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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Don't Give Up

The difference between victory and defeat often comes down to morale. You've seen it in baseball games and wars. It's that faint sense of air leaking out of the balloon. A weariness and malaise that kicks in when one side decides it can't win and doesn't want to be here anymore.

November 2012 was not a defeat. It was a loss in a close election that rattled the Democrats by showing just how much of the country had turned on their savior. It was a rebuke to Obama's mismanagement of the country and the economy over the last four years.

Or it would have been if the Republican Party had not reacted to its loss by screaming and wailing in despair after their hopes were ludicrously inflated by establishment posters. Followed by running around like a chicken without a head because we fell 400,000 votes short of winning key states. And this defeatist behavior has helped the media create the myth of a second-term mandate.

The country did not repudiate us. The majority of Americans did not pledge allegiance to some rotten post-American country. The majority stayed home. And that is damning, but it's also comforting because these are the people we have to win over. They don't believe in Obama, but they don't believe in us either. They don't believe in politics because it isn't relevant to their lives.

The more Republicans treat the election as a renunciation of everything that they stand for or a reason to give up on the country, the more Democrats posture as having won a tremendous ideological and cultural victory, instead of a limited strategic victory. Our reaction legitimizes theirs.

Republican consultants and pollsters fed the dream of an easy victory and that vision of an inevitable victory made the actual defeat much more shocking and devastating. It made people despair thinking that if we couldn't win an election this "easy", then it's completely hopeless. But this was never going to be an easy ride. Not against the first black man in the White House with a money advantage and the media in his pocket. Not against opponents running a coordinated smear campaign while rigging the economy in their favor.

Obama may have Carter's policies times ten, but he also has the image and the ruthless political machine of JFK. And even Reagan had to work hard to beat Carter. It wasn't the easy ride that some Republicans like to remember it as. Even though the economy was a disaster, the hostages were in Iran and Carter's performance had been so bad that he had a high profile Democratic challenger in the form of Ted Kennedy who took the fight to the Convention; Reagan did not break out until the debate. Now imagine Reagan running against JFK. The man in the cowboy hat might have won, but let's not pretend that it would have been any easier than it was for Romney. 

Beating Obama was possible and for a brief shining moment the window was open, when Romney had one good debate performance, but then it closed again as the storm blew in and the polls filled up with the handpicked demographics of the welfare state. And we lost, but we also won.

Win or lose, elections send a message and the message for this election to Obama was not, "We like what you've been doing the last four years. Great job!"

Obama lost his mandate. To win, he had to run a divisive campaign dependent on minority groups. And that locks him in a box outside the mainstream. Forget any of that nonsense about bringing the country together again. That is over and done with. The transformation of Obama from mainstream leader to bellicose mouthpiece for the left was completed at his first post-election press-conference.

Republicans might understand what this means if they weren't busy with an opportunistic internal civil war. And if sizable chunks of the rank and file weren't busy proclaiming that no election can ever be won again because the demographics of the country had changed so dramatically and everyone is so addicted to free stuff.

Neither one is true.

The demographics have not made it impossible for Republicans to win, not unless Republicans make that a self-fulfilling prophecy by jumping on the amnesty express. And you can beat Santa Claus, because our fat red man is a redistributor and does not give or take equally from all.But doing that requires spending more time making a case on the specific individual economic impact , rather than endlessly singing the wonders of free enterprise and depending on enough people to align with your economic philosophy to carry you over the top.

Romney was great when it came to talking about the impact of the economy on large businesses. He was much poorer at connecting to the concerns of ordinary people. He wasn't Reagan and Obama is a much better campaigner than Carter and there was no significant split in his party to tie him down. His victory was not inevitable, though he came close. A better candidate might have won. Even Romney might have won if he had tackled a wider range of issues and done a better job of connecting with the frustrations and anxieties of ordinary people.

In a period of prosperity or hope, he might have even been the perfect candidate. And it's not hard to imagine the electorate choosing someone like him to preside over growth and prosperity. But Mitt was running for the wrong job at the wrong time. He was running for the presidency of a bankrupt company and the shareholders were no longer at the point where they wanted someone competent and professional to run the company. They wanted someone who shared their anger or would protect them from the worst of the company's collapse.

And that may be the larger reason why Romney lost. 

This was a loss and there are lessons to be learned from it, but it was not a repudiation of conservative values, the end of America or any of the other things that some people keep insisting it is.

The country isn't lost and acting like it is will just make it easier for the Democrats to win. Right now the establishment is trying to sell out the base and the base is abandoning ship. That is a truly toxic combination which could very well accomplish what this defeat did not. It can bring down both the Republican Party and the Conservative movement.

