Well, I suppose we are all very frustrated and disappointed in the election outcome. I think it makes sense to answer the question: How could Obama win re-election with such an abysmal track record over four years …even if we concede he inherited a tough hand from Bush I don’t think anyone could counter the assertion he made things worse. And, all of the email pieces we circulate to each other with strong cases backed by facts were ignored by half of the electorate. Like you, I knew we were preaching to the choir and those emails probably helped the get out to vote effort, but were simply ignored, not understood, or dismissed by Obama support groups ( my last piece on “Demographics ” … Why? I suppose their narrow agendas ( not picking on the LGBT community ) just trumped the nearly weekly news of yet another proof of Obama’s leadership failure. That at the end of the day many folks vote their self-interest and ignore the rest.
Heck, the popular vote was very close. Maybe we need to change to a popular vote and junk the electoral college method of determining the winner. Does not seem fair that, for example, Californians for Romney votes are nullified given the Electoral College methodology.
Well, it is natural to do ( what we called in business ) a “post-mortem”, to try to make sense of what happened, why, and what changes to our ( patriotic / conservative ) values and issue positions should be thoughtfully re-evaluated.
So her is my “post-mortem” ..which includes some stuff I have already written about but also some new insights as well.
What I think I know for sure is this:
• The country has become far more liberal
• a majority feel business / capitalism / free markets benefits the wealthy at the expense of the poor and most racial minorities who feel Capitalism does not create an even and fair playing field for jobs, opportunity, education, housing and an equitable share of the American economic pie
• As conservatives we must consider changing our platform on such things as immigration reform ( versus deportation ), legalized marriage for the LGBT community, and legalization of Marijuana ( just to name a few at random ) to win a greater if not dominant share of those constituencies.
• Maybe most important we need to change attitudes about business and capitalism which is mainly an educational and advocacy process
• Rethink campaign strategy. I think Romney ran a good campaign , projecting positives not negatives, but falling short in direct but civil criticism of Obama who was given a free pass on many of his leadership failures. To some degree we were intoxicated with the historic election of a black President, but we had willful blindness as respects his resume, qualifications, and experience to do the job.
• Last, what is the appropriate action to take. Short of , course , of armed rebellion. So, here they are:
Top Ten Reasons Why Obama beat Romney
1. The country has shifted from what we might call heartland patriotic conservatism to a far more liberal tilt. Contrary to Fox news we are NOT or no longer a center-right populace
2. Obama appealed to numerous demographic & psycho-graphic groups ( most) racial minorities, unions, public employees, the LGBT community, Atheists, various opinion & thought leaders, ( University elite, Hollywood stars, eco-activists, and the liberal mass media ) folks who believe capitalism/business/wall street is inherently corrupt and marginalizes many self-identified victim groups who would welcome the redistribution of “ill-gotten” riches from the wealthy to the poor.
The flip side is folks who believe socialism is a superior system to more fairly distribute wealth and opportunity, and the youth vote where idealism thrives until they discover earning a living is tough work. Together they formed a majority. Obama not only played the race card but played the Marxist class warfare card with great success. And Romney never once mentioned that the so-called rich or wealthy who comprise 10-15 % of the population pay 85-90% of all taxes. He allowed Obama to paint him as a rapacious “venture capitalist” cutting up companies and shipping jobs overseas when we know VC’s invest in start-ups and early stage businesses, or companies that are ready to fail without a VC’s intervention and sometimes a new management team to SAVE the enterprise from collapse ..and they save jobs because if a business fails everyone loses their job. A disappointment that Romney failed to educate the voters that VC’s rehabilitate businesses, save jobs, and invest $$ in start-ups or embryonic stage players who banks will NOT touch with loans as the risk is too high. ( Interesting factoid is that the VC investment success rate was / used to be about 1/14 ..with most failing, some treading water, some moderately successful, and that 1 out of 14 is so successful that its growth, job creation, and profits offset the losses on the others. I have done some limited work with VC’s and Romney should have painted them as heroes rescuing those in fiscal white water along with saving and creating new jobs ..often industries and technologies that change the very way we live …no one bests America when it comes to innovation and magnificent new technologies. Not such a tough sell. But Romney allowed himself to be painted as part of the economic problem , not the solution.
4. The self-interests and narrow agendas of these groups trumped a preponderance of facts and inarguable track record that Obama had ZERO resume in the executive, problem-solving, governing role of the Presidency and failed as a leader.
5. Romney failed to make a case that Obama’s track record and leadership ineptitude should not be rewarded with another term. He should have attacked Obama’s lack of credentials for the job which could have been done in a civil polite tone and perhaps sold thousands of out-of-work Americans and recent college graduates that business and Venture Capitalists are positive contributors to an economic revival and the “answer” not the problem.
6. On the economy, Romney failed miserably in neglecting to counter Obama’s assertion that the bad economy was all Bush’s fault. That, in fact, the economic recession was triggered by the sub-prime home loan debacle, which was mainly inspired by social engineering … a belief that home ownership was an entitlement irrespective of maintaining time tested standards for borrowers such as down-payments, proof of income, and credit history.
