It’s over. The lesser of the two evils lost the presidential election. The race, which was predicted by the pundits all along during the campaign season as a very close contest, turned out to be a Democratic rout. It wasn’t close. It was a landslide against Republicanism.
Not only did the GOP fail to win control of the senate, it actually lost ground there. This was a huge defeat for the GOP. Mitt Romney lost in every projected battleground swing state, including Ohio, New Hampshire, and Virginia. As I write this he’s behind in Florida. That would give Obama 332 electoral votes to Romney’s 206.
Obama won not only the big population states with many electoral delegates, such as New York and California, but more states overall than Romney, including rural states like Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota – even Michigan, Romney’s home state.
Mitt Romney and the GOP are losers.
Aside from the libertarians Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, in my opinion, Mitt Romney was the best Republican candidate to survive the primary process. He’s a free market capitalist; intelligent, experienced, personable, clean cut, competent, capable, energetic and presidential in appearance and demeanor. He enjoys a history of accomplishment and success at everything he has tried.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, while certainly a likable fellow, has been a lousy president. He’s ruining the country. He’s lazy, incompetent, dishonest and corrupt. On top of all that he’s a socialist at the political core. Under his four year administration the economy is still stagnant; unemployment remains unacceptably high; debt and deficits are soaring and he’s been spending money like a drunken sailor.
Most voters still think that the country is on the wrong track. So by all accounts the GOP and Mitt Romney should have won this election. It should have turned out just like Ronald Reagan’s victory over the incompetent Jimmy Carter in 1980. It should have been easy.
So why were they such pathetic losers?
On the face of it, it just doesn’t make any sense.
Romney clearly and decisively won the first debate. Even Obama and the Democrat establishment were quick to admit that fact. He looked good. He scored points. He had the President on the ropes. And his stock correspondingly rose with the voting public. He was now a credible candidate.
But after that victory he lost the following two debates by narrow margins because he was trying to be Mr. Nice Guy. He had a golden opportunity to nail his opponent to the wall with the Libya scandal but he let it pass. He wanted to appear as a non-confrontational gentleman to the ladies.
Had Romney won those last two debates I believe he would have won the presidency. Hurricane Sandy stalled his momentum for a few days but had he gone for the jugular like a fighter during the last days of the campaign he probably would have prevailed.
Two huge impediments to his candidacy, however, I think ultimately doomed his campaign to defeat just as I predicted multiple times in these pages.
The first and most important of those impediments was the ghost of the recently departed Republican George W. Bush, a menacing specter who still looms large in the minds of American voters after four years since his retirement.
George W. Bush was without any doubt the worst president in the history of the republic. He’s the one who almost single handedly caused the horrible economic and political mess Americans found themselves in before Barack Obama took office.
There was a damn good reason why GWB didn’t show his face or otherwise contribute in any way to the 2012 GOP campaign like former successful President Bill Clinton did for the Democrats. He drags on the Republicans political prospects like a concrete anchor. He makes Barack Obama by comparison look like George Washington or Thomas Jefferson – both great presidents.
The hard fact is that many voters equate Republicans and Republicanism with George W. Bush, and that had to have hurt Mitt Romney’s candidacy a great deal.
The second huge impediment was religion. By that I mean the extreme ultra-right-wing conservative Christian evangelical religion which George W. Bush and the Republican Party have embraced so fervently in recent decades as the core of the GOP’s principles and platform.
If this election reveals anything it’s that a substantial majority of American voters soundly reject the mixing of politics with that kind of ultra-right-wing conservatism and evangelical religion. That has been rejected. It’s on the wane. It’s dying in America. The GOP had better take that fact to heart.
Republicans have become the Party that scares voters with its extreme politics, especially women voters who went for Obama 55% to 44% this time. Witness the fact that two extremely religiously oriented anti-abortion GOP senate candidates, Todd Aiken and Richard Mourdock, were defeated in states that Romney won and in which Republican senate seats were once considered safe seats.
Consider the large number of religious extremists competing in the Republican presidential primary this time -- Rick Santourm, Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. Those folks scare the daylights out of average American voters who just don’t want to be governed by their religion.
Consider the many other prominent and notable Republicans who turn the average voter off; goof balls like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump. People are rightly equating these figures with Republicans and Republicanism and its hurting the Party. I believe it hurt Mitt Romney, the closest candidate to a moderate in the mix.
Republicans are associated with religiously oriented political extremists. They’ve been preaching the wrong message to average Americans. They must begin to rethink their core principles or face the prospect of becoming irrelevant in future elections.
I say that if the extreme religionists in the GOP won’t back off on their unreasonable demands let them form their own party – The Christian Evangelical Party -- and become marginalized as they should be marginalized in our modern secular society.
They’ve ruined the GOP, and this election proves it. America doesn’t belong to them. The GOP doesn’t belong to them. They are welcome as far as I’m concerned to stay in the Party but with far less influence and far less control over the political process. What will they do if put in their place? Would they go to the Democrats? I don’t think so.
The GOP needs to get real on social issues. The American political tide is changing on social issues. Republicans are losing the battle against gay rights and abortion. Either they give it up or they will keep losing elections and keep turning off voters.
In this election, for example, Maryland, Washington State and Maine voters voted for freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Minnesota rejected a constitutional amendment to define marriage as only involving one man and one woman. Gay rights are here to stay.
Florida voters rejected a so-called “religious freedom” measure that would have drastically blurred the lines between church and state, and a ballot initiative that would have severely limited access to abortion. Washington state and Colorado set up a showdown with federal authorities by legalizing recreational use of marijuana.
Nonreligious Americans now make up 20% of the population, and the media is beginning to figure out just how politically powerful they are. They should expect in the near future to be courted by candidates for elected office in the same manner that many religious voters are now. Kyrsten Sinema, a self-identifying bisexual non-theist, for example, won a Congressional election in Arizona in this election.
Hispanics went for Obama at the astonishing rate of 71% this time. The average American voter, especially every minority – Blacks, Latinos, Asians, gays, non-religious, and the rest of them -- feel absolutely no reasons to support Republicans.
Add up all these minorities and the numbers become huge. Then add the labor vote, the union vote, the academics and young professionals’ vote, women and young people -- why can’t the GOP attract more of these people? If they can’t then they will lose more elections.
Republicans like to complain about the Democrats enjoying the support of the mainstream media. Why do the democrats have the mainstream media? Because they have the support of the mainstream of Americans, that’s why.
Mainstream Americans are sick tired of militarism, wars, and unlimited military spending. Yet the GOP and Mitt Romney promised even more of the same. Americans have, with this election, rejected those ideas. If politicians have to spend money then it should be spent on Americans. That’s what the voters are telling the GOP.
It was shameful the way the GOP treated Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, and the libertarian wing of the Party while kowtowing to the extremist Christian evangelical wing. That hurt the Party. The GOP needs the libertarians. In my opinion there should be more libertarian and less evangelical ideas in the Republican Party. They need more of Gary Johnson and Ron Paul and less of Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich.
Republicans must start showing more appeal to the average voter, the common man, and create a larger tent where more people feel welcome. They should start advocating liberty instead of the statism which both the major parties now stand for. They should promote free markets and honest capitalism instead of crony capitalism.
The Republican Party should become the Party of liberty and welcome with open arms all members of the Libertarian Party together with independents and free market inclined Democrats.
Then perhaps the Grand Old Party will cease being: GOP losers.