Did Romney lose because he ran a poor campaign (being moderate and nice rather than conservative and confrontational, not getting out enough of the Republican vote, etc.)? That seems to be the consensus view on Talk Radio. Did he lose because he was an unappealing candidate (old, white, rich, Mormon, etc.) who could not have won, even with a better campaign? Did he lose because he only got 5% of the black vote and 30% of the Latino vote, and so it did not matter that he got huge majorities among people other than blacks and Latinos? Could Romney have won had he offered blacks and Latinos what they appear to have wanted – basically, amnesty for illegal aliens and bigger hand-outs of all kinds? What if he had pandered on the so-called “women’s issues” or “social issues” such as abortion, birth control, and gay marriage? To me, this kind of inside-baseball stuff misses the bigger picture.
Here is my theory: he lost, as any other Republican would have lost (certainly, any of the others who ran in the primaries), because he had a losing hand – he represents an approach to economics and government that is too complicated to be understood by people whose patience or education is limited, and that can only be “sold” by a candidate with enough talent and personality (e.g., Reagan) to overcome the seemingly impenetrable defenses created by the Left’s virtual monopoly of the communications and entertainment media and the academic world. Indeed, given that hand, not even Reagan could have beaten Obama. I mean, let’s give Romney some credit – there is a near-consensus on the notion that, had it not been for Hurricane Sandy and Gov. Christie’s behavior, Romney could have ridden his momentum to victory. The man ran a dignified, smart campaign that, even when aggressive (what the Democrats called “lying”), always went after the issue rather than the man, and that came within an Act of God of defeating a perfect storm of demographics, national guilt over opposing a black man, and a media blackout of Benghazi and anything else that might have helped the Romney campaign.
So, will there ever again be any way for a Republican to have a winning hand, given demographic trends? Can anything halt Obama’s “transformation” of America into a centrally-planned utopia? Likely answer: “No,” but with one exception. At some point, if (as Conservatives expect) the economy continues to idle or deteriorate, things may get to be so bad that even blacks, Latinos, gays, and single women will come to recognize that neo-Marxism is a failed theory, one that does not make us all equal but merely serves to make most of us equally poor. If enough companies terminate their employee healthcare plans, or lay-off enough employees, Obama’s base may finally start to come to grips with economic reality. When it comes to international affairs, even the media/entertainment/ academy axis may be unable to stomach the spectacle of Obama shooting hoops with Jay Z while Israel is being destroyed by Iran because of America’s failure to come to Israel’s defense.
Maybe the country will not have had enough until the 2016 elections, but it is conceivable that things might get so bad in the economy and internationally, long before 2016, that the country would decide not only to turn the Senate over to the Republicans at mid-term but even to dump the President, in which event Obama’s failure to attempt to rescue our ambassador in Benghazi might be seen as sufficient legal cause for impeachment.
I respectfully dissent. Unseating any sitting president is admittedly difficult but can be done and has been done. To do so, however, it is essential that all segments of the voting public are courted and respected. The core values of the Republican party are opportunity, economic freedom, limited government, and self determination. Abortion and immigration don’t make this core value list for good reason.
I don’t believe that Romney was a flawed candidate but I do believe that he made three serious, avoidable mistakes before the election. First, he failed to stop the platform committee of the Republican Party from putting the abortion issue front and center. While roughly equal numbers agree and disagree on this issue, any party running on a limited government platform has an inherent problem when it backs government intervention on behalf of those who hold a theologically based belief – one that holds human life begins at conception and that abortion is murder.
Second, he highlighted the abortion issue which first surfaced when the party platform was crafted by failing to strongly condemn wrong headed comments by candidates for the U.S. Senate running in Missouri and Indiana. There may be disagreement on when human life begins but when a party candidate for a U.S. Senate asserts either that there are types of rape distinctions, i.e, legitimate vs. illegitimate, and that during a legitimate rape a woman’s body has ways of shutting down and avoiding conception, or, equally stupidly, that conception during a rape is evidence of God’s will, it is incumbent on the party leader to identify, call out, and condemn in no uncertain terms such goofy utterances. By election day, too many female citizens cast their ballot and made a choice which was not informed by the core Republican values.
Finally, Governor Romney failed to grasp that the Hispanic work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit makes the Hispanic population here in the U.S. a natural ally of the Republican Party. Suggesting that roughly 12 million Americans self-deport, without consideration of what this would do to a wide swath of families, mainly Hispanic, suggested to the Hispanic population that Governor Romney was either clueless or the least compassionate candidate for president any party ever nominated.
In elections, it is essential that all segments are equally courted. That’s how majorities are put together. The aim of elections is not ideological purity but victory. While Governor Romney didn’t run a bad race, he wittingly or unwittingly sent unpalatable message to women and Hispanics. We know from Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush that doses of common sense and compassion help make a majority.
I fear that the Grand Old Party must take a new tact. Republicans formerly pitched a big tent which welcomed one and all. This time, it shrunk the tent and lost a winnable election.