It's Not the Economy, Stupid!

Everyone’s writing about the results of yesterday’s election so I figured I might as well join in. There are a lot of disappointed conservatives, myself included.

But my disappointment isn’t really what I want to talk about. Last night as I was watching the results roll in, I kept thinking to myself, this isn’t happening. I was one of those conservatives that had such high hopes yesterday afternoon and by the time Ohio was called for Obama… It was like watching the World Series all over again when the Tigers were swept by the Giants. This wasn’t supposed to happen! I don’t want to take anything away from the Giants. The Tigers were the favorite, but the Giants simply outplayed them; they earned the right to be called Champions, and Obama earned the right to called President.

But…

What happened!?

It’s the economy, stupid! Well, apparently it wasn’t. Think about this: high unemployment rates, gas prices double what they were when he took office, higher energy bills to heat and cool your home, record numbers of people on food stamps, deficits that are simply staggering with no signs of slowing, entitlement programs headed towards bankruptcy, and, well. You get the picture. Yet, he was reelected. It obviously wasn’t the economy.

I found myself earlier today looking for someone to blame, and the leading candidate was Mitt Romney, although, Chris Christie was rather high on the list. I’ll confess. Mitt wasn’t my first pick, but I backed him whole-heartedly. Not because I’m a Republican, but I’m a staunch anti-liberal. Mitt got my vote and support. Today, I thought, he spent too much time on the economy. He was a one issue candidate. Yes, he talked about other issues, but they were side issues and he didn’t always make it clear WHY he thought the way he did.

But, the more I thought about it, I felt bad for putting the blame squarely on his shoulders.

Being the political, yet not always outspoken, junkie that I am, I read a few articles today. Here are a few lines that caught my attention:

“The majority of people did not cast votes based on good information, careful analysis, selflessness, or patriotism. Instead, they made their priorities skin color, class hatred, greed, and vaginal maintenance.” ~Stilton Jarlsberg

“Mitt Romney won the primaries because he was electable. But, as it turned out, he really wasn’t electable after all.” ~Daniel Greenfield

“why would the electorate tolerate such partisan bias from the news media, let alone allow it to influence their votes?” ~Timothy C. Daughtry

“First, as Pat Caddell so rightly and passionately stated, the mainstream media has become an enemy of the people.

“Second, the education of our children has become a shameful exercise in smoke and mirrors. Instead of being taught to be critical thinkers and discerning consumers of information, they are being brainwashed. Educational institutions have become settings where propaganda flourishes.

“Third, political correctness, multiculturalism, class warfare, and victimhood have taken hold in the minds of far too many Americans (thanks in no small part to the first two points above).

“Fourth, the ever-rising number of Americans dependent on the government ensures power to those who create and sustain that dependency.”

[Fifth:] “Perhaps most serious of all is the breakdown of the moral fabric of our society. Fewer and fewer Americans appear to have a moral compass. Fewer and fewer are able to think critically for themselves, unable to distinguish fact from fiction.” ~Carol Brown

And then there are these:

“Obama received a near unanimous vote from African-Americans and a substantial majority of Hispanics as well as people under 30 (especially women).” ~Aaron Goldstein

“The key reason for my bum prediction is that I mistakenly believed that the 2008 surge in black, Latino, and young voter turnout would recede in 2012 to “normal” levels. Didn’t happen. These high levels of minority and young voter participation are here to stay. And, with them, a permanent reshaping of our nation’s politics.” ~Dick Morris

“I don’t hold President Obama completely responsible for his unconstitutional actions. It’s the American people who are to blame, for it is we who have lost our morality and our love, knowledge and respect for our Constitution, laying the foundation for Washington tyranny.” ~Walter Williams

And finally (for the moment):

“We always come back because our principles are better suited to human dignity and human happiness than the other side’s.” ~Ben Stein

I repeat: the more I thought about it, I felt bad for putting the blame squarely on his shoulders. He doesn’t deserve it. I’ve followed the news leading up to the election and I fell for it, too. Economy, economy, economy! But people didn’t vote because of the economy! Based on the economic performance under President Obama’s first term, there is no way the economy was the leading issue. Unless, the Left’s understanding of economy is completely different than the view on the right.

