Where do Conservatives Go from Here?Written by Thomas Berry | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Where do Conservatives Go from Here?
What happened? That question haunts conservatives in the wake of President Obama’s re-election. Many conservatives eagerly anticipated a repeat of the 2010 election’s repudiation of the progressive agenda; to them, this outcome defies explanation.
May I suggest some possibilities?
The most difficult for me to admit is that the traditional values of freedom, respect for life, free enterprise, personal initiative, enrichment through hard work, lower taxes and less government upon which Governor Romney based his campaign are no longer relevant to a large number of my beloved countrymen and women. Instead, they preferred what Obama had to offer.
For example, by voting for Obama, these good people expressed their approval, directly or implied, of the Obama campaign’s arrogance, crassness, rudeness and deceit. The numerous lies that the campaign knowingly spread included accusing Romney of felony tax evasion and, for all intents and purposes, murder. Were traditional values respected, Governor Romney’s humility, compassion, professionalism and honor would have elicited a much more positive response, and Obama’s tactics would have drawn scorn, shame and embarrassment. Apparently, sleaze wins.
Millions more may profess traditional values, but held them subservient to the party line. No matter if the candidate openly opposes what they believe; he or she gets the vote if the party or the union says so, and personal principles be damned.
Honestly: Does every last union member who voted for Obama really support his intent to destroy tens of thousands of jobs in the coal and oil industries while inflating energy costs? Do they really support the utter failure of his job creation programs that have left unemployment at best almost double the historic lows of the George W. Bush years?
Does every last person of faith who voted for Obama really support his attacks on religious liberty and his advocacy of nearly unrestricted abortion?
Still more voted to enhance their own power and position rather than for the good of the Republic. After Solyndra and the numerous other examples of corruption that infested the Porkulus, I can’t wait to see how many billions of dollars he kicks back to supporters over the next four years.
Speaking of corruption, what of the integrity of the electoral process? In at least two states, voting machine ballots were showing Obama after votes were cast for Romney. Thousands of absentee ballots for pro-Romney military personnel were being delayed, and Republican poll observers were physically ejected from a couple of dozen polling places in Philadelphia. The Lucas County Board of Elections is a circus sideshow, and laws to prevent voter fraud are attacked across the country.
With all this going on, how can we really trust the election results? Admittedly, that horse is now room temperature, but trust has been violated.
Some hardcore conservatives rejected Romney because he wasn’t conservative enough, and various Ron Paul supporters vowed to either not vote or to vote for Obama because Congressman Paul was not on the ballot. Either way, this “perfection or nothing” attitude is a childish tantrum being thrown because they didn’t get their way. It is a willful sacrificing of the nation’s best interests to one’s own ideology, precisely in keeping with the most rabid Obama supporters.
Other conservatives say Romney lost because he failed to draw a distinction between himself and Obama. This is laughable. Romney repeatedly pointed out numerous major distinctions between them, especially in their first debate. Most recently, when Obama said that “Voting is the best revenge,” Romney countered by explaining that one votes not for revenge, but for love of country. Denying the differences between Obama and Romney requires as great a departure from reality as denying Obama’s record of failure and incompetence.
Finally, many of us conservatives, including me, got caught up in the hype of the moment. Romney had the momentum, polls were turning in his favor, his backers were on fire, and he was bound for glory. Glenn Beck was among the lead cheerleaders in drumming up this hope. But that hope was ultimately misplaced, just like the hope that Obama would change the country, and Beck apologized on the air for his thorough misjudging of the situation.
In the end, two vexing issues have to be addressed. For one, trust in the electoral process needs to be rebuilt. For another, conservatives have to face the fact that our message didn’t sell to over 60,000,000 voters. That this many votes were cast to continue Obama’s record of high unemployment, increased dependency, eroding liberty and weakened national sovereignty proves it. No matter how much historical grounding we have, no matter how logical and reasonable our arguments, we cannot presume that our values are as commonly held as they once were; but honor forbids us from seeking popularity through compromise.