Friday, November 9, 2012
The End of the Beginning of the End
Well, it was a clean kill, I must say. No muss, no fuss… no hanging chads… no Supreme Court… very cut and dried. Obama gets two ears and a tail. And if you look at the electoral map, it couldn’t be more clear -- “middle America”, “flyover country”, the land of ordinary people -- that’s dead, on the national level, as is the Republican Party. And yes, I know, news of the Republicans’ death has been premature a number of times before -- as has news of the Democrats’ death. Every time the presidency changes hands, and sometimes when it doesn’t, the standard response is, well, so much for the opposing party -- they are no longer relevant, they don’t share the values of the majority of the American people, etc. But those occasions are usually based on specific factors -- wars, economic struggles, scandals, etc. What we see in this case is a systemic issue, namely that the Democratic base -- a coalition of minorities (formerly known as the “rainbow coalition”) has become the majority, not just in theory but in fact. And the old “moral majority”, which was never a real majority, finds itself in the position of a permanent minority. And it’s not as if this hasn’t happened countless times throughout history. War and conquest dominate all historical narratives. This time, part of the country has been conquered by another part -- not unlike the Civil War. In our own history, the Anglo-Saxon Puritan dominance was eventually threatened by immigrants from such lawless places as Ireland, Italy, Poland, etc. And yet the Anglo power structure held on -- as I expect it to do this time around, but only on the deepest level. (Which means that even though Romney lost the election, people like him will still be in charge, and people like Obama will be working for them… but never in a visible or obvious way.)
On the level that matters to most people, the inmates have demonstrably taken over the asylum, and it’s time for Atlas to shrug -- but shrug he won’t, because the people who should be doing the shrugging have, instead, sold out to the Regime. Or rather, they are the Regime. See, what Ayn Rand failed to anticipate was that “capitalists” would eventually no longer stand in opposition to collectivism, but would move in and take over, the way one mob will take over another mob’s territory. And the transformation that would result would be from a dysfunctional democracy/republic to a fascist state -- not communist (which was the more typical bogeyman of conservatives). In straining to avoid falling to communism we have become fascist instead, in other words -- even though politicians, including Obama, never tire of mouthing communist-style, or at least socialist-style, words.
But let’s get down to more specific issues for a moment. Number one, what’s to become of the Republican Party? Will it sink into well-deserved obscurity, followed by oblivion? This is what the media types were rubbing their hands with glee about all day Wednesday. No, what is more likely is that the Republicans will retain some relevance on the state and local level, and continue winning some elections at those levels -- but only in parts of the country where a majority share their values and priorities… their “vision”. On the national level, no one who voted for Obama is going to go back to voting Republican, assuming they ever did. In other words, Obama’s base is, basically, set in concrete at this point. The fact, for example, that he was held perfectly non-responsible for anything bad that happened in the last four years is one indicator. People are still willing to blame Bush for all our ills -- not an entirely mistaken premise, I must admit, but still…
And as for the Democratic coalition, it can only get bigger -- and the Republican one can only get smaller. These are demographic and social trends; they don’t have anything directly to do with politics, but they have political consequences. Now, the media types kept repeating, like some kind of mantra, that the Republicans have to start taking minorities “into account”, and showing some understanding and sympathy, etc., if they’re going to “retain national relevance”. Well, this is a tease, of course, because what they’re saying is that if the Republicans become more like Democrats they might have a chance of survival. In fact, if they become Democrats, they’ll have an even better chance of survival -- as Democrats. A Catch-22, in other words. The Republicans can’t survive unless they become indistinguishable from Democrats -- which means that the Democrats have won, along with their worldview. And it’s true that one of the main Republican arguments ever since, say, the Reagan years is that we should vote for them because they’re almost as compassionate, humane, and caring as the Democrats. But in that case, why not vote for the real thing rather than a pale (and hypocritical) imitation? If we were talking about real Republicans -- from the Robert Taft days, or the Goldwater days, or even the Reagan days, it might make some sense -- but they have been doing so much compromising of late, and have lost sight of whatever they might have had in the way of principles, and have given up all respectability, that they have become, basically, pathetic and a laughingstock. (Of course, one of their least respectable traits is their love affair with war and the American Empire -- but the Democrats do not disagree with them on this, so it’s a non-issue.)
I mean, what do they have left to offer? They talk endlessly about “the middle class”, but so does Obama (not that he means it). They talk about the national debt, which most people don’t even understand… about deficit spending (ditto -- most Americans think that as long as they have checks, they have money in the bank)… about balance of payments (hey, Chinese schlock is cheaper, who’s complaining?)… about moral issues (hey, I’m OK on that count, and those pre-verts can just go to hell)… and so on. And really, I understand about Romney. Obama may be a failure on most counts, but Romney was scary. He’s just too doggone white. And too wholesome. And too “American”. And not at all apologetic -- clearly out of touch with the spirit of the times. He represents, basically, the fading minority… and I don’t care what the reproductive rate of Mormons is, they can’t catch up to the Democrat coalition (even with free abortion taken into account).
