Pie-in-the-Sky Hopes for the Next 4 Years

by occasionallywrong

Hello everybody! It’s been a crazy couple days for me, but if you haven’t noticed the election is over! Hooray! Obama won again and I got to watch it all play out in real time on Fox News, where apparently nobody ever gave them the memo that losing was a possibility.

There was a beautiful piece in the Atlantic this week by Conor Friedersdorf entitled How Conservative Media Lost to the MSM and Failed the Rank and File. It’s fascinating to see that while Nate Silver and all the polls were indicating an Obama victory, the Romney people essentially just surrounded themselves with yes men telling them what they wanted to hear rather than what was actually happening around them. Silver, having accurately called the last 3 elections, is the kind of man supposed “numbers guys” like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan should have been paying attention to, but instead they chose to look to faux experts like the morbidly obese huckster behind Unskewed Polls, a website which earned it’s page clicks by essentially taking Silver’s numbers and switching Obama and Romney’s names.

I’m happy to have President Obama back in office. I’m glad we’ll have another 4 years of a president who doesn’t actively work against gay rights, science, women, etc. I also acknowledge that the chances of the Republicans admitting any sort of fault and learning any lessons from this election is pretty far-fetched. Still, this is my hope for the next 4 years.

Tone Down the Rich Guy Rage

2012 was the year for the richest and most powerful people in the country tried to present themselves as victims to the American people and lost big time for it.

It’s hard for anyone who hasn’t bought into the propaganda or who isn’t rich themselves to cheer on a bunch of blue bloods snubbing their noses at poor people/veterans/single mothers/etc, but it was the cornerstone of the Republican argument. This is why when Romney’s 47% video released, everyone but the Republicans was able to say “This is not good for Romney” while the conservatives were patting each other on the backs saying “So true! Go for it Mitt! Stick it to those leeches!” And Republicans are still astonished their strategy didn’t work. Hopefully they will learn.

Stand up to those in the party who are anti-gay/anti-woman, rather than downplaying the importance of the issues

Because I live in a blue state near a large city, the Republicans I know actually tend to be pro gay marriage, yet are completely comfortable voting for the party’s anti gay stance. They reconcile this by saying “The economy is the most important issue,” but that doesn’t change the fact that for many in the country, a vote for the Republican Party is a vote to disenfranchise their friends and loved ones.

My Republican friends scoff that people are foolish for voting to support gay rights rather than supply side economics, but them’s the brakes. You can’t have it both ways. If the conservative argument is that marriage makes society stronger because the institution in and of itself promotes hard work, respect, and loyalty, why deprive your fellow Americans of it? The American tide has turned, a majority of the country is ok with the idea, and gay people tend to be productive members of society who work and contribute to the economy. It would be wonderful to see the Republicans direct their efforts away from preventing gays from being happy, and focus on better things.

Admit that the sky is not falling

The country has been experiencing positive economic job growth for 25 months now. A big part of Romney’s strategy was to run ads in swing states with regular looking people asking “Where are the jobs Obama? Where are the jobs?” The problem with that was in Ohio, the unemployment rate was well below the national average thanks to the auto bailout. The people of Ohio weren’t swayed by the “Obama destroyed the country” argument because generally speaking, they were doing ok.

For every one of my conservative/libertarian friends bemoaning the death of America for the next four years, I hope they get over it and come up with a different strategy. They predicted quite literally that the world would come to an end in 2012 after Obama’s first win, and 4 years later we’re not doing too bad. Obama hasn’t outlawed guns and free speech, and (big shocker) hasn’t rounded up the Palin family and euthanized them in liberal death camps.

Bottom line is the entire right wing characterization of Obama voters is wrong. Nobody wants to live in a Marxist dystopia where everyone stops working and instead enslaves the millionaires and billionaires. Americans aren’t going to suddenly decide they no longer want money and success. This “the world is going to end” bullshit worked well in 2009 when everyone was in a panic after the economic crisis. Continuing to cry wolf four years later just makes them look silly, and if they continue the strategy they will look even sillier when we still have guns, free speech, and another round of confused Republicans wondering why they’ve lost the general election yet again.