This is the last I will write about politics THIS year unless, of course, the abjectly stupid keep trying to prove that they are. Throughout my voting-age lifetime—52-years and counting—members on both sides of the political aisle have always endeavored to win the coveted Political Dumb-ass Trophy.
The Republicans’ quest to win it THIS time around began on a blustery cold day, January 20, 2009, with Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Even though Tea Party rumblings began a year or so prior to this time, the shotgun wedding between the Republicans and the Tea Party took place the day he officially entered the Oval Office.
Political parties have always had their extremes, both left and right of party center.
But party moderates have always been the basis of reasonable compromise, an essential component of accomplishments for the good of the nation. And it’s no coincidence that THESE politicians take great care to reveal a collective 3-digit IQ, both intellectually and emotionally.
But this began changing about 16-years ago, growing more evident during George Bush’s two Administrations. But those days were political Camelot compared to the personal animosity aimed at Barack Obama from the day he took office.
The RIGHT in this country has devolved. It used to be a party dominated by reasonable moderates that were hell-bent on maintaining a lean central government aimed at keeping expenses and spending in realistic balance.
The party wasn’t morally INTRUSIVE regarding social issues; nor was it a party of regulatory OBSTRUCTIONISTS.
Now the party seems to have become an old coots’ club of white men who welcome a few women and minorities for the sake of appearances.
They’re viewed by many as a self-appointed moral police force striving to implant a sense of national morality, especially relative to gays and women’s reproductive rights, as well as a party of the rich aiming to eliminate all regulatory efforts aimed at monitoring big money interests.
I’m not going to waste any more time here rehashing all of the socially stupid and economically meaningless issues that have estranged Left from Right these past four years. We’ve heard it ad nauseum.
The fact is that the Republicans lost in an Electoral College landslide along with a popular vote that edged slightly to Obama. But either way, they LOST and they still do NOT seem to understand why.
They’re blaming everyone but themselves. And, as always, their usual suspects have not changed: innately stupid handout-grabbing LIBERALS and that ever-convenient scapegoat called Media Liberal Bias.
But the real culprit has nothing to do with Liberal stupidity or mainstream media bias. It has EVERYTHING to do with CONSERVATIVE stupidity aggravated to a stroke-inducing uproar!
Based on the same polling data, Liberals were absolutely convinced that President Obama would win reelection while Conservatives were absolutely convinced that Romney would win in a landslide.
Interestingly, many people think that it HELPS when today’s information technology makes it possible to collect massive amounts of data in mere seconds; but it doesn’t!
It simply makes it colossally easy for partisans to cherry-pick those data points most favorable to their preconceived notions and running agendas.
This is more detrimental to Conservatives than it is to Liberals because Conservatives do NOT trust the mainstream media. It’s what gave rise to the 24-hour cable pundits of Fox News and MSNBC!
Yes, I realize that these are ideological opposites. But Fox News is a self-anointed conservative counter to mainstream media bias while MSNBC is a self-proclaimed counter to Fox News.
However, they’re identical in that they both tell their listeners EXACTLY what they want to hear, TWENTY-FOUR BY SEVEN! It’s just that THIS time around, the LEFTIES nailed it.
No one has ever accused me of being a mathematical greenhorn, especially relative to INFERENTIAL STATISTICS. I’m quite proficient at it and I have both an academic and experiential background to prove it.
As such, I know instinctively that objective polling should never be cherry-picked to support preconceived notions.
But Conservatives, while being absolutely skeptical of anything coming from the mainstream media—and often justifiably so—refused to believe any polls that showed the President winning. In their collective mind; they simply HAD to be biased.
And using their OWN polls, they were able to generate numbers that SEEMED real enough, but were, in fact, based on conservative self-interests and the usual array of emotional wishful thinking.
If Conservatives want a true culprit in their misreading of the poll numbers, they need only look to their own pundits and Fox News. But they won’t do this; they’ll continue blaming the same old suspects: stupid Liberals and the mainstream media!
Regardless, Uncle Rush, Aunt Sarah, and MOST of the boys and girls over at Fox—but NOT the number crunchers—told their listeners EXACTLY what they wanted to hear: Romney would win in a landslide.
Even so, all of this explains ONLY why the RIGHT ended up with a colossal drop-to-the-knees gut-punch. It does not explain the President’s Electoral College mandate.
Understanding this requires some real soul-searching analysis of the gut-wrenching kind.
For the past two years, both sides have spent the better part of $2.6-BILLION to convince the electorate that the other side sucks big time and is out to send the nation down the tubes of sovereign oblivion!
But all it’s actually proved is that the demographics of the electorate are changing and that the GENERAL electorate REMAINS ever so CENTRIST.
In other words, most of us are neither LEFT-centered nor RIGHT-centered; we’re SOCIALLY and ECONOMICALLY-centered. We’ve always wobbled around that invisible polar axis that generally distinguishes LEFT from RIGHT.
This is our national political comfort zone. It always has been; and if we’re to continue as a relevant force on this globe, it had better stay there!
A growing percentage of us are now independents (around 42% by the most recent count). We defer to politicians who reject uncompromising ideologues while displaying simple common sense.
The Right needs to realize that Romney seemed electable and actually closed Obama’s lead a bit when he ever so infrequently seemed to rejected “arch conservative” ideology.
If Republicans continue letting the Tea Party and their pundit cheerleaders dominate the agenda while failing to view political polls objectively, they’re going to lose in the next election cycle, TOO.
Make no mistake; an all-CONSERVATIVE political structure would be just as devastating to this country as would be an all-LIBERAL structure.
What we need is a BALANCED political structure capable of managing the national checkbook, but with a social conscience that understands that going into debt for the right reasons is NOT a bad thing as long as we maintain a cash flow to support it.
Human rights in this country do not depend on gender, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, or financial earnings. The Republican Party of MY yesteryear understood this.
I like to think that the current class of Republicans does as well. But it’s becoming more difficult for me to believe it given the way many of them have gone out of their way to show the opposite.