The literal evisceration of these loan standards made the ensuing defaults and foreclosures not a possibility but an absolute certainty. And guess what? As a community organizer Obama coached activists on how to pressure lending institutions to make loans to (unqualified) poor and minority borrowers. As a retired financial guy who has developed and administered credit policies this sub-prime disaster was predictably avoidable and INSANE.
7. Romney never took the gloves off and called Obama on his leadership failure and goal to transform our economy to a Marxist or quasi-socialist model. An economic model that has failed in the last 100 years and is alien to our heritage of free markets which breed innovation, widespread opportunity, private ownership of business, and that which gives vibrancy and opportunity to anyone willing to work hard for their particular dream. It is curious that folks flock to America for this freedom and opportunity yet for the many who succeed liberals then demonize them and cast their wealth as “ill-gotten” gains always at the expense of the poor aided and abetted by our capitalistic free-market system which creates an uneven playing field with the deck stacked against (in particular) racial minorities and the poor of all skin colors.
8. The argument was never made that the middle-class and poor would unquestionably suffer given the implementation of that socialist ideology. Think, Greece, Italy, and Spain. Romney never adequately defended Capitalism (warts and all) as the fountain of the most widespread prosperity and innovation of any country on the planet and never acknowledged that along with Capitalism (which is not a bleak picture of winners and losers) we have many social welfare components for the sick, needy, and elderly.
9. OK, you might find this one objectionable but I can not think of anyone on my distribution where this applies. Over the years the balance of “takers” versus “makers” has swelled the ranks of folks who want a free ride …the 50 % who pay zero tax, the folks addicted to entitlements as a steady source of income support, and folks ( here it comes ) that are just plain DUMB. Ok, maybe idealistic, maybe ignorant but people who exercised willful blindness to the incompetency of Obama and his Anti-white, Christian, business, Capitalism, flag, and blame America first views.
10. You and I have exchanged maybe hundreds of emails on Obama failures and outrages that expose his anti-American sentiments … from failing to prosecute armed Black Panthers who intimidated white voters at polling places to an indefensible failure at Benghazi where he either issued a stand–down order or failed to give an affirmative order to send our troops to the rescue four Americans were being slaughtered over a seven hour period while Obama staff watch this tragic carnage on TV?? You and I have taken great pains to circulate emails over the past year or so … facts of Obama’s leadership failure that were obviously ignore by the 50 % or so popular vote he won. How do we explain this remarkable lack indifference to the facts and words and action from Obama beyond the reasons I have offered above?
10. The challenge for conservatives is how to maintain core beliefs while improving trust with a country that has become more liberal. For example, maybe we should re-think our position on illegal immigration where Obama won ( I think ) over 65% of the vote. True, it is Mexico’s job to provide employment and healthcare for their people. True, we have illegal immigrants that arrived at a very young age and deportation would be a harsh remedy. True, the folks waiting on line playing by our immigration rules deserve first priority. True illegal immigration has become conflated with drug trafficking where some illegal’s crossing our borders carry drugs for violent cartels as the price of “admission” is very problematic. But all of that being said, maybe we need to recognize the honest hard-working non-criminal immigrants who see America as their home. They also enjoy great sympathy with Hispanic citizen voters who supported Obama. Maybe creating a pathway to legal residence, then establishing requirements for citizenship is a compromise worth gaining the necessary votes to elect a conservative. That coupled with strict border enforcement and a change in immigration policy to get a better mix of immigrant entrepreneurs with money to start businesses, European or East Asian folks with higher education that are more employable, and a time limit on public assistance which we can not afford given the national debt.
Please share your ideas and feedback with me. And feel free to pass this along to your circle of friends and associates.
Many of us feel Obama has violated his oath of office. I doubt his acceptance speech (sounded more like a Republican) will really mean he is prepared for true bi-partisanship and compromise. If not, we must decide how far we are willing to go to remove him peacefully from office. Some people are talking armed rebellion …I don’t support that but no government will ever confiscate my guns.
We should consider:
• Marches to Washington
• Flying the flag
• Massive demonstrations,
• Civil disobedience
• Maybe not paying taxes? Surely with Obama we have taxation without representation … does that ring a bell?
• Taking back our educational system which has been perverted and corrupted by liberal teachers, professors, and administrators.
• Impeachment – timing is critical. Now, so soon after the vote is ill-advised because it would be easy to argue that effort was an attempt to nullify the vote…but the next Benghazi, as an example, would be a perfect trigger. There is nothing more fundamental to any President’s oath of office than protecting American lives and keeping us safe.
• Organizing militias consistent with our rights under the Constitution.
Martin Luther King organized very effective marches and protests ..a good thing to secure equality for minorities. Maybe it is time for the great white ( and diminishing ) silent majority to embark on a similar crusade …on the streets and in the courts. But our marches and protests should have minority representation as we move toward a truly color-blind society and convince people that conservatives do not favor any particular skin color and what we fight for is intended to benefit all Americans.
I welcome your ideas. This is not the end of patriotism or conservatism. Rather it is the beginning of our re-assertion of our liberty, freedom, constitutional rights, and the values embedded in our heritage and culture that have made us so exceptional.
My best, and have heart, we will prevail. This was a huge wake-up call and the fight is just beginning.
(My Thanks to Peter Gutierrez for his contribution of this article)
Perhaps now people will begin to flock to Conservative Clubs and realize that simply showing up to vote on election day is not enough!