Well, that’s probably true to some extant, but… What the hell happened?

Okay. Another article:

“What won last night was marketing.” ~RB

A list of questions I started compiling:

  • Why are Republicans painted (successfully) as anti-women?

  • Why are Republicans painted (successfully) as racist?

  • Why are Republicans painted (successfully) as anti-middle-class?

  • Why are Republicans painted (successfully) as pro-rich/anti-poor?

  • Why are Republicans painted (successfully) as pro-God/anti-science?

  • Why are Republicans painted (successfully) as extremists?

  • Why are Republicans painted (successfully) as causing gridlock in Congress?

Of course, none of these paintings are accurate, but the left believes they are! Is it really the MSM that has caused this? Well, they certainly play their role, but I’m going to say that it’s conservatives that have caused this. Just as I’m not going to blame Mitt Romney, I’m not going to blame the MSM. About the same time I started compiling this list, I read RB’s article. While, I didn’t have a reason for why this was painting is so successful, RB did. It comes down to marketing. Quite frankly, we, conservatives, have done a crappy job of marketing our world view and that of the Founding Fathers.

How have conservatives caused this? Well, I hate to point fingers, but… just to name a couple: Mourdock, Bachmann, Akin. I don’t necessarily find Mourdock’s and Bachmann’s beliefs troublesome, but their approach certainly leaves a lot to be desired. Akin? I have no idea what to say here. His comments were downright stupid; there is no way they could be twisted to sound dumber than what they were. I don’t want to dwell on Akin, but Akin became the face of the Republican/Conservative/Tea Party movement for many liberals. The liberals didn’t need to market that one. Akin single-handedly marketed the conservative movement as anti-woman/pro-God/anti-science all in the matter of what? Ten seconds?

Okay, I feel bad for using Akin to make my point. It’s never my intention to attack people; only ideas. But sometimes when people say things…

So. I guess this is more of a rant, because I really don’t have any solutions to offer. I’m only bring my perspective to the table. I know. We’ve been bombarded with perspectives today.

What’s that? You want more perspective? How about this: “black, Latino, and young voter turnout are here to stay.” This bothers me. Why? Because this shouldn’t say black, Latino, and young voter. It should simply say, “Americans.” Do they really want something different than conservatives? Do they not care about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness? Do they not care about fiscal responsibility? Do they not care about a booming economy where work is easy to find? I can’t believe that none of them find these things important.

What about abortion? Marriage “equality?” Do they not find morals important? Do they not find social morals, well, moral?

There are too many whites, blacks, Latinos, young voters, women, in this country and not enough Americans… Americans who want a moral country… Americans who want a strong country.

There is nothing wrong with American Exceptionalism. If you don’t believe that, than you shouldn’t be rooting for your favorite sports team. I’m a Tigers fan, and I’m disappointed that they got beat in the World Series. They got beat because they didn’t do their best. I don’t want the United States to get beat because it’s not at the top of its game. There’s something to be said about trying to be exceptional. It takes teamwork and a team leader that believe in the team, and lets the team members do their part.

I don’t know how we’re going to get the word out, but we need to get it done. We need to take the Senate in two years. We’re only going to that with marketing. But the marketing needs to be honest. We can’t be snake oil salesman. We need to sell the truth. We need to build this team. We need those “voting blocks” to join the American team. The American Dream. We’re not going to restore American without them.

We need those questions not just answered, but we need a solution. This needs to be a team effort. And we need those voting blocks. Not because they’re a different voting block, but because they’re Americans just like us.

J. Alan Doak

J. Alan Doak is a blogger, reader, writer, news junkie, and student of the Bible. He is married and has three grown children. He holds a bachelor's degree in Pastoral Studies, and has blogged sporadically at this website, Reflection on Plumb, over several years.

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