The GOP needs to learn that smearing and turning their backs on around half of the U.S. isn't too popular with the Americans, as can be seen in yesterday's election results.
Decades ago my father, the least cynical of men, quoted a political scientist who wrote that democracy will survive until people figure out that they can vote themselves money. That appears to be the point at which we have arrived. Put bluntly, the takers outnumber the makers. The polls in this election cycle diverged in a number of ways, but in one respect they were remarkably consistent: every poll I saw, including those that forecast an Obama victory, found that most people believed Mitt Romney would do a better job than Barack Obama on the economy. So with the economy the dominant issue in the campaign, why did that consensus not assure a Romney victory? Because a great many people live outside the real, competitive economy. Over 100 million receive means tested benefits from the federal government, many more from the states. And, of course, a great many more are public employees. To many millions of Americans, the economy is mostly an abstraction.
Then there is the fact that relatively few Americans actually pay for the government they consume. To a greater extent than any other developed nation, we rely on upper-income people to finance our federal government. When that is combined with the fact that around 40% of our federal spending isn't paid for at all - it is borrowed - it is small wonder that many self-interested voters are happy to vote themselves more government. Mitt Romney proclaimed that Barack Obama was the candidate of “free stuff,” and voters took him at his word.
That's wrong and it's bad politics. And, as long as the GOP continues to treat somewhere around half of the U.S. as somehow less than human, they'll keep on losing.
For background on these issues, see I Am The 53%: Tea Party continues War on The Poor, Is discouraging voting by the poor and welfare recipients a good idea?, Are whining Job Creators just big moochers? Are they patriotic?, and, of course, the "47%" posts on the Mitt Romney page and many of the posts on the Tea Parties and libertarians pages.
Wed, 11/07/2012 - 21:32 · Importance: 4