So people who grew up never dreaming they would someday be on the outside looking in when it comes to American society are finding themselves doing just that. This, I guess, is what Obama meant by “Revenge”. Knock all those gun- and Bible-clingers off their high horse… make them stop making fun of rootless cosmopolitans, academicians, eggheads, the East Coast, the West Coast, and so on. Show them what minorities can do when given a chance. Truly, it’s “our turn”, and I guess it took Obama’s re-election to make that clear. There was always, in the back of many people’s minds, the idea that if Obama screwed up enough things often enough he would be easy pickings once this election rolled around. Problem is, even if he did his part (which I submit that he did) not everyone agrees that it constituted a screw-up. The 47%, and then some, think he’s doing a splendid job… that he’s still He Who Is To Come… and that everything that’s wrong is Bush’s fault, after four years. This is, truly, a triumph for the propaganda apparatus that we call “the mainstream media”.
And by the way, whatever happened to that business about Romney’s son owning all the voting machines… or the Israelis supplying all the software? What happened to Bibi Netanyahu’s campaign to get us all to vote for Romney because Obama was starting to wander off the reservation? Whatever happened to all that money from Sheldon Adelson? Just goes to show -- Americans are a cranky lot, and can still manage to foil the plots and schemes of the rich and powerful (some of them, at least).
So if the Republicans are dead meat nationally, which they appear to be, what will this change when it comes to the Democrats’ behavior? How will they act now that they have the presidency for life? And more immediately, what will Obama do in his second term? Double down on all the most radical socialistic/collectivistic/totalitarian schemes, now that what little opposition he’s had has been neutralized? Will he, for example, stage a final showdown with the Catholic Church over the contraception and abortion funding question (via health insurance)? It would be tempting to say yes, because what’s stopping him? Problem is, many members of his party are still at least nominal Catholics -- and they might shrink a bit from wholesale persecution of their church (although “the spirit of Vatican II” didn’t seem to bother them, and that was about as destructive as anything since the Reformation). Plus, even a dominant majority has something to gain from keeping the minority happy… or at least not engaging in open persecution. A happy slave is a good slave, and the colonials never relish being confronted by restless natives.
See, it’s always assumed that a president will get more “radical” (in whichever direction) in his second term, but I’m not sure history bears this out. What’s more likely is that he feels an obligation to pave the way for his successor, and for the party in general to remain in power. And again, even if the Republicans are permanent second-class citizens, it wouldn’t do to just assume that and engage in blatant triumphalism for the next four years. There is still room for a Democrat to screw up so badly that he’s forced out of office -- as witness Carter. So yes, it’s a delicate balance -- and liberal paranoia, always a factor, will also have an influence. Along with the fetish for apologizing to everyone for everything, there is also a hypersensitivity to criticism -- even from unworthy sources. Liberals may hate you and everything you stand for, but they will still pay attention to what you say and react to it. This is because they are not firmly grounded in anything but impulse and carnal motives; all of their marvelous ideals are simply covers for infantile greed, rage, and resentment. And yeah, I know this is a bit of an oversimplification, but I’ve known enough liberals to feel that it’s true in most cases. The most I’ve ever been able to say by way of giving a liberal the benefit of the doubt is that they are naïve or deluded; but that is rare. It is found among the foot soldiers, but hardly ever among the leadership. Most have simply never grown up -- or if they have, they have grown up to be cynics and exploiters. Take a look at Obama and his cronies, for example -- people at the very pinnacle of the liberal aristocracy. How many genuinely “good” people are there among them? Really. I can’t think of a single one. They are, to a man (or woman), frauds, con artists, deceivers, and master manipulators. But -- I hasten to add -- so were Bush and all of his crew. So I am at least an equal opportunity critic of political types. The difference, for what it’s worth, is that at least the Republicans don’t pretend to be egalitarian; they are elitists and proud of it. Whereas the Democrats are towering hypocrites, pretending to be for the little guy while lording it over the peasantry and making sure that their core minority constituents stay firmly in place -- like blacks, for example.
Another way of putting it is that, as the result of this election, a lot of evil people get to keep their jobs and a lot of other evil people don't get to have new jobs. That's about as simple as I can make it. And I don't pity any of those fools, on either side.
For many of the media types on Wednesday, this election added up to not even a bump in the road. For all the money that was spent -- and I laugh every time I think of the money that was blown on Romney -- things post-election will be pretty much the same. One can only hope! Surely things won’t improve; that’s not in the cards. But we might be able to avoid some of the worst aspects of collectivism and totalitarianism -- for four more years, at least… until Hillary takes over (just kidding -- I hope).