OVERCOMING OBAMA’S NEW NORMAL
Going into election day a Romney win appeared imminent. The experts augured a certain victory for Mr. Romney. George Will predicted 321 electoral votes for the Governor, Dick Morris boldly projected 325 and Karl Rove modestly assured 279 electoral votes for a Romney presidency. President Obama had a four year record that was, from any dispassionate perspective, abysmal, if not criminal in nature.
A Romney victory foretold the Republic’s salvation from President Obama’s oppressive and dangerous regime. This is a president who enacted fiscal policies that reduced America’s credit standing and engendered unemployment, deficits and public debt of record proportions. He was on a quixotic mission to punish productive Americans with greater taxes while cultivating a plantation like dependent state for those suffering under his punitive policies. Mr. Obama has the dubious distinction for being the first president to enlist Marxist class warfare rhetoric by expounding on the evils of America’s free market system. He conducted a shadow unconstitutional government of unelected czars immune to congressional approval after campaigning on a guarantee to have the most transparent presidency in history.
President Obama’s first term was devoid of statesmanship. Instead of demonstrating strong, mature leadership, he displayed petty, childish divisiveness. He blamed his predecessor for his own failures and engaged in inflammatory oratory that pit American against American. The President affronted the Constitution through his obsession for centralizing presidential powers, resulting in massive regulations that stifled business expansion and economic growth. His landmark achievement ObamaCare, although held to be constitutional by the Supreme Court as an enormous tax, is a centralized governmental overreach to control one-sixth of the American economy that will cost $1.7 trillion over the next decade. Additionally, President Obama tramples on the First Amendment rights of the Catholic Church by requiring the Church to comport with anti-life activities of ObamaCare.
Some of President Obama’s most egregious offenses were on the international front. He dishonored America by his disingenuous remarks on his “Apologize for America” tours, and neglected his sworn duty under the Constitution as Commander-In-Chief by refusing to fashion a cogent policy on terrorism. The domino effect resulted in terrorist attacks on American embassies across the Middle East, a dictatorial regime in former ally Egypt, the deaths of four Americans at the American consulate in Libya, and cleared a path for an Iranian nuclear enrichment program putting America’s only Middle East ally, Israel, in harms way.
Many of the President’s 2008 supporters were furious for being enticed by his “hopey-changey” sloganizing. In hindsight they felt duped and their support for him made them feel as though they bought that celebrated bridge in Brooklyn. Their anger was palatable and they would right their wrong by sending him packing from the White House. The burning question that consumed many 2008 Obama voters was whether the President’s dismal record reflected a purposeful effort to denounce America’s Constitution, it’s heritage and reduce its world standing out of pure disdain due to his Marxist upbringing, or was it simply due to sheer incompetence? Neither reason was cause for consolation.
Who would vote to re-elect a President who was only transparent in his capacity for deception and incompetence? Putting aside the suspicion of massive voter fraud, to begin to answer that question it is safe to assume that the President secured his base. I’m referring to the usual suspects who cling to the progressive/socialist democratic agenda every election cycle and cast a democrat vote solely to support some personal mania. They are legion and include the phony celebrity crowd, union thugs, environmental and feminist zealots, the secularist atheists and agnostics infamous for booing God at the DNC convention, abortion enablers, race baiters, anti-gun fanatics, and, of course, the democratic party’s mainstay, the anti-American manic-depressives. His base also includes the “reflexive” democrats. This tragic lot mindlessly votes democrat simply because some influential figure in their life, a parent, teacher, or their butcher, directed them accordingly. This community of misfits is the perennial heart and soul of the democratic base. They are a veritable Neverland of hypocritical pretense, odious self-centeredness and willful ignorance, and fortunately for the Republic this collective operates on the periphery of the American electorate.
Apart from the progressive/socialist extremists wing of the Obama voting bloc it’s important to mine what was the primary issue that was the tipping point for Obama voters. The Third Way performed a study of 800 Obama voters that included democrats, republicans, and independents, and the results showed that an overwhelming number of Obama voters favored increasing taxes on the wealthy and increasing government spending, intervention on “income inequality” issues and government welfare programs. The GOP experts in their search to identify the primary reason for what many believe to be Mr. Obama’s upset victory agree with this evaluation. Former Vermont Governor and ubiquitous GOP advance man John Sununu (R) chalked up the President’s victory to a growing base that’s now “dependent, to a great extent economically, on government policy and government programs.” Linda Chavez, Chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity, pointed out that individuals and families living well above poverty levels now qualify for numerous government assistance programs. Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute attributes the Obama victory to the growing wave of Hispanic voters who voted for the President by a margin of 75 percent due to the President’s dependent state polices. MacDonald states that, “It is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation.”
