Skip to comments.(Vanity) An Analysis of the 2012 Presidential Election
Posted on 11/11/2012 9:00:41 PM PST by grey_whiskers
Before anything else, let us pause to remember the casualties (both civilian and military) of "The War to End All Wars" -- the war which saw the first fighter planes, the first tanks, the horrors of mass bayonet charges against entrenched machine guns and artillery -- and the first chemical warfare. This is Armistice Day.
But let us not take Armistice Day as a sign, nor a signal, that we should abandon our fight for freedom from oppression, whether here in the United States or abroad.
The election of 2012 has come and gone: despite the assurances of those who appear to have been in the know, such as Michael Barone or Steve Forbes, to those who have long been gadflies, such as Dick Morris, and despite the public remarks of Romney on election day about "That's how you know you're going to win!" about his reception at the Pittsburgh airport, and the reports of record turnout in Republican Districts throughout the country; and in seeming fulfillment of Nate Silver, and in defiance of a number of polls, President Obama has retained his office.
What the hell happened?
I am afraid that there is no simple answer; and that the answer will be both lengthy and painful. But in order to answer the question fully, we must detour from politics for awhile, and take a visit to psychology, Alinsky, Hegelian philosophy, and the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. For the seeds of our apparent defeat contain the antidote to our ills, if we have but the courage to plant, fertilize, and water them, and the faith to trust in God to give the growth, IF we are diligent.
As a first point, let us look at our intense emotional reactions to the election, for they will be very important in deciphering what follows. No, I am not suggesting that we be guided by our feelings: exactly the opposite -- we must avoid having our sober judgment influenced by our feelings. As Professor Frost said to Mark Studdock in C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength,
"I am aware of the emotional (that is, the chemical) reactions which [...] this produces in you, and you are wasting your time in trying to conceal them from me. I do not expect you to control them. That is not the path to objectivity. I deliberately raise them in order that you may become accustomed to regard them in a purely scientific light and distinguish them as sharply as possible from the facts."
The feeling of most movement Republicans, of conservatives, of those who have been sounding the clarion call about Obama the loudest and longest, is simply one of being crestfallen, punched in the gut, shell-shocked. And that is because, with respect to expectations concerning Obama, this is the *second* time for which our suppositions of "the natural order of things" or of "checks and balances" has fallen flat -- our hope was unfounded, or in fact, the third. With Obamacare, we thought that the Teanami of 2010 would send a social, political method to the Democrats, "Back OFF." But they did not, and passed Obamacare blasphemously on Christmas Eve, a bill of over 2500 pages which few had even *read*. Our next disappointment was in the Supreme Court, and there, we were shocked to learn that it was not our usual favorite turncoat Kenney who betrayed us -- that he in fact was standing in the gap -- but instead, John Roberts, the "conservative" nominated by Bush, who wrote one of the worst decisions in Supreme Court History, down there with Roe v. Wade, Kelo, and Lawrence v. Texas.
Ah, we thought, at least with the economy in a shambles, and Obama reduced to campaigning on Lady Parts and Big Bird, we would elect Romney in the nick of time -- even if Romney were a RINO, at least he didn't hate the US and its institutions.
And so with the third swift kick in the nads in a row, those among us began to despair.
This is RIGHT where the enemy wants us. Let me explain.
Many on this site have read Alinsky's Rules For Radical which is a series of tactics and/or strategies for overwhelming ensconced opponents by violating social norms which they would not dream of breaking, in order to change the rules of engagement and force them to retreat. But Obama and his team go further: they rely on a "fog of war" approach combined with propaganda, fifth columnists, and the use and misuse of both the conventional press and the social media, in order to create an artificial bubble chamber, an information-blitzkrieg, a social diamond strategy (try reading Heinz Guderian's excellent book Panzer Leader for the military theory behind this approach) in order to sunder our side's communication with its own troops, its decisivenss, its very will to fight. (Alinsky says that the battle is not what you have but what your enemy thinks you have; similarly, The Art of War teaches that the successful general is not the one who wins on the battlefield, but the one who achieves his aims by convincing his opponent to surrender without battle.)
Recall also the Soviet bargaining strategy: any concession made by the Communist, even if set in stone, is held to have been (if inconvenient to them) merely a trial balloon, not seriously meant, but every suggestion of a possible concession on the part of the Soviet's adversary is immediately regarded as fully considered, offered deliberately, and irrevocable.