On the one hand we have Liberal Republicans who want to realign their party as a less extreme version of the Democratic Party. On the other hand we have Paleoconservatives who view the country as a hostile cultural territory that they are no longer interested in fighting for, but a liberal Sodom and Gomorrah that they would be happy to see burn. Some expect a better America to emerge out of the ashes. Most do not. They just want to see America destroyed to prove their point.

Pulling out of the political process is no answer. It's comfort food before the apocalypse. There isn't any room in this country for private enclaves, cultural or otherwise. Not when the left gets through with it. There will be as much room for a real or virtual conservative enclave in 2035 as there was for one in the USSR in 1932 or as there is for one today in Cuba. If the left consolidates its control, then the only place to go will be underground, alive or dead. History bears ample witness to that.

Right now we can still fight and win, but the window is closing on that. If we accept the premise that change is no longer possible, then it really will be all over.

The left has not won. It is doing what it always does, acting as if its victory is inevitable. And that is the sum of its ideology. The left believes that its movement is the inevitable progress of history. It believes that it must win, it's only a matter of time. That sense of inevitability can be a powerful thing. And its opposite number, the thing that the left tries to instil in its opponents, the sense that they are doomed fossils, dinosaurs watching the comet, is equally powerful in killing hope and urging on the false wisdom of bowing to the inevitable. Amnesty, why not? It's inevitable.

Defeat is a teacher. How we behave in defeat shows what we are made of. It shows whether we have what it takes to win. If we fail the tests of defeat, then we shall never be worthy of victory.

Kipling said it best in his famous poem, "If". "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster/And treat those two impostors just the same/If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken/Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools/Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken/And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools."

The question is can we do that? Will we bend down and do that?

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Obama lost his mandate "...like that makes one bit of difference. Like that is going to stop him from bulldozing his destructive polices down this nations throat or shall I be most crude and say up this nations ass...does one think he is going say " oh I've lost my mandate so I better go centrist now " ? Quite the contrary. And the country is "lost" if this man's plans for it see fruition in the next 4 years. Much of what he implements will have no going back. Obamacare for one, shutting down all coal plants another, stripping our military and down sizing our nukes to near zero another. Destroying thousands of businesses with steep taxes and ever increasing regulations another. Chasing more companies overseas as they seek escape from all that. More homes lost as more and more people are unemployed or their employers cut their work week to 29 hours to evade the Obamacare fines. The havoc his polices will reek in the Middle east.Your cheerleading is all fine and dandy but please don't paint the picture as any brighter then it is- BLEAK.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Some of it is reversible in the short term, all of it is reversible in the long term. Hopefully.

The question is whether there is anyone coming who would reverse it.

FresnoJoe said...


Simply

"Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD." Jeremiah 17:5

Trust

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is." Jeremiah 17:7

And Be Blessed Beloved America

gizmo54 said...

What if there was an inauguration and nobody showed up?

lgstarr said...

"The left has not win." (Did you mean "won"?)

I have to leave right now...I feel an emotional trigger coming on which I CANNOT CONTROL!

Keliata said...

"Some of it is reversible in the short term, all of it is reversible in the long term. Hopefully.

The question is whether there is anyone coming who would reverse it."

No doubt about it, but the party must do a lot of soul searching the next four years, and I mean a lot. The Republican party has been considered the party of the rich for decades. Unless they change that perception (Romney's 47-percent comments didn't help)many people will continue to turn their backs on American politics.

I'm hoping things will be better in this country by the time the next election.Hopefully there will be less conservative rallies where people receiving gov't entitlements are condemned by people...receiving gov't entitlements.

meema said...

And sometimes, historically speaking, it's just over. It's not one thing, or one person that has destroyed all possibility of reclaiming what America once was. It is a collective barrage, layer upon layer of evil that has reached critical mass. Hell has come to collect what is owed.

Leo said...

Behavior must have consequences; otherwise, we'll be ruled by animal instincts. Freedom must have limitations; otherwise, we'll have chaos. Civilization is a social contract in which the participants must agree on the terms of an orderly existence. Those terms involve moral obligations consistent with the dominant culture. History teaches us that great civilizations are conquered from within, perhaps because, in their striving for greatness, they neglect and abandon the principles that built their success. Those principles are usually grounded in religion. Before there were laws in books, there was religion in the hearts and minds of people struggling to carve a decent life out of a cruel and brutish landscape. Before there was a Constitution to guide us in the building of a nation, there was religion to guide us in the spiritual recognition of a soul. Bob Weir | Give Thanks for Our Religious Heritage | Nov 22, 2012

Edward Cline said...