But there is cause for solace for the GOP. Despite The Third Way’s results showing that the President’s non-base voters support a social democratic welfare state, his voter turnout dropped appreciably from 2008. The president’s dreadful record caused many who voted for him in 2008 to suffer from what could only be described as voter remorse, and the 2012 voter results reflected that sentiment. The Bipartisan Policy Center reports that despite an increase of eight million eligible voters in 2012 voter turnout dipped from 62.3 percent of eligible citizens voting in 2008 to 57.5 percent in 2012. This reduction in turnout was mostly in the democrat camp where the democrats had 4.2 percent less turnout in 2012 than in 2008 compared to the GOPs dip of only 1.2 percent. The Pew Research Center’s long view shows that Mr. Obama received less of the popular vote in 2012 than 2008 and was flat or down from 2008 in virtually every age group. Obama is the first president in U.S. history to win re-election despite (a) winning fewer electoral votes, (b) a diminished popular vote total, and (c) a lower aggregate vote nationwide. Guy Benson reported that, at the end of the day, only 406,348 swing state votes separated Obama and Romney, and if Romney would have garnered those votes in the swing states in the right proportions he would have had 275 electoral votes. Additionally, the 2012 election resulted in conservatives retaining control of the House of Representatives, 30 Governorships and in 24 states Republicans control both the Governorships and the legislatures. Therefore conservatives indeed are certainly not relegated to the wilderness of the American polity.
Notwithstanding the President’s atrocious record and his reduced support in 2012 he seduced a particular faction of America to embrace his vision of a new normal of high unemployment as a means to foster widespread government dependency. Thus his obsession to inhibit America’s free-enterprise system is the method to his maddening mission. President Obama’s policies of dependencies caused America’s welfare state to increase 19 percent under his administration. According to the Heritage Foundation’s Senior Research Fellow Robert Rector there are 79 means-tested federal welfare programs, at a cost approaching $1 trillion annually. In his report, Rector said the increase in federal means-tested welfare spending during Obama’s first two years in office was two-and-a-half times greater than any previous increase in federal welfare spending in U.S. history, after adjusting for inflation. President Obama’s lure of dependency infects those who take the bait with lethargy and despair, ultimately requiring them to repay the price of inducement in the form of higher taxes and depressed communities. Mr. Obama’s “handout hell” brings to mind the sagacious quote, “The American Republic will endure until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money”.
The President’s ideological vision for a socialist welfare state is a mandate for mediocrity not excellence, and a program to punish success and enable failure. Russell Kirk said, “…to seek for utopia is to end in disaster”. America has bore the brunt of the Obama “hope and change” utopian vision and must now endure four more years of polices that foster decline, fear, and discord. The President will undoubtedly continue his mission into his second term to ignore the Declaration’s First Principles, circumvent the canons of the Constitution, and exert his energy to sully the principles of conservatism that forms the basis these founding documents.
But in the face of such malaise there is promise. The 2012 Obama turnout was markedly reduced and the fundamentals of his socialistic welfare state are baseless and its results have been in free-fall failure since his 2009 inauguration. If, under the Obama mandate, America’s stagnant GDP, which is now less than it’s debt, a loss of American credit worthiness and consistent high unemployment and profligate spending is not sufficient evidence, one must only look to other nations to see the dire effects of a socialist state. The mainstream media can run protective cover for the Obamas regimes rage against America for so long. The public’s conscious awareness of the calamitous ramifications of his socialist policies are at critical mass and his reduced voter turnout, albeit sufficient for victory, is evidence of that realization.
The solution for America’s Obama woes is not more doses of failed socialist ideologies, but a rekindling of the conservative sentiment that enlivens the spirit of American greatness. The principles of conservatism are the foundation for America’s cause of order, freedom and justice. America’s cause provides the unfettered opportunity to reap the practical and moral rewards of our concerted efforts, recognize natural law, and exercise our natural rights.
America was ordained to unleash in humankind the “moral imagination”, the imagination that inspires one to lead a virtuous life. The moral imagination was described by conservative philosopher Russell Kirk as aspiring to the “apprehending of right order in the soul and right order in the commonwealth”, and that the moral imagination “informs us concerning the dignity of human nature, which instructs us that we are more than naked apes”.
