By Alan Caruba
Like a lot of conservatives, I have been thinking about what went wrong in the recent election. All my assumptions were wrong and, sadly, even though I advocated for Mitt Romney early on, he turned out to be a disappointment as a candidate.
Remember, though, the other choices we were offered. Rick Santorum? Newt Gingrich? Michelle Bachmann? Herman Cain? Et cetera! The leadership of the RNC could be found hiding in the bathroom during the primaries.
I liked Romney because he had strong credentials in venture capitalism and had a record of success in the world of business. I thought, then and now, that’s what the nation needed to avoid financial failure. I dismissed his history of “flip-flopping” because, well, that’s what politicians do. Even so, he had a good record of bipartisan success with the Massachusetts legislature. He also had “Romneycare” and I didn’t like that at all.
In the end, I was wrong and—this may not make any sense at all—every time I saw Romney receive applause or end a speech he had this sappy smile on his face that seemed to say “What a good little boy I am.” It bothered me. Okay, he also had a broad smile, too. Jimmy Carter got elected with his and the voter reaction to Watergate. George W. Bush smiled all the time and I had the feeling he really liked being President. The best smile of all was Ronald Reagan’s. It came from the heart.
Reagan’s dead. Get over it. The 1980s were a long and very different time ago.
Over the years the values of the Republican Party pretty much matched my own. However, I began to wonder if both myself and fellow conservatives were going overboard on a number of issues This was confirmed by a Wall Street Journal commentary by Bret Stephens on November 12. He articulated a lot of doubts I have had for a long time regarding the issues to which I and other conservatives have long been wedded.
For example, you can’t just tell twelve million illegal Mexicans and other Hispanics to go home. You can’t tell the children of illegals to leave the nation into which they were born. Then there’s the practical problem of some 2,000 miles of a mutual border. Immigrants know and we should know they are happier here. Amnesty now seems an appropriate response. We need to help them transition them into red-white-and-blue Americans and, by most reports, they do share conservative values. They just don’t like the way Republicans have been talking about them for a long time.
Over the years I have been critical of the demands of just three percent of the population, the gay, lesbian and transgendered. I have always believed that what two people do in a bedroom together is their own business, not mine. That said, I have opposed the propagandistic efforts of this minority to insist on full acceptance of their sexual preference as “normal.” It is nowhere normal in nature. But if they want to get married, let them. We should heterosexuals be the only ones who have second thoughts after the wedding and honeymoon?
The Republican Party has, it would appear, turned off a lot of single women. The married ones seem to like it. As someone who has never understood women, I am the last person to comment on this, but I still don’t understand why I am expected to pay for their contraceptives.
The big divide—one that the Democrats and Obama capitalized upon—is between those without wealth and those with it. As Romney inelegantly noted in a closed door fund raiser, a lot of Americans don’t pay any taxes and a lot of Americans receive all manner of benefits from the government such as unemployment compensation and food stamps.
As for Social Security and Medicare, those of us who have paid into these two programs have every right to expect to receive a check or help paying insane medical bills. Both programs, however, are in need of reform to reflect the changing demographics of aging Americans.
There were so many woman and people of color on the convention platform of the Republican Party I still don’t understand why anyone thinks the party likes neither of these groups. Blacks, however, have been wedded to the Democratic Party despite the fact that history documents that it has always been Republicans that led the fight for the abolition of slavery and for enfranchisement.
The Democrats fought granting any real equality for a hundred years passed the end of the Civil War. Well, there have been laws on the books now since the 1960s and, while there are individual blacks who have climbed the ladder of success through education and hard work, there are far too many who haven’t. Their crime rates, school drop-out rates, and fatherless children are all indicators of serious problems within the black population.
Conservatives have been obsessed with abortion for, well, forever. Simply said it is the murder of a human life. Frankly, I can’t get around this one. It is immoral. I am reluctant, however, to demand that it be made illegal again. I think we have come too far from the days when it was. In the end, I come down on the side of the women that must make the decision. It’s their body, not mine. Their morals, not mine. According to a recent Rasmussen Reports survey, 54% percent of Americans now identify themselves as pro-choice.
To end or at least deter more voter fraud, I want everyone who wants to vote to show a valid ID. You have to do it for a lot of things of lesser importance, so let’s make it a federal law.
I expect to see the Middle East remain a volatile basket case and I expect Israel to blow the hell out of Iran’s nuclear facilities and military bases. That will be fun to watch. If Obama does nothing to help defend its only real ally in the Middle East a lot of people will notice. As for Muslims in America, it’s time to find a nice church to attend.
I want conservatives/Republicans to hang the present financial “fiscal cliff”, the taxes to follow, and Obamacare around Obama’s neck like a noose.
That’s what I want, but it’s not what I think will happen. I expect Republicans in Congress to cave and try to put a happy face on it.
A lot of people are going to be very unhappy with having their taxes go through the roof along with the unemployment numbers, The Obama war on energy and a lot of environmental claptrap being shoved down their throats is a big turnoff. Events, too, may make Americans realize how reductions in our military have put the nation at risk. A lot of others will feel creepy knowing that an Orwellian future of Big Brother is coming true.
