Republicans are pondering why they lost the election against Obama, who has presided over a 4 year recession, and trillion dollar deficits. Here are my thoughts.
After going thru several front runner Republican candidates (Perry, Cain, Gingrich, etc) only to drop them as highly flawed, the Republicans finally settled on Romney, not because he was a great candidate, but because he was the least bad among the group. In sum, he was adopted by a process of elimination. While Romney looks presidential, is a good talker and is obviously smart, he also has some serious detriments in appealing to the American people.
One of Romney´s biggest problems is that he has over $100 million in net worth, gained mostly while at Bane Capital, a firm which mainly seems to have made so much money mainly thru leverage and sucking money out of companies which is bought. In other words Romney participated in a company whose contribution to the economy is dubious. In a period when the 1% continually get richer, often thru financial manipulation and speculation, while the rest of the population gets poorer, Romney the plutocrat does not go down well. His statement that he likes to fire people did not help either.
In addition, Romney has an integrity problem. He has flipped flopped on several issues, and I often got the impression that when faced with an awkward question, Romney tended to try to tap dance around the issue. In sum, at a time when people are crying out for integrity and honest leadership, Romney gave the impression that he was just anther elitist political player willing to say say anything to get ahead. I think that people, including Republicans, are still smarting from the dishonesty, heavy handedness and manipulations of the Bush Administration. Romney did not give enough of an impression that he was fundamentally different. In addition, he was (deliberately) vague about how he his plan was supposed to work. The math never added up, which only added to the impression that Romney was jive talking phony. He wanted to increase military spending during record deficits, when few people, including conservatives, think that this is a priority in tight fiscal times.
The Republican party had a golden opportunity to go with a candidate (Ron Paul) with real values and integrity, who would have energized the base and gotten a lot of independents too. He would also have livened up the debates. Instead of giving Ron Paul a fair chance of winning the nomination they did everything they could to sideline him. They engaged in electoral fraud, and by the end the party had rewritten the rules to ram thru Romney, and exclude Paul. I believe that this just impressed upon many Republicans and Independents that the bad old corrupt Republican party of Bush II was still around.
In the end a lot of Republicans and Independents were simply not inspired enough by Romney to vote for him. Obama, despite his fall from Messianic levels in 2008, was still able to inspire enough Democrats and Independents with his vision of a happy mulch-cultural America. He got almost all the black vote, and a majority of the Hispanic vote. In addition, Obama at a personal level is quite charming. His presidency has done little, but it is not worse then Bush II and for many that was enough.
Personally I think that neither Obama nor Romney represent much more than politicians who are continually bought out by moneyed interests. If presidents could run the country with the efficacy that they run campaigns , the nation would be much better off. Instead we get masterful campaigns, and sub-mediocre administrations. We need campaign finance reform, spending limits, public financing of campaigns etc. We also need for the people to start electing third party candidates, since the current duopoly has failed us, and will continue to fail us.
Finally this email form Campaign for Liberty, which I though was illuminating.
I’ve been in politics long enough to know making predictions is a dangerous game.
But standing on the floor of the Republican National Convention this past August, I’ll admit I made one.
Completely shocked at what I had just witnessed, I muttered, “Romney just lost the election,” under my breath.
The GOP establishment had just railroaded through new party rules designed to weaken the power of grassroots activists of every stripe – not to mention the thousands of young people who were just starting to become politically active after hearing Ron Paul’s unwavering message of liberty.
The mood inside the building at that moment was hard to describe.
People were frustrated. They were confused and hurt. Many felt betrayed.
Just two years after these very Tea Party grassroots activists provided the energy that made the 2010 elections such a success, the question on everyone’s lips was “Why?”
As news of the event trickled out to the grassroots all throughout the country, the situation only became worse.
With $16 TRILLION in national debt and sky-high unemployment with no end in sight, many folks I know were desperate and chose to look past what happened.
They would have voted for a ham sandwich for President if it was running against President Obama.
I certainly understand that feeling.
Like you, I want my kids to grow up in a free and prosperous America.
Like you, I’m worried about the future of our country.
But on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 12 million fewer Americans showed up at the polls than voted in 2008.
I think that’s incredible. And it’s incredibly sad.
You see, I don’t believe those numbers are because Americans don’t care about what happens in Washington, D.C.
It’s not because Americans don’t understand the problems we face.
It’s that fewer and fewer Americans are buying what the Big Government, big spending establishment of both parties is selling.
And there’s no denying – with shifting political principles and positions, to go along with many anti-liberty stances – Mitt Romney was an incredibly tough sell for the GOP.
Going up against any incumbent, candidates who are tough sells virtually never win.
But now, you and I must be ready for the statists in Congress to double-down with even more assaults on our liberties in the coming months.
The good news is, our liberty movement is growing by leaps and bounds.
The next Congress will have more pro-liberty members than any in memory.
Finally Don Harrold has his 2 cents on the Republican loss.