A post-mortem on the presidential election
It’s been two weeks since the election and I am still shell-shocked. Alas, I bought into the hyperbole that Morris and other right-leaning pundits were spewing – namely, that Romney was going to win, if not convincingly then at least comfortably. In retrospect, that faulty prognosis was predicated on three premises: the massive 2008 turnout by Obama’s legions (blacks, Hispanics, single women, young voters) would not be repeated; America was fed up with Obama’s Keynesian economic policies that had resulted in the weakest economic recovery in 75 years; and conservatives and independents were so energized that their support would more than compensate for Obama’s legions. The first premise was certainly false. The second, even if true, discounted the fact that Obama’s legions didn’t care. And while there was some truth to the third, the groundswell was confined to a demographic that we now recognize is rapidly being eclipsed by its complement.
Prior to November 6, many – including yours truly – wrote that this was an election for the soul of America. The presumption was that the century-long leftward slide of American society had reached the stage at which another four years of Obama’s statist agenda would surely drive the country past the tipping point. By this it was meant that it would become literally impossible to restore America to its moorings as a constitutional republic based on individual liberty, traditional moral principles and free market capitalism. Those who subscribe to this thesis must now decide if it is truly valid.
There is much compelling evidence to support it. One piece is the aforementioned demographic. The groups who support Obama’s collectivist philosophy are growing percentagewise, while those who oppose it are shrinking. Another piece of evidence is the almost complete control that the Left exercises on the opinion-molding organs of American society. The media is the most glaring example; but the statists also control US education—both higher and lower, foundations, libraries, seminaries, museums and the like. Next, the length of time that the Left has been in control has enabled a shift in the political center of gravity of the nation so far to the left that radical leftists look mainstream and mainstream conservatives appear radical right.
But these political/philosophical reasons are complemented by sobering economic/social evidence:
- We lack the will to deal with our gargantuan national debt, which is certain to bring about a severe economic crisis.
- Our Ponzi scheme-style entitlement programs are on an unsustainable path to calamity – and again, we lack the will to repair them.
- Our military is in the process of a drastic drawdown – necessitated in part by the fiscal consequences of the last two bullets – and we are slowly (or perhaps not so slowly) losing the ability to project power, defend our allies or protect the homeland.
- Our nation is increasingly secular, which results in a culture of abortion on demand, pornography, same-sex marriage, a skyrocketing rate of illegitimacy and other manifestations of social decay.
I could go on, but you get the idea. And yet. And yet! Surely our beloved country was in even greater danger (although perhaps of different types) during the Revolution, at the time of the Civil War, while enduring the Great Depression, and when confronted by the monstrous 20th century evils of Nazism and Communism. At the height of these crises, there were those who predicted the demise of America. But it did not happen.
In short, my head tells me that America’s goose is cooked; but my heart refuses to accept that gloomy assessment. For sure, Obama will toss more statist bombs in our laps in the next four years: cap and trade again, maybe Card Check, an indeterminate number of ultra-left Supreme Court Justices, full implementation of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank and out of control regulatory agencies. But we survived eight years of Wilson, 20 years of Roosevelt-Truman, five years of Johnson and four years of Carter. Surely we can survive eight years of Obama. In fact, the doomsayers would assert that we did not actually survive all of Obama’s leftist predecessors. They set the table that Obama is running to radically alter the US into a Euro-style social welfare state, sans exceptionalism, sans freedom and sans prosperity.
So one must decide; does one follow one’s head or one’s heart? Based on that decision, what does one do? If the former, then the choices are clear. It seems to me that there are four: (i) enjoy the ride for however much longer it lasts and if it ends before you do, then try to adjust as best you can to the grim reality that awaits us; (ii) continue to fight, as hard as you can, knowing full well that it is a Don Quixote-like doomed struggle, but you would rather ‘die fighting than surrender’; (iii) emigrate; (iv) retreat to local enclaves (certain towns and rural communities, counties, even a few states) where it may be possible to preserve what is historically great about America, and maintain the enclaves until they are swamped or miraculously conjoined with others to carve out a new nation from the ashes to which the leftists are leading us.
If, on the other hand, the heart wins, then the struggle continues with a belief that victory is still possible. Perhaps Obama will screw it up so badly that substantial members of his contingents will have a change of heart. Perhaps as yet unforeseen trends or developments will reverse the demographic calamity previously identified. Perhaps there will occur a moral revival in America (as has happened in the past) that will sweep the leftists from power and restore the nation. Perhaps true conservatives will take over the Republican Party – exactly as hard core leftists have completely captured the Democratic Party – and with a clear vision lead America to resurgence. Perhaps conservatives will finally realize that culture trumps politics and conduct a successful guerilla campaign to recapture all those opinion-forming organs of society that the lefties now control. Perhaps!
So, dear reader, which organ has triumphed in your body – your head or your heart? As soon as I figure out the answer for myself, I will let you know.