Russell Kirk also referred to those “permanent things” that animate a fulfilling life as, “…things in society: the health of the family, inherited political institutions that insure a measure of order and justice and freedom, a life of diversity and independence, a life marked by widespread possession of private property. These permanent things guarantee against arbitrary interference by the state. These are all aspects of conservative thought.” John Attarian aptly describes the permanent things as “… norms of courage, duty, justice, integrity, charity, and so on – (that) owe their existence, and authority, to a higher power than social good”. American conservatism inhabits these ideals inherent in the moral imagination and the permanent things. These ideals are central to conservatism and foster a society that preserves freedoms and inspires the best in our nature, and they take their cues from the Judeo-Christian traditions that form the underpinnings of America’s system of justice.
Conservative values and principles forged the American idea, but progressive/socialist’s have been successful in shaping the conservative narrative. The progressive/socialist’s capacity to fashion destructive public policy is matched only by their talent for canards when defining conservatism in the public square. This is where the conservative’s natural inclination toward restraint, decorum and an assumptive attitude for public acceptance of time honored and successful conservative principles has been turned against them by the intimidating prevarications of the progressive/socialist mob mentality. In order to distract the public from the horrendous results of their policies the progressive/socialist must depict the conservative through a smudged lens of lies and deceits.
In an era of Obama-driven socialist policies destined to damage America but lauded by a liberal educational establishment and its negative ramifications shielded by over 80 percent of the American media, the conservative can no longer assume the public will, as a matter of course, recognize the inherent benefits of the conservative course for America. Conservatives must endeavor to be aggressively proactive with their message and principles.
Solutions have been aplenty for conservatives to take back the presidency to counteract the progressive/socialist assault on conservative America, and the central theme is coalition building. Erick Erickson of RedState proposes that conservative must focus on preserving the conservative brand. Erickson believes that the movement must extricate itself from conservative organizations that are more fixated on the GOP leaders in their groups and not the conservative movement. The focus needs to be on the conservative cache of ideas, not the leaders. Erickson says, “Conservatives need to take their brand back from the GOP and disentangle themselves from the ego driven side of conservative institutions that make it about the leaders of the organizations and not the ideas these claim they’re promoting once they get back off their next donor funded book tour selling books to other donors”. Along with applying state of the art political technology Erickson suggests that conservative grassroots coalition building is imperative. Resolute conservative groups such as Heritage’s Action for America and Club for Growth should be leveraged to build coalitions and grassroots support.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich presented a 25 point report to the RNC that outlines a host of viable propositions, amongst them are campaigns built around “coalitions, long term party building and team efforts versus consultant-based campaigns”. One of the former Speaker’s tactical suggestions is for conservatives to become fully acquainted with the democrat’s strategies by “…build(ing) a library of must reads” that are the blueprints for the democrat’s strategic approach to campaigning. I suggest that number one on that reading list should be “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinsky. Alinsky’s tome is the bible for the democratic party’s electioneering efforts, and Barack Obama has the dubious distinction of teaching its tenants while he worked for the criminal, and now defunct, ACORN organizing group.
Conservatives must realize they can execute on all the well thought out strategic and tactical plans they devise, but their best laid plans to take back the White House will fall short if their message misses the mark. Messaging is the means for success. As distasteful and untruthful the democrats messages and candidates may be, as a party they stand aligned daily with the mindset that the perception of their message becomes a reality for voters. The GOP must emulate their opponents vigilance with a conservative message that is clear, relatable and uplifting to the voters.
There will forever be factions of the American electorate that opt to take advantage of its well-intended welfare systems than their own God given talents. And there will always be politicians such as Barack Obama that promise the electorate false utopias energized by destructive policies, cherry coated with bribes, lies and divisiveness. Conservative makes no such promises. Conservatism recognizes humankind’s innate desire to maximize their God given talents and endeavors to lay the foundations for a society to enable man’s potential. This was the vision for America’s founders that caused America to be the greatest country in the history of humankind.
Conservatism rejects the Obama-led progressive/socialist new normal that inhibits potential and is designed to lull Americans into a catatonic state of mediocrity. To quote Pope John Paul II, “Do not be satisfied with mediocrity! The world will offer you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” In the GOP’s quest to craft a coherent message that represents conservatism and resonates with the electorate, the late Pontiff’s remarks are an excellent starting point.