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Election is Over, The People have Spoken

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 7, 2012

The 2012 presidential election is history.  It is now left to history and commentators, including this Blogger, to interpret and bring meaning to an election that some estimate cost in excess of $2 billion.

For any election it is to interpret the will of the people.  With this election, some Americans expressed there will by not voting.  It is reported that as many as 10 million less Americans voted for a presidential candidate in 2012 than in 2008.  This lack of participation indicates a lack of interest in the choice offered and a less than enthusiastic reception for either candidate.  It also suggests disenfranchisement, which hurts the legitimacy of elected governments.

Approximate 120 million Americans voted in this presidential election.  While the election was not a blowout, the voters’ message was clear, indicating the following:

  • Many Americans desire the continued growth of the nanny state and government intervention.
  • The majority of Americans are not yet willing to address the out-of-control deficit of the Country.
  • The Country is heading in a Leftward political direction. In addition, a large portion of the voters who call themselves independents are currently Leftward leaning.

While the will of the people is clear, governmental policies cannot be disconnected from economic realities.  The economic challenges facing the United States remain unchanged from the day before the election.  America’s out-of-control spending for entitlements and crony capitalism will limit the ability of the government, i.e. President Obama, to offer additional handouts to constituent businesses and individuals.  This will create a disconnect between many who voted for the President and the policies he will be able to implement.

Mitt Romney also did not connect with many voters who call themselves independents.  This in part due to his campaigning style.  More significantly, his message was poorly defined.  While Romney moved to the right to satisfy the Party base in the primaries, he is a centrist who believes in big government, although with a different tone Obama’s vision of big government.  In fact, Romney’s positions on many issues are similar to Obama’s.  As a result, Obama’s “likability” factor overcame many of the policy failures of his first term.  Given similar policy stances, many voters felt more comfortable with the devil they knew.

While the Right is disappointed with this election’s results, it has a silver lining.  The significant economic issues the Country faces are not resolvable at this time, irrespective of who won last night’s election.  A close Romney victory would not have been a mandate.  Tackling the Country’s deficit and other structural problems requires broad support of Americans, a support they are not yet willing to offer.  That support will become available only after more significant economic problems occur, which are inevitable giving the dysfunctional nature of Washington and governmental interventions that the Obama Administration will expand in his second term.

What does this election mean for the conservative movement?  It offers opportunity.  During the 2010 midterm elections, the Republican Party was energized and defined by the conservative and grass roots Tea Party movement.  That resulted in historic gains in those elections.  Unfortunately, the Party reverted back to centrist positions in a failed effort to unseat Barack Obama.  The nomination of Mitt Romney was a further push towards the center.

The opportunity now exists for a younger generation of Republicans, such as Marco Rubio and Chris Christie, to hone conservative and libertarian positions that will be in demand as the government interventions and programs fall apart in the next few years.  This could lead to a Ronald Reagan like conservative emerging, one who can rally the people to redirect the direction of the Country.

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One Response to “Election is Over, The People have Spoken”

  1. Jim Mahoney said

    Unfortunately Unfortunately the election results show that Obama has made good on his promise (threat) to “fundamentally change the United States”. We now officially have more people in the wagon than are pulling the wagon. The country is hanging by a thread and another 4 years of this will leave us with something none of us will recognize. He will continue his lawlessness ignoring the Constitution and the powers of Congress. He will have up to 3 appointments to the Supreme Court that will cause irreparable damage for an entire generation. Obamacare will be the law of the land and we will have no opportunity to repeal it before the attending bureaucracy metastasizes into every corner of the federal government. The fiscal cliff is still coming. I, for one, am tired of hearing pundits telling us about what conservatives can learn from this election. What we will learn is that our country is gone.

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