Conservative Bill Whittle gives a clue to what went wrong with the election and why, and offers the kind of moral passion that was completely absent in Romney. His central theme is that Republicans and conservatives haven’t really believed in their own political philosophy.

http://a.blip.tv/scripts/shoggplayer.html#file=http%3A%2F%2Fblip.tv%2Frss%2Fflash%2F6444929&showplayerpath=http%3A%2F%2Fa.blip.tv%2Fscripts%2Fshoggplayer.html&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fdavidhorowitztv.blip.tv%2Frss%2Fflash&brandname=blip.tv&brandlink=http%3A%2F%2Fblip.tv%2F%3Futm_source%3Dbrandlink&enablejs=true&lookup=AYOJr2UC

I can only surmise that this is the kind of "reformation" of the conservatives that he is alluding to.

Edward Cline said...

I meant: I can only surmise that this is the kind of "reformation" of the conservatives that Daniel is alluding to.

Leo said...

@Edward Cline:
> moral passion was completely absent in Romney

Your observation or rather a compact formulation is truly priceless. And Bill Whittle's speech on DavidHorowitzTV.com, what a dynamite!

Ravis said...

Republicans ran a rich, faux-conservative Mormon ex-governor who couldn't even carry his own state. They thought that would be enough. Now, the next ticket will include a Rubio or a Sanchez or a Rice or, god forbid, a Bush. No, Sultan, the Democrats won decisively, and, perhaps, permanently.

Incidentally, not enough is made of the fact that the country did indeed repudiate the Democrats and issue an historic mandate in 2008. That mandate was squandered by the likes of Boehner, who took every opportunity he could find or invent to save Obama from accountability. Better Pelosi had remained the public face of the future.

Ravis said...

That mandate was 2010, not 2008. My mistake.

moshe said...

Before 1932, there was 1918. In 1918, the Finns and the Poles walked away free. The answer to the question of whether or not there will be room on the North American continent for a conservative Anglo-Saxon enclave depends on the answer to a pair of more fundamental questions: Is there a Texan Mannerheim, or a Pilsudski in South Carolina? And will the people follow him into battle?

Wilson said...

The part of America that didn't vote for or want Obama needs a flag to rally around. I know this may sound trite, but it's true. We don't need a savior, we don't need a leader, we need an ideal. Something to transcend the little differences and brings together the various factions that know the disaster that is coming if the current regime is allowed to continue unchecked.

That flag is in fact liberty. The idea that free men should be able to do *what ever they want* as long as they are not harming others.

Perhaps I am being silly. Maybe a bit out of touch. Unrealistic. But this is the only thing that makes any sense to me at all.

Six said...

Amen and well said. This conservative warrior has not surrendered and never will. The stakes are far too high for that.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Moshe, the larger question would be whether such a figure would emerge at a crucial point in time after the decay of the military and political institutions to the point that they would not be able or willing to fight and win an extended civil war and the point when the barbarians have entirely overrun the country

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Wilaon, it does indeed make sense

Six, excellent

Anonymous said...

No one will reverse anything. Republicans are trying to make concession after concession to the left now. There really seems not to be a conservative left in the political arenas at all.

Keliata said...

Well, in the 1930s Americans had their morales lifted with Hollywood (patriotic) movies. I doubt that cheerfulness would be effective today. Ditto with Romney's pathetic attempt to sing a patriotic song. That's not to say the arts and literature can't be powerful.

I'm not seeking major reformations in the Republican party but some semblance of compassion for those in need, fiscal responsibility, tough on terrorism and national security and illegal immigration.

More than anything, though, I want a presidential nominee who gets the lyrics to this song:

"I was a quick-wit boy


"Diving too deep for coins
All of your street light eyes
Wide on my plastic toys
And when the cops closed the fair
I cut my long baby hair
Stole me a dog-eared map
And called for you everywhere

"Have I found you?
Flightless bird, jealous, weeping
Or lost you?
American mouth
Big pill looming

"Now I'm a fat house cat
Nursing my sore blunt tongue
Watching the warm poison rats
"Curl through the wide fence cracks
Pissing on magazine photos


"Have I found you?
Flightless bird, grounded, bleeding
Or lost you?
American mouth
Big pill stuck going down."


I'd lay bets that the politician you used that song would convey a great deal of understanding.

American mouth--the right to freedom of speech and within Republican circles the right to disgree with the approved pundits and opinions.

The first Amendment is first and federally protected for a good reason.

Wilson--that does make sense:) Freedom of speech is the flag I choose to rally around since IMO it is the most important of all.