Antonio Gramsci suggested that rather than conquer the US from without, that it be taken from within, by subtrefuge: so just as Marxists have taken over the academic world, the press (MSNBC, anyone?), and many courts, so too they have placed fifth columnists within the GOP, acting as an army of Wormtongues:
"But for long now he has plotted your ruin, wearing the mask of Friendship, until he was ready. In those years Wormtongue's task was easy, and all that you did was swiftly known in Isengard; for your land was open, and strangers came and went. And ever Wormtongue's whispering was in your ears, poisoning your thought, chilling your heart, weakening your limbs, while others watched and could do nothing, for your will was in his keeping."
So we are being played for fools on account of our emotions: and as those under the terror of the cry of the Nazgûl dropped their weapons and crawled into holes or fled unmanned, so we are being cajoled that our resistance to the left is futile, that our very principles are the cause of our failure, that we need to yield even without a fight things which even the resurgent Democrats could not hope to gain in short order.
Look at just a few of the things which have been written by pundits, uttered by Washington GOP insiders, or hurriedly urged here on FR:
1) The left's victory is inevitable, they will get three Supreme Court seats (or at least two) and all is lost. (Didn't you read about Valerie Jarrett's pre-election rant?)
2)Social conservatives must surrender: not only did we lose, not only did Julia and Lady Parts work, but our principles did more harm than good.
3) Not only that, but we have lost the heart and soul of the country, the tide has turned, and single women are the future. If we hope ever to survive even as a token minority anywhere, we must abandon the pro-life plank.
4) And if even this isn't enough, we are urged to abandon the defense of the US against illegal immigration, to throw open the floodgates, and work with the Democrats to achieve "comprehensive immigration reform." (Why? It's not as though illegal aliens stayed home and didn't vote for Romney -- being illegal, they already voted for Obama if they voted at all. But I'm getting ahead of myself).
All of these things are one side of the induced panic, different subsets of the GOP at one anothers' throats, seeking to betray the others to ensure their own dubious survival, seeking to join with the left, seeking to run away and flee the field or to retreat to ever-shrinking enclaves where they hope to escape notice for a time. And of course the left *loves* this; they want nothing more than dispiriting words from the thought leaders of the GOP, or new fifth columnists, or internecine fighting, or surrender so that the Democrats have new fertile territory in which to run unopposed candidates.
The proper answer to all of this, is to withdraw -- from our feelings; call a truce (for the next couple of weeks, anyway) within the GOP, and stop worrying about what is going to happen next, and figure out what actually HAS happened. As Screwtape wrote to Wormwood in The Screwtape Letters:
"[God] wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them."(*)
And now that we have cleared away the fear and confusion, at least to some extent, it is high time to answer the question about what *did* happen during the election. And no, I did not say, "Present my favorite personal solution (or whipping boy) and yield *that* as the answer to the whole mess." Part of the problem is that too often, people assume a watered-down Hegelian philosophy -- this OR that, two seemingly intractable, mutually exclusive explanations which admit of no reconciliation until a new *synthesis* is formed. To which I say, Malarkey. Nobody says that causes have to be mutually exclusive! Except, as noted above, our enemies, who would love to see us all blaming one another instead of effectively solving the problem and going back after THEM.
Here is a partial list -- I'm sure people will be able to add some others -- of the ingredients of the 2012 GOP election loss. Notice how much the appearance of the battlefield (and our chance of future victory) changes when I list all of them successively, not necessarily in any particular order.
Roughly speaking, it should be noted that there are various categories these can be grouped into; and secondly, that there are (if you will) various competing subnarratives about each one, and the Republicans (and Dems, through trolls, 5th columnists, opportunists and moles, and the MSM) are fighting about the meta-narrative: the "officially accepted" historical narrative, which says which of the subnarratives win, and which ones are dismissed as "too small to bother with, even if it WERE more than rumor from right-wing fanatics".
Here is a better rearrangement of the categories into larger groupings:
Questions about record turnout in GOP districts combined with unusually LOW vote totals.
Early voting and absentee ballots in many states, reports that Obama's campaign had been cannibalizing their high-turnout voters, and reports that going into election day 2008, Obama had a 270,000 vote advantage, but only a (say) 10,000 vote advantage in early voting in 2012: yet he won the state.
