Wednesday, November 7, 2012

US Loses Election

This election documented that the GOP succeeded in defeating itself.  It snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, not only losing the Presidency, but two critical Senate seats as well.

The American voter was desperately looking for the candidate who could relieve the misery they've experienced in the past four years; they didn't want one who dictated their morals.

As we monitored the results, and grieved, we concluded that Conservatives needed several things.
  • A massive overhaul of the GOP leadership.
  • A coherent message that connects with the voters.
  • Establish a platform that has broad appeal and matches the voters' needs.
  • Ditch the attack ads!
  • The American voter wants a strong, dynamic President.   
  • When your opponent gives you the opportunity for a hay-maker, take the shot!

1)  A massive overhaul of the GOP leadership. 

     a)  In 2010, the Tea Party formed and rose up against the Democrats and led the way to an overwhelming Conservative victory in the House; they could have taken the Senate as well had it not been for GOP leadership [i.e., Karl Rove] who disapproved of the popular Tea Party candidates who had won the Primaries -- and set about [successfully] to defeat them -- in the case of Nevada, joining forces with the Democrats to defeat the Conservative candidate, and assuring the victory of Harry Reid.

     b)  Since then, this GOP leadership has done its best to undercut, denigrate and belittle the Tea Party, gutting the Tea Party, and the GOP itself of its strength and cohesiveness.  The Democrats could not have had a stronger ally than our GOP leadership; and a slam dunk win in many states was handed over to the Democrats, so that not only did Conservatives NOT win majority seats, they LOST seats in a political environment which guaranteed Conservative wins.

Karl Rove: GOP Destructor
    c)  Rather than destroy an ally that helped the GOP win in 2010, it would have made sense to invite the Tea Party leadership in to share in developing a combined strategy and control Capitol Hill.  But, Mr Rove, the unelected but self-appointed director or GOP policy and candidate selection decided it was better to destroy the valuable Tea Party allies since they seemed to have a mind of their own.

2)  A coherent message that connects with the voters.

      a)  Religious Beliefs should NOT be the Litmus Test for Conservative [or any] Candidates.

           --- Although issues like abortion are important and relevant, they are also volatile, highly divisive, and not politically addressable because there are so many levels of interpretation, even within the Religious Right.  The Democrats reduced it to "A woman's right to choose", while the Conservative Movement was ripped to shreds trying to parse the issue into varying degrees of religious fervor and righteousness.  This was a critical issue to many Catholic voters, and yet within the Catholic fold, there was/is no consensus. This is not an issue a President, no matter how powerful, can resolve.

Candidate Akin [R] Self-Inflicted Defeat

 --- The statements of GOP candidates Akin and Mourdock seemingly glorifying the issue of "Rape" as an instrument of God caused the general population -- particularly the under-40 population -- to shudder and turn away from the Conservative movement as they would in response to radical Islamic Mullahs demanding that their daughters be stoned for offending Allah.

Gay Conservatives count - and vote
         --- The anti-Gay rhetoric may have helped GOP homophobes feel better about themselves, but it was a turn-off to a powerful segment of the Conservatives consisting of Gays, to include the Log Cabin Republicans -- whose motto is "Inclusion Wins".  The GOP excluded them, and their powerful influence over the very active Gay community organizers in the urban areas.

Good troops are hard to find!

Who gives a happy damn about the personal lifestyles of Gays; they've been around for as long as mankind.  They have served well in government, politics, and the military.  As one SF commander put it:

"I'd rather have a unit full of Gays who can shoot and fight than one full of politically correct and self-righteous bigots who can't sight in on the enemy."

b)  Candidates MUST grasp the issues of importance to the voters.  Just as Bill Clinton captured the message when George H.W. Bush dithered about his "thousand points of light", his vague management references, and his astonishment at how grocery store scanners operated, Clinton reduced the mood of the country to a single sentence:
                                      "It's the ECONOMY, stupid!

          --- Clinton didn't offer any solutions, he merely identified the problem, and the voters identified with him because they could not identify with a Boston patrician who didn't understand consumer basics.  In reality, Clinton and Greenspan managed to destroy the healthy economy growing out of the 1990's IT boom [which the Media dubbed a "bubble"], but, Clinton's grasp of the needs of the Common Man won the election for him -- or should we say -- lost the election for Bush.

c)  The best message of the campaign came from Clint Eastwood with his Empty Chair dialog. 

 --- It was simple; it was direct; it was a picture which captured the emptiness of the Obama Administration and the imagination of the American people.  And the GOP ignored it as a campaign slogan because -- Karl Rove did not approve that message!

