5 Myths About the 2012 Elections and America’s Political Future

  1. Obama and the Democrats Won Because Romney was a Weak Opponent

Romney was a relatively strong opponent whose credentials, solid business background and Republican governor of a liberal state not to be taken lightly. He was both telegenic and gaffe prone. The latter did not appear to be a problem in his: A. beating Obama soundly in the first debate, B. shadowing within 2-3 points of Obama in the polls and sometimes equaling or besting him, C. All of this in spite of being the quintessential one percenter, D. All of this and he still won 47+ % of the American electorate and the white male and female vote, in spite of caving to many very conservative positions

  1. Obama’s Victory was about his likeability, not his policies

Obama was indeed seen as more likeable and/or to have the average American’s interest more at heart, but he was also credited with Trying, if not always succeeding, to re-energize the American economy, maintain a newly respectable and thoughtful foreign policy, expand health coverage and protect programs that existed,….more (a bit for various groups: “illegals”, environmentalists, women—that minority that is the majority, veterans, not to be cynical but the latter a nice way to compensate for no war medals)

  1. The Right Wing of the Republican Party was discredited and is Moribund

Indeed the far right was a net drag on the party but events since the election show that while the party leadership is distancing itself from Tea Party excesses and hard-shell reactionary politics, the core of the right-right remains intact, unapologetic, perhaps more localized in the south and conservative plains and RockyMt. states

  1. The Republicans will move more to the Center and halt Democratic gains

This may happen at the top of the ticket in subsequent elections (the meaning of the curve of 2008-2012 is clear enough, but the Republicans have a delicate balancing act in smoothing the rough edges of the far right and yet maintaining their most active cadres; in 2016 and beyond they may not have as polarizing (read black, smart, “elitist”) figure as Obama to rally the troops against

  1. An increasingly progressive electorate and reform at the very top are “Enough.’

No they are not. The Democratic and progressive forces must groom a new generation of governors, representatives and senators (the latter are retiring 2-1 over republicans, and the most liberal—Harkin, and Rockefeller—at that, and state legislatures where gerrymandering has been deadly for the Dems)

15 thoughts on “

  1. An increasingly progressive electorate/reform at the top/a new generation of “attractive/compelling/charismatic leaders” are part of the mix. And, as you note, we also have to do something about gerrymandering (which has produced a Congress unrepresentative of the majority of the national electorate).
    In addition, we have to work on:

    a. voter suppression–which last election was countered by an extraordinary Get-Out-The-Vote campaign and the angry determination of voters refusing to allow their votes to be suppressed.

    b. The continuation of the “angry white male vote.”—which was partly countered in the last election by the revival of auto industry jobs. So jobs may be an answer here. And a hard core may always remain, hopefully more and more outvoted.

    c. Citizen United $$–Zillions of small donations from rank-and-file citizen supporters can help here—as it has for all of Obama’s national campaigns. But Obama also needed, and got, lots from his own fat-cat supporters—some say, diluting his dedication to his mass following and the nation as a whole.

    So one solution is even more rank-and-file citizen support—which may be hard to come by.

    Then there are legislative solutions (which may require the overturning of Citizen’s United)—like limits to all campaign spending—by the candidate or his supporters and/or public financing to the exclusion of other campaign spending.

    But no matter what is tried, it’s hard to keep unwarranted money out of elections. It’s like spilt molasses. It oozes through everything. When a crack is sealed a crevice is found.

    d. Immigrants/minorities deserting progressivism after “making-it” into the middle-class– for narrowly-understood economic-self-serving reasons and/or by falling back on “traditionalistic” morality. Most electioneering is about getting supporters to the polls, not convincing/converting people to be supporters. But here convincing/converting may have to be tried.

    e. The heavy American-style anti-government/rugged individualism tradition—Here, as above, convincing/converting (like pointing out the many government actions that undergird most successful rugged individualists) must be tried. And, as above, a hard core may always remain, hopefully increasingly outvoted.

    f. The lack of commitment or understanding of most voters regarding political parties and their traditions—Again, convincing/converting—including getting more and more people into colleges and universities—reducing to as few as possible the uninterested and those who, before an election, don’t have a clue one way or the other.

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    • On money in elections: with the laissez faire/libertarian mentality of many Americans on things: the right to contribute to campaigns, the right to spend money on consumer goods, alcohol, guns (and use them), and (from the Left?) the right to control one’s body: abort, bring to term, prevent conception, enjoy sex outside of or at least before marriage (the Right has been known to second the latter two motions) HOW CAN WE EVER hope to rein in campaign spending.?? The system is profoundly rigged. Yet…

      Who would have expected the temperance movement to evolve into a national crusade against the alcohol enjoyed by so many and thence to Prohibition (for a while)?

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    • Aiden !
      Thank you so very much for your comments and I apologize for the delay in responding. You can see from the blog that I have been on hiatus– not a great idea but i have been sidelined by teaching duties and an unexpected trip to Turkey. I am honored to hear from you and will be back in touch as I dig out and and re-energize this project.
      fls

      Submitted on 2014/03/28 at 3:32 pm
      This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!!

      Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Thank you!

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    • HERMAN!

      Thank you so very much for your comments and I apologize for the delay in responding. You can see from the blog that I have been on hiatus– not a great idea but i have been sidelined by teaching duties and an unexpected trip to Turkey. I am honored to hear from you and will be back in touch as I dig out and and re-energize this project.
      fls

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  2. Greetings! I’ve been reading your website for a long time now and finally got the courage
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    • Gregory!
      Thank you so very much for your comments and I apologize for the delay in responding. You can see from the blog that I have been on hiatus– not a great idea but i have been sidelined by teaching duties and an unexpected trip to Turkey. I am honored to hear from you and will be back in touch as I dig out and and re-energize this project.
      fls

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    • Leslee!
      Thank you so very much for your comments. You can see from the blog that I have been on hiatus– not a great idea but i have been
      sidelined by teaching duties and an unexpected trip to Turkey. I am honored to hear from you and will be back in touch as I dig and and re-energize
      this project.
      All best, fl
      s

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    • Melody~ Thank you so much. It is a real honor to be bookmarked. Doubly if the person is blogging (well) in an area quite different from yours. I find your website Useful/Usable– a good thing– I want to explore it more. Let’s try to keep in touch and comment on each other’s blogs as appropriate and when the spirit moves us! Oh for 35 hours in a day! Rick Shiels

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