Finally, there’s a midterm election coming in two years and, if it is anything like 2010, the Democrats will take a hell of a beating.
This is what happens when an election comes along and slaps you upside the head and makes you think about what you’re thinking about.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
We are observing the death throes of Keynesian economics. It will get worse, it will collapse, it might come back.
The education system has us believing and implementing the very worst parts of political correctness. Young people, many, anyway, do not believe in American exceptionalism. They are not being taught to think and ponder about life and reality - they are taught to regurgitate state mandated answers in state written exams. Facts and history are no longer taught in context and therefore have been put at naught. Mathematics have even been given a "societal context". Your 2 + 2 may not work out as does mine if you feel strongly about your answer in the context of your existence. Don't even speak of the money that has been spent in the implementation of this educational system!
Alan, I can't believe you're falling for this. Romney lost only by 400 000 votes in key states. Obama has split the country. Over 100 000 000 DIDN'T vote. That's the problem right there. Romney failed to fire the conservative base as he was too wishy-washy on conservative values. If he had come out and owned the message instead of playing catch-up he would have won. Too many conservatives didn't vote out of protest of what the GOP is pushing down their throats as candidates. It was Romney's 'turn' so he got the nod. I always said he comes across as plastic. He's a very nice guy, but nice doesn't win the race. He should have come out and produced his tax returns with a flourish and owned his wealth. He could have used his own personal journey as proof of the America Dream. Yet he ran far away, too ashamed to flash his wealth. All Obama had to do was smear him, to which he didn't retaliate. Your next candidate has to be what conservatives want - a true conservative. He needs to target what the GOP is - a white conservative party. Hispanics and blacks will NOT vote for the GOP, no matter how much more diverse they become. Single women voted for Obama because he's their Big Daddy Government - their pretend husbands. Married women voted for Romney because they have kids with a mortgage - it makes them more aware of what's happening in the real world. So stop thinking YOU need to change. The GOP needs to change and show clear policy differences between the parties. Their message will get through.
DITTO! DITTO! DITTO!
@ Lime: WE LOST. In a war, you have to change tactics and somehow, some way, the GOP has to do this too.
Alan - read this article to understand what I'm saying:
You have to understand how the Left works - they WANT you to feel as if you have to change. The answer is to not otherwise you may as well go back to being a Democrat.
@Lime. I do not want or intend to abandon my beliefs, but I do want to WIN the midterm elections in 2014.
My guess is that the economy by then will have spread around enough pain to for the GOP to capture the Senate and gain in the House.
Alan, I have kinda/sorta expected this post and am quite pleased to see it...
Indeed Romney DID lose, and it matters not if it was 4M, 4K or just 4, he lost...
And personally, I KNOW how the left works, I am very involved in politics, not just a casual observer, we lost and the GOP lost ME..
I could NEVER be a Dem, that is just not in the equation, but an Independent Conservative name plate suits me just fine!
My ex-wife said he reminded her of a used car salesman. Her and my kids voted for Obama,I for Romney.
O well...better luck next time.
I hate to say it - but I have to disagree with most what you say in this article - I say the GOP "Holds Fast!" to all its party planks and especially the idea of limited federal government.
Yes, the Republicans lost the last presidential election (perhaps as a result of massive Democrat election fraud) - but the issues you cite were not the reason(s) - the GOP lost because Romney refused to play Santa Claus like the socialist Obama.
Anyhow, there is absolutely no way the Republicans can win by adopting socialist Democrat positions.
There is no way to out Santa Claus Santa Claus.
I'm afraid we have to sit on the sidelines and wait until the economy collapses and anarchy rules the land before we can make a comeback...and this may not be long wait...
A basic problem is that too many people are told that the republicans are evil and too many people believe it. Republicans need to fight as dirty as the competition. McCain wanted to fight gentlemanly, and look what that got them. Romney tried to be a class act and same goes for him.
This nice guy garbage is not pulling in votes, and if anything, is shunning certain voters. I don’t know how to win the presidency, but I can say, that the last two approaches didn’t work well. I only know that the republicans need to make changes without giving up on the things that matter the most.
Now, if the conservative party was truly conservative on only the things that really mattered in running this country properly, and they still lost, then I would say “It’s Over” and the country can’t be saved. But I don’t believe we are not there yet.
Yes, we can let gays marry, we can let polygamists multiple marry and leave legalized murder of fetuses legal, too. You can argue that the marriage issue is about morality. We cannot dictate other's morality. In today's world, however, legal and moral are thought of as the same thing. That is why gays want to "marry" like everyone else--no civil unions, no letting the church decide, etc. They want to be considered normal and moral and being legal equals being these things to many people. Single women want freedom to be irresponsible if responsible means being the adult. Insurance pays for abortion and for contraception so women have no consequences to pregnancy like men have none. Women want to be as promiscuous as they consider men to be. If nature won't let them, science and insurance payments will.
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