Roger U said...

"On the one hand we have Liberal Republicans who want to realign their party as a less extreme version of the Democratic Party"

Is the current Republican Party not a less extreme Democrat Party? They nominate the ex governor of one of the most liberal States in the union who did Obamacare before Obama, and people try to pretend the GOP is conservative? Beohner and the others have done nothing to stop the liberal legislation, capitulating on everything in the name of bipartisanship. Even the Tea Party candidates from 2010 were useless, unable to slow the deficit spending.

I think politics at the federal level is lost. The only politics that might be salvageable for conservatives is local and probably even below State level.

"On the other hand we have Paleoconservatives who view the country as a hostile cultural territory that they are no longer interested in fighting for, but a liberal Sodom and Gomorrah that they would be happy to see burn."

Are they wrong? Our culture is Sodomesque, there's no denying, but we do have pockets of "Lots" here and there.
I am more in this camp, personally. I don't want to see the US burn, but I expect a break up of some kind in my life time. I hope its peaceful, history says that's not likely, but I think something better will come from the ashes in certain places after people reshuffle themselves.

Confusing Republican with conservative is a big mistake.

Roger U said...

From Free North Carolina:
"Northern Republican conservatism … is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition."
– RL Dabney, “Women’s Rights Women” (1871)

dee said...

I doubt we will ever be allowed to discover how many dead and unqualified multiple voters were dusted off in support of the America-hating, white-hating, civilisation-hating, Jew-hating Socialist.

Anonymous said...

Sultan: Rah Rah Rah, Sis Boom Bah!

The only thing that will do anything for this pathetic nation is an economic crash, and reset. Unfortunately, it is not going to happen.

Do you think that the leeches and teat suckers will increase or decrease in the next few years? Civil collapse and governmental suppression are on the way. We are broke and this administration means to bust the house.

Government agencies have been planning. The feds have been plying local police and sheriffs departments with armament and military equipment to quash those who would fight for freedom and justice under the constitution. The social security department just purchased 174,000 hollow point bullets. From zero Hedge. "

In the war in Iraq, our military forces expended approximately 70 million rounds per year. In March DHS ordered 750 million rounds of hollow point ammunition. It then turned around and ordered an additional 750 million rounds of miscellaneous bullets including some that are capable of penetrating walls. This is enough ammunition to empty five rounds into the body of every living American citizen."

I don't know....I just can't see being optimistic about conservatives , Republicans or John Bircher types making a difference again in this nation. Obama won and is going to fundamentally change this nation. Love your work 98 percent of the time.

PeaceAtAllCosts

lemon lime moon said...

Dittos to Wilson.

Anonymous said...

Back off the social con issues. The country just is not interested in them.

VA_Rancher said...

Anon,

"Back off the social con issues. The country just is not interested in them."

They said the same thing in Gomorrah right before...

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

No social conservatism = a country with broken families and a welfare state

Try convincing single mothers of fiscal conservatism.

VA_Rancher said...

Daniel,

"Try convincing single mothers of fiscal conservatism."

BINGO!

Succinct and to the point.
Bravo...

Mt Top Patriot said...

Never Say Die!

Mt Top Patriot said...

Remember your John Mosby:

“It’s not about holding ground. It’s not even about winning for the G. It’s about the perception of not losing.”

Adam Greenfield said...

"But doing that requires spending more time making a case on the specific individual economic impact"

Sure, and if you figure out how to do that in a Tweet or less then we will be back on track in gatting those unengaged.

Republicans need to stop with the constant explaining of complex truths. Most people aren't interested and the media won't let them believe anything coming from the mouths of Republicans anyhow. As soon as a Republican explains things like that, within an hour there will 25 alleged trustworthy fact checkers claiming it was a lie. It will be announced on the Nightly News, and Jon Stewart's show, and no one will bother to check for themselves.

In 2016, after teh first black Post America POTUS, we will be bombarded with the first Women President. And I doubt it will be Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin. The Reign of Hillary will begin, and all the explaining in the world will no help us.

Ok, call me a defeatist, I believe I am a realist. To think we can combat the Leftwing Machine with economics 101 when all these voters have already been through at least 12 years of Liberal Education, and many more of Liberal Media bombardment is a bit naive. It's going to take more than Detective Friday delivering "Just the Facts, Ma'am."

We are going to need one of the great Opinionists who constantly feed us with information to stop talking, stop writing, and put their money where their mouths are. Someone who can crush someone like Hillary in a debate with genuine facts with a splash of charisma.

VA_Rancher said...