Total vote counts in 2012 vs 2008, overall and by state; or even by county.
unions for Democrats despite Obama being against their industry
widespread reports of FReepers and others of veritable seas of Obama signs in 2012, replaced by 3-2 or 3-1 ratio of signs in favor of Romney this time. VOTER FRAUD
Cleveland with many precincts voting over 100%, with 99% for Obama
Philadelphia with many precincts over 100%, with 99% for Obama
GOP election judges physically removed in Philly until ordered back in by a judge with Sheriff escorts
long lines in southern Florida (Miami/Dade and Broward?) until 1AM
school buses full of non-English-speaking Somalis going from polling place to polling place to vote straight Dem ticket.
Reports on FR of people going to register (I think in Philly) but finding their voter app, shredded in the garbage with many others.
Many military ballots delivered late or misdirected.
GET OUT THE VOTE EFFORT
Epic failure of Romney's ORCA with crashes, typos resulting in volunteers not being accredited, no training given until the day before election night, Romney's team bragging about knocking on 76,000 doors the day before election day in Ohio only to have their Dem counterpart speak of knocking on 276,000 doors in that time.
Obama's microtargeting tool gathering personal data in the vein of Google and Facebook to target individual voters with emails urging them to vote and WHY.
Obama YouTube videos "Your First Time" and "Big Bird"
Romney relative lack of YouTube and similar.
Obama strongly giving unmarried women "dog whistle" ads on abortion and contraception (despite Roe v. Wade and Griswold v. Connecticut being Supreme Court binding precedent)
Obama defining Romney with ads in the summer.
Obama going hard negative and not talking of his agenda; Romney not going hard after Obama.
Obama not being defined for the mushy middle, or moderates, in terms of a "job-killer" -- he got to skate with the left on "It's Bush's fault!"
Candy Crowley, Romney not going in for the kill on Benghazi, Romney not putting on the screws with hard numbers on the economy.
ROMNEY AS REPUBLICAN
"Romney is too liberal for the base."
Romney was derided as a Massachusetts Liberal who started Romneycare.
Romney was a flip-flopper who backed abortion.
Romney in the debates promised to "reach across the aisle" to work with Democrats.
Romney as a Mormon.
Romney defined as wild eyed evangelical nutcase by left-wing outlets.
Romney defined as "Bain Capital" who couldn't relate to suffering workers.
Low-information voters voted for Obama (Breitbart tapes & similar of voters who were told certain political positions -- which were really Obama's -- but they were told Romney had those positions and hated them. When the stunt was revealed, that Obama really had those positions, they suddenly decided they liked those positions after all.
Voters who believed Obama attack ads.
Did the Christian Right sit out? No.
Did GOP conservative purists sit out? Some, how many and where?
Did moderates sit out? Some, how many and where?
Did the libertarian candidate take away votes? Yes, up to 1% in a couple of swing states.
HURRICANE SANDY AND CHRIS CHRISTIE
Some 15% of Obama Voters according to exit polls, decided at the last minute to vote for Obama because of his photo-ops with (supposedly "arch-conservative") Chris Christie over Hurricane Sandy
The press covering for Obama on the FACT of the deaths in Libya, being complicit in the cover-up more or less, being caught on tape planning how they were going to box Romney in for criticizing Obama on Benghazi.
The press covering up for Obama on the LIES about Benghazi.
The press manufacturing gaffes for Romney and ignoring Obama/Biden gaffes.
The press covering up General Petraeus and his affair until after the election.
The press covering up Iran shooting at our drone in international territory -- from fighters, not from a missile on their own territory -- until after the election.
The United States is becoming minority white--we're screwed!TM Counter example: explain the Tea Party, two years ago.
Blacks voted overwhelmingly along racial lines, many whites either voted for Obama or sat out.
THE GOPe AND THE PRIMARIES:
Romney never seemed to clear 35% of the GOP vote in many primaries, but due to the liberal states going first, the presence of open primaries (Dems allowed), and winner-take-all, Romney cleaned up on delegates.
"Palin shrugged" -- other candidates and/or their voting blocs were waiting for her to enter the primaries. In the meantime, the Romney machine carpet-bombed a couple of other candidates and/or changed the rules in some states to eliminate other would-be contenders from the ballot.
