Nov 13, 2012
I was about to summarize some of my thoughts and postings on the election, but this covers many of them.
Bret Stephens wtites Earth to GOP: Get Grip in the Wall Street Journal, 11/12/12
Fellow conservatives, please stop obsessing about what other adults might be doing in their bedrooms, so long as it’s lawful and consensual and doesn’t impinge in some obvious way on you. This obsession is socially uncouth, politically counterproductive and, too often, unwittingly revealing.
Also, if gay people wish to lead conventionally bourgeois lives by getting married, that may be lunacy on their part but it’s a credit to our values. Channeling passions that cannot be repressed toward socially productive ends is the genius of the American way. The alternative is the tapped foot and the wide stance.
Also, please tone down the abortion extremism. Supporting so-called partial-birth abortions, as too many liberals do, is abortion extremism. But so is opposing abortion in cases of rape and incest, to say nothing of the life of the mother. Democrats did better with a president who wanted abortion to be “safe, legal and rare”; Republicans would have done better by adopting former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’s call for a “truce” on social issues.
Which reminds me: Can we, as the GOP base, demand an IQ exam as well as a test of basic knowledge from our congressional and presidential candidates? This is not a flippant suggestion: There were at least five Senate seats in this election cycle that might have been occupied by a Republican come January had not the invincible stupidity of the candidate stood in the way.
On the subject of idiocy, can someone explain where’s the political gold in demonizing Latin American immigrants? California’s Prop 187, passed in 1994, helped destroy the GOP in a once-reliable state. Yet Republicans have been trying to replicate that fiasco on a national scale ever since.
Here’s another suggestion: Running for president should be undertaken only by those with a reasonable chance of winning a general election. It should not be seen as an opportunity to redeem a political reputation or audition for a gig on Fox News. Mitt Romney won the nomination for the simple reason that every other contender was utterly beyond the pale of national acceptability, except Michele Bachmann.
Shimon Peres once noted “one should not confuse a fact to be accepted with a problem to be solved”. The argument that it is hard to compete with Santa Claus does not explain the still strongly pro Democrat vote of college educated single women, Asian Americans, Jews, and many other self supporting minorities. The same applies to those that think that only ignorance explains the vote. The loss of the GOP may be as simple as just not providing a clear enough acceptable alternative and losing the ground game. The Dems just ran a better and sophisticated grass roots campaign. The mantle of economic liberty was carried by the GOP but it was carried poorly and it did not overcome the other drawbacks.
Many libertarians continue to reject the GOP because their value of liberty is highly selective. Liberty is not simply the tolerance of those ideas that do not offend you.