Yesterday American voters selected as President the evil they knew over the evil (as defined by Team Obama) they did not. The presidential coattails protected many unworthy Democrat candidates and led to the defeat of many good Republican ones.
Below are a few rapidly scribbled reflections on this disaster.
Our big takeaway is that the Democrats peddled an electorally successful mythology; the Republicans had nothing comparable to offer. A mythology can be a useful fiction in the Platonic sense or the Big Lie. Either one can work in the context of a disengaged, disparate, and disinterested electorate. The current Republican mythology is very general and high minded, dealing with the economy and patriotism. The Democrat one veers towards the Big Lie, but hits the targeted interest groups effectively, albeit often symbolically.
Laura Ingraham is right: we need to dump the current Republican establishment, the successors of the country-club Republicans of a few decades ago. Working from the tea-party base spurned by the establishment seems like the right approach. The Republican establishment has given us a succession of moderate, non-conservative candidates, starting in 1988. We have recently been given increasingly weaker and defective candidates, like Bob Dole, McCain the unpredictable flake, and Romney the cautious technocrat. None of these were able to communicate and inspire like President Reagan. They are what we used to call Me-Too Republicans, Democrats light, with a watered down message often indistinguishable from the real thing. We need to start over and take many pages from the Democrats’ playbook.
What are the obstacles? First we have an internal split among cultural conservatives, socially liberal economic conservatives, and libertarians. If the elections had been closer we would be blaming the Libertarians for electing Obama as Ross Perot did Clinton. These rifts can be healed, but since it will take time it needs to be the first order of business. Perhaps changing the drug war to include only hard drugs – something we would swallow hard and accept – would be a good place to start. This should be our watchword: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Second we need an answer to the horrendous press bias. The Sixty Minutes tape proving Obama lied in the debate about Benghazi as a terrorist attack was held back by CBS News until just before the election. The Los Angeles Times has still not released its tape of Obama’s remarks at a dinner honoring PLO apologist Rashid Khalidi. Can we not dream what might have happen if the top Republican donors were to buy a news organization and its syndicated outlets? The news it reported could and should be objective. But reporting on the stories spiked by the mainstream media and keeping after issues, not accepting obvious distortions and lies, would do a world of good. Reporting on the depredations of the media would make for excellent stories, as we have seen from the blogosphere. This needs to be done nationally and on television.
Let’s carry our dream further. The Democrats have many mouthpieces to spread their mythology about Big Business, Big Oil, Big Moneyed interests, Bib Bigot (you, me, and Christians) – all of whom want to harm you, the Little Guy. It’s greed on the dark side and altruism on the side of the angels. How different the climate would be if there were a national outlet reporting on Big Media, Big Labor, Big Education Establishment, and not just Big Government. Would this not restore the proper context in which to debate the better public policy for the Little Guy, me, and my family?
An effective mythology in place would enable creating a ground game equal and then superior to the Democrats’. Without it many voters would only see real, red-blooded Democrats versus Democrats light.
Finally we could not help noticing the energy and passion of the Democrats. This is an appealing trait, missing from the more business-like Republicans, with some exceptions like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. (Hint, hint about where the Republican party needs to turn.) This reminds us of the demonic vehemence and passion of many Communists in the earlier part of the last century, many of whom, like the Rosenbergs, chose death if it would advance the interests of the party. After the Hitler-Stalin pact of 1939 and the joint invasion of Poland, the party line was how great Hitler was. After he invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the party line was that Nazi fascism was evil incarnate and Communism the answer for the Little Guy. The Communists, like their successors, the radical Democrats, have no problem adjusting what they say to changed events or new talking points. Their stooges religiously echoed the party line of the moment throughout the world, including the U.S.
It helps to know one’s enemy. The Democrat establishment, promising to change America fundamentally, may be portrayed in concession statements as our friendly rivals in the game of politics. But the stakes are such that we must accept that this worldview is the enemy of American civilization. Having understood the stakes, we must demand that our party leadership adopt a seriousness of purpose equal to the threat faced.