There are a LOT of significant factors involved: given that Obama is the first President to be re-elected with a smaller popular vote AND a smaller electoral vote than the first time; given that he lost six or eight million votes compared to last time, whereas Romney lost (still counting stragglers) a million compared to McCain; given that people are no longer orgasmic over Obama, and even his campaign was hinting he might lose on election day; given that Obama ran a viciously personal negative campaign -- Reid calling Romney a tax-cheat felon, other ads calling him a murderer over a loss of health benefits by a spouse of an ex-employee years later at a non-Romney-owned company; given that the GOP held the house, and broke the Senate's filibuster-proof majority; and given that Obama literally had to pull out ALL the stops, just to win by a few hundred thousand ballots (note I didn't say "votes"!) in carefully-targeted swing states; and that his cabinet is in disarray;
it is quite clear, that the effort to demonize conservatives is agit-prop from the left, whether from inside our camp (as Saruman said to Gandalf in The Lord of The Rings when urging him to betray the location of the One Ring): And listen, Gandalf, my old friend and helper! said Saruman, coming near and speaking now in a softer voice. A new Power is rising. Against it the old allies and policies will not avail us at all. There is no hope left in Elves or dying Númenor. This then is one choice before you. before us. We may join with that Power. It would be wise, Gandalf. There is hope that way. Its victory is at hand; and there will be rich reward for those that aided it. As the Power grows, its proved friends will also grow; and the Wise, such as you and I, may with patience come at last to direct its courses, to control it. We can bide our time, we can keep our thoughts in our hearts, deploring maybe evils done by the way, but approving the high and ultimate purpose: Knowledge, Rule, Order; all the things that we have so far striven in vain to accomplish, hindered rather than helped by our weak or idle friends. There need not be, there would not be, any real change in our designs, only in our means.
Or, more cruelly, from the outside, as the Witch-King of Angmar said to Eowyn, seeking to shield the fallen body of her Lord and King, Theoden, from defilement by his flying steed:
"Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye."
The result so far, has been fighting within our ranks. As Gandalf commented upon Beregond's murder of guards in the City Hallows, during his rescue to prevent Faramir from being burned alive by his father, Denethor, driven mad by confronting Sauron in the palantir beyond his own strength:
"Such deeds he loves: friend at war with friend; loyalty divided in confusion of hearts."
This is not the way, this is not the answer.
Rather, as Aragorn said in the movie adaptation before the final assault on Mordor:
"A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends, and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!"
Let us drive away the fog of war, the discouragement, and the lies, and see where our strengths and the enemy's weaknesses really lie, rather than listening to the voices of fear, treachery, and lies.
(*) It might be a good point for people to read Chapter 6 of The Screwtape Letters in its entirety here, and to apply it to the current political landscape.
Very well said, as always!
Full Disclosure: up until this moment I had been misreading your name as ts owl fan (as in Harry Poter) or misreading it as "tsorwell fan" (as in Animal Farm).
Only by typing it in my sleep did I decipher it correctly.
I wish Sowell had run for President :-)
despite the public remarks of Romney on election day about “That’s how you know you’re going to win!” about his reception at the Pittsburgh airport,
Willard was merely boasting that he could make things happen...
those peole didnt get up that day and magically decide to drive down to the Pittsburg Airport...
Like all or most of the rallies, they knew that Willard would be there and it was prearranged...
sorry to burst your bubble but if you think they were attracted there by slent dog whistle or something without any human contact you would be wrong...
“That’s how you know you’re going to win!”
did anyone bother to ask Willard what he meant by that strange remark ???
Willard thought he could control people and get them to come rushing down to the airport so he could use them as backdrop to his own fanciful vanity and ego...
and he thought he could control the elections...
ORCA was meant to give him an edge on Obama...
the campaign that Willard built all came tumbling down...
was there fraud ??? Im sure there was...
but Willard contributed to his own downfall all by himself...
When he staqrted acted like a Democrat and bussing people into his rallies from other states, I wondered why...
how many peop0le from TN acttually took the free bus ride and accommodations to OH and VA for the rallies there I dont know...
I can find out but right now its dismal to be around fellow Republicans
everyone seems “undone”
Church this morning was awful..