The electoral divide: Rose color vs. HD glasses
DOMENICK MAGLIO, Traditional RealistElections are never final, there is always the next one. The 2010 election was a strong victory for limited government followed by the 2012 reversal. Every election has winners and losers with political analysts from the left and even some from the right talking about the demise of the Republican Party.
Published: November 17, 2012
Published: November 17, 2012
Any election is a snapshot of voters at a particular time. Any incident could sway enough citizens to affect the outcome. This is especially true where the votes were almost evenly divided as in the 2012 election.
Many commentators cited exit polling that stated that 15 percent of the voters solidified behind President Obama due to his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in the northeast USA. The photo op with New Jersey governor Chris Christie made President Obama appear presidential when his poor economic performance was under question.
Big government represented by FEMA said it was mobilizing to prevent the personal agony of the natural disasters. It was supposed to be a demonstration of the effectiveness of big government to Americans. Ask the people impacted by the storm today how they would grade big government's performance.
The media's coverage of the late breaking stories of Sandy, Benghazi, the Petraeus scandal and Fast and Furious have been benignly censored. These stories were carefully managed to insure that no breaking news would adversely impact the President's public standing at the end of the campaign.
There were two different men with two different strategies running for office. The Obama "Forward" and discrediting Romney before he defined himself and Romney's "Are You Better Off Economically Than You Were Four Years Ago?" and be statesmanlike by remaining above the fray were very different tactics. In essence, President Obama said to continue to view the future with rose-colored glasses, while Romney wanted us to examine the past with high definition glasses to see the exact differences between 2008 promises and 2012 performance.
Today in our instant gratification culture promises of "free things" trump the people's freedom and opportunity to advance up the socio-economic ladder.
President Obama appealed to scientifically identified mini demographic groups. His appeal was emotionally crafted. Each interest group was promised specific goodies and changes that would make their lives better. The president appeared to express empathy for each and every one of these people. There was no grand plan spelling out how this turnabout was supposed to be accomplished in our poor economic condition but it specifically targeted commitments to each group.
President Obama enlisted America's "feel your pain" former President Clinton, to vouch for his word and his ability to correct our economic woes. Ironically this was the same president who lied under oath about having an affair with Ms. Lewinsky.
Gov. Romney took an entirely different approach by focusing his campaign on his expertise to get the economy to produce greater private sector jobs. He used numbers and facts to demonstrate the weak results of President Obama's experiment in central government planning. The big picture was presented logically and straightforward to persuade people to vote for him. It did not work to motivate over a million voters who had voted for candidate, John McCain, in the 2008 election.
Promising things to obtain a citizen's vote for a leader goes back to Biblical times. Kings employed divide and conquer and giving cake and circuses to maintain power. There was no nation's constitution, law or electoral process only to the individual that was proclaimed king by hook or crook. The people served the king, not the king serving the people.
Humans inherently need guidance and wisdom imparted by adults to prepare them to face the difficulties and challenges in life. America's youth worshipping culture has done a poor job in this area. As families disintegrate and parents become more givers than teachers, future adults are becoming more dependent on others than self-reliant.
The next four years will be fraught with many financial, educational and cultural decisions that will cause pain and suffering. Our taxes will go up and there will be cuts in entitlements. Many promises will not be kept as they were not in the past four years.
Americans will abruptly be robbed of their adolescent rose-colored glasses and be forced to grow up and face reality. They will learn to be concerned with the fine print with their HD glasses on before voting again. Suffering brings reality into focus. This could be the 2012 election's saving grace.
"Forward" has in the past been a socialist slogan because politicians of that ilk cannot stand an examination of their performance. Socialist Europe is disintegrating in front of our eyes. Their politicians are still painting wonderful pictures that cannot materialize because of their own impending economic cliff.
The U.S. is not far behind Europe's financial disarray but we need to change our nation's glasses to observe reality before it is too late.
Dr. Maglio is an author and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. You can visit Dr. Maglio at www.drmaglio.com.