What I learned on Election Day

Last week I offered my opinion that the election of 11/6/12 was the most important Presidential election that I have seen in my lifetime.  I believe that this is true.  To say that I am disappointed with the nation’s choice is an understatement.  While the republic may survive Obama, I doubt it will prosper under his “leadership”.

As a white male over 50 years old, my “demographic” was least likely to support Obama.  In the run-up to the election several of my 60’ish white male acquaintances confidently told me that “Romney is going to win this election by a landslide.”  Not at all confident that Obama would lose, I would ask them why they felt this way.  A common answer was, “everybody I talk to is sick of Obama.”  When I reminded them that none of the public opinion polls indicated a landslide for Romney, that people in large cities were solidly pro-Obama and that many citizens now believe that government benefits are now part of the natural cycle of life, they were still convinced that Obama would lose.

The fact is that my acquaintances’ prognosticating failures were indicative of a simple fact; we see the world through our own eyes, biased by our surroundings.  After all, if 90% of the people we talk to believe a certain thing, we are likely to feel the same way.  The reality of another Obama term shocked the folks in the red states but with the exception of Texas, the red states are largely the sparsely populated southern and western states.  The highly populated coastal cities went solidly for Obama.  Election outcomes are about votes, not land area.  It’s all about where the people are, and they’re not in the red states.

Perhaps the best analysis of the election came from a 38 year old friend who emailed me after the election saying, “Don, the country is changing…it is no longer the way it used to be.”  And that is, in a nutshell, what this election was truly about.  Voters are more ethnically diverse, less likely to register to vote before election day, more enamored with government handouts, less willing to support traditional Judeo-Christian values , more suspicious of business, more likely to vote on emotion, less propertied, more urban, and less knowledgeable (based on HS test scores) than they have been in the past.

John Nesbitt once said that “It is easier to ride a horse in the direction it is already going.”  The challenge for the Republican Party is to figure out how to ride that horse.  It wouldn’t hurt them to talk to a fellow named Ron Paul.  Rather than spurning him, they should listen to him because the horse isn’t going to change directions any time soon.

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1 Response to What I learned on Election Day

  1. Kristina Swetz says:

    There are people who voted for Obama looking for handouts, but honestly I think the Republican Party has completely alienated groups. First off, they did nothing to help themselves with women voters in this election. Out of this election came “legitimate rape,” Murdock’s comments on pregnancies from rape being “God’s will,” and Santorum’s warpeds view on women’s reproductive rights. Second, the Republican Party alienated itself with gay voters who may actually be by all accounts conservative but who vote Democrat because it is their only hope for equality in this country. The Republican Party also failed to get the Hispanic vote even though they are one of the most religious Christian/Conservative groups simply because they showed no interest in creating a logical immigration plan. The Republican Party has also failed at being fiscally conservative. People now associate Capitalism with corporate and bank bailouts. Finally, Americans are sick and tired of being at war all the time and policing world. The Republican Party has to learn that it cannot legislate morality and it needs to get back to its roots of limited government if it is to survive. You are absolutely right. They need to take a lesson from Ron Paul.

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