3)   Establish a platform that has broad appeal and matches the voters' needs.

Long Term Unemployment: 43%
      a)  The operative word in this election was the ECONOMY! 
Millions of people have been out of work for years now; they ran out of benefits, families have consolidated out of necessity; students have dropped out of school; new graduates can't find jobs; and EVERYONE is in debt!

      --- Voters desperately wanted to hear Romney spell out how he was going to FIX the economy; he WAS after all, a businessman and had funded start-ups which became very prosperous companies employing millions of workers and paying massive taxes. 
But not once did he mention those successes, but instead talked in vague terms about managing a successful Olympics, and, oh yeah, he converted Massachusetts from a failing economy to a stable one with a surplus, and he built the best school system in the country.  But, we didn't hear that message reinforced - except by vague reference.  It seemed he didn't want to brag -- but, a politician HAS to brag to let people know what his record is, and how he can use that record to address current problems.

One of many Romney Start-Ups
         --- NOT ONCE did we hear the names of companies like Burger King, or Domino's Pizza, or Toys"R"Us, or Burlington Coat Factory -- all of which Mainstream America can identify with -- and which Romney financed into successful taxpaying companies employing millions of employees. 

He could have used those companies as the basis for his Economic Recovery program, but he never once uttered their names, missing a huge opportunity to connect with the common people.

  b)  Voters wanted a success story!  Not another human interest story about how he had met still another miserable unemployed parent trying to make ends meet.  Most of the country already knew that story; what most of the country wanted to hear was how Romney would remedy that problem.  The simple answer would have been:

"I created these companies; I know how to create companies that employ people, and I'll do that. 
I am experienced at creating companies that hire people."

       --- But, we never heard that message; so people never understood that Romney was a businessman who knew how to create jobs, and wealth -- and could use that experience to turn the national economy around.

4)  Ditch the attack ads!

Karl Rove made his reputation on sleazy, vicious, negative attack ads.  But, then again, so did David Axelrod.  The difference is that those seem to work only for the incumbent.  The American people finally tired of the non-stop attack ads from both sides, and simply processed the basics:

a)  Romney is a rich guy who bankrupts companies and sends your jobs overseas and hates Gays.

b)  Obama is a corrupt black guy from Kenya.

The Democrats' propaganda was more powerful. 

The GOP did not counter the Democrats' attack ads; they simply launched attack ads of their own, which annoyed voters.

5)  The American voter wants a strong, dynamic President. 

     a)  They loved Reagan even if they objected to his platform and policies because  he portrayed "STRENGTH".  His defining moment was when, after he had financed the New Hampshire debate, the GOP moderator tried to turn off Reagan's microphone and Reagan bellowed:
"I  am paying for this microphone, Mr Green"  causing the audience to explode in applause and cheering.

     ---- Reagan established himself, in that moment, as a man who could, and would take charge -- and not be bullied.  And the American voters rewarded him with an overwhelming victory against Jimmy Carter -- who had embarrassed the US by allowing Iran to bully him.

    b)   During the debates, when Obama acted like a street thug bullying Romney, Romney reacted calmly and answered respectfully and quietly -- which portrayed him as the consummate diplomat, and allowed himself to be dominated by a bully! which was not the image the American voter wanted.  They wanted a candidate who would stand up to a bully, show some emotion, and fight back. 

       ---- The underlying message was
"If you won't fight back against this bully face to face, what will you do if the US is attacked?  
Will you back down, negotiate, or be calm and let the bully kick sand in your face!"

6)  When your opponent gives you the opportunity for a hay-maker, take the shot!

       a)  The Benghazi debacle was a clear opening for Romney to question Obama's handling of the issue, particularly of Obama's lying about the circumstances of the event and then blocking efforts to save Americans under attack. 

           --- That was Obama's weakest moment -- and yet Romney failed to express outrage, or even a modicum of emotion; and the moment -- and election was lost.

      b)  Obama attacked Romney on his "exporting jobs to China" -- and Romney didn't counter.

            --- It was the perfect opportunity for Romney to remind the voters how the companies he had created in the US, how many jobs those companies created, and how the expansion of those companies internationally had created consumers for American products.

           --- Romney's response instead was that he wouldn't allow China to manipulate its currency, an issue far beyond the comprehension of 99% of the American voters.

You fight to win!  Not to be a nice guy!
In sum, Obama was on the ropes in this election.

Obama had failed miserably in the past four years, and he had nothing to offer but more empty promises.  It should have been a slam dunk; but Romney came to a Chicago knife fight with a Bible and platitudes -- and he got knifed, and so did America.