Adam,

I fear you are right. Daily I Pray you are not though...

The next question I see is this, if you are right, our opponents got us to this stage by playing the LONG game, 90 or more years ago they set this all in motion...

So... Are your kids still going to gubmint skool?

Not really trying to attack you, but the thought I think we should all be discussing is more along the lines of "How much PAIN" are WE willing to go to? How much work are we willing to do to bring about OUR vision...

Most of the people I know are conservative, but most are not willing to endure much pain to fight for their beliefs. They feel they cannot home school, or even private school. They can't get involved in local GOP meetings or grass-roots politics, or whatever... Mostly because they are too busy actually WORKING and trying to bring about their vision.

I know this is true, because to a certain extent I've been that person myself. Wisely I did agree to Home-School when my wife suggested it. But now I realize IF WE want different results, WE need to DO something DIFFERENT.

So, what are you (and I) willing to DO differently to get different results?

Keli Ata said...

I agree with you in general Rancher but I wouldn't exactly advise people to get involved in established GOP meetings. Being informed is excellent but it does come with a price. People often get sucked into the system and become either disillusioned and basically useless or they become too politicized and loyal to particular set of rules, opinions, etc.

I like the grass roots activism, though. Provided it is a genuine grassroots movement.

Keli Ata said...

Rancher--sometimes the best way to buck the system is to buck the system.

VA_Rancher said...

Keli Ata,

I'm ready to buck the system. Where & How?

As for the GOP, I'm ready to resign my almost 30 year membership in the GOP. Too many RINO and Progressives for me. But where to beome a new member?

I'm only getting involved locally with the GOP itself because I feel I MUST because it is in my county and has direct influence on my life.

lemon lime moon said...


Resistance is how you buck the system.
As it was said in the 60's "suppose they gave a war and no one came".
That is one way it was done.
Write letters to your Congressmen and to letters to the editor and state your position. It may wake up others if you handle it right and do things without violence or too much confrontation.
Make others aware of what you think is wrong. It is amazing how many people just do not think anything is wrong!

Keliata said...

Wonderful advise Lemon. You're right about not being confrontational.

Anonymous said...

stolen election off of hurricane victims? that's typical run of the mill republican garbage and its beneath you...Romney was a money chasing fool with no moral center...I tuned you out after those beginning lines...maybe you should try something positive for a change...

1389 said...

we must have a secure voting system. Without that, it will be impossible to get our Republic back.

Bruce Lewis said...

Love ya, Sultan, but you are wrong this time. "We" are not the Republicans. The Republicans do not represent my interests, not the interests of anyone I know, any more than do the Democrats. A string of GOP victories from now until Doomsday won't change a damned thing, because the problem is not political.

The problem is the Enlightenment-based cultural, moral, and philosophical paradigm upon which this country and the entire global social and political order is founded.

Until that order collapses, all the (R) polticians in the world won't make a tinker's damn's worth of difference.

We do not need a new Reagan. We do not need a new Washington. We need a new Franco -- and until we get one we are lost.

Arlene Billson said...

Well said. Hoping that lessons were learned from the last election-- from the conservative base. This time around there needs to be a politician who does not shut out grass roots, Tea Party, Michael Savages, Sarah Palins, or blogging-conservatives. Let everyone on board who wants to preserve this nation. A spokesperson for conservatives shouldn't be afraid to call out a cheater with a clear voice of reason--and not intimidated by the media. Call out the Benghazi's, the suffocating FEDS, and the massive corruption. Don't look back, don't aim for political correctness. Whoever conservatives pick should communicate how democracy really works, and to the youth especially who are getting indoctrinated at every turn. Speak the language of real stories, and not concepts of economics and just jobs. The old Soviet trick was to pounce and lie about your opponent, using a false narrative, thus planting seeds of doubt that people subliminally filed away. It was done last time with malicious delight.

Thanks again, maybe those who sat out last time will get in there this time. It's going to be a harder fight than ever.

Fat Man said...

"Per me si va ne la citta dolente,
per me si va ne l'etterno dolore,
per me si va tra la perduta gente.
Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore;
fecemi la divina podestate,
la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore.
Dinanzi a me non fuor cose create
se non etterne, e io etterno duro.
Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate."

"Through me the way to the city of woe,
through me the way to everlasting pain,
through me the way among the lost.
Justice moved my maker on high.
Divine power made me,
wisdom supreme, and primal love.
Before me nothing was but things eternal,
and eternal I endure.
Abandon all hope, you who enter here."

http://etcweb.princeton.edu/dante/pdp/
Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri,
Book Inferno, Canto III: 1-9

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