in those critical battlegrounds - and we didn't get enough of the middle to embrace our agenda of traditional American values as opposed to 'free' things and stuff. Perhaps at some point common sense and reality will return when they realize that it can't be Christmas every day, and the things and stuff we're being promised aren't really free.
The alternative is to surrender - and give in even though we know full well what the outcome will be.
We cannot do that. 57 million Americans voted yesterday to not surrender - and if we boosted the turnout by just 10%, from 32% to 35% - today could be a very different day.