Learning all the wrong lessons from Election 2012

If history is doomed to repeat itself, then we'd better begin learning from past mistakes. But first we must know and understand what those mistakes are. Photo: © iStockphoto.com/Shaiith

WASHINGTON, DC, November 19, 2012 — Today, pundits and politicians are so myopic—or self-serving—that they want to convince us that this election was all about better ground games, polling models, and outreach. They talk as if the future of our nation is the same as plotting out Xs and Os, trick plays, and running a zone versus man-to-man coverage.

How did that work out for us? Let’s start with the most obvious: It wasn’t the economy, stupid! In case no one other than me noticed, that strategy was 20 years ago when another young, populist Democrat named Bill Clinton ran for the presidency and whipped the pro-family, pro-life conservative party.

Here are three wrong lessons being foisted upon the public:

Wrong lesson #1: Democrats were more appealing to women. Wrong. Democrats made abortion appealing. They packaged and sold it as a freedom. Meanwhile, the GOP with a pro-life plank refused to engage on principle: The preborn are not less than human and are not throw-away property. Instead, they ran from it—like little children who got pinched too hard by the playground bully—and now call people like Todd Aiken and Richard Mourdock terrible candidates.  

Wrong lesson #2: Republicans did not fight back early enough; Romney let the Democrats define him. Wrong. Romney and the Republican ticket got defined because they refused to define themselves. The winning strategy is for Republicans to educate and lead the populace on the ideals and principles upon which that party says it stands—and voters vote.

Wrong lesson #3: If they want to win, Republicans must show greater respect for diversity and inclusion. Wrong. Democrats exploited radical goals of diverse groups that were more important to those groups than jobs or the economy. Look to America, not the opposition’s talking points. Stand firm against same-sex marriage, sexualizing children, and the HHS mandates infringing on religious freedom.

After hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign ads and months of stump speeches, the needle did not move. Obama was up and Romney down. You would think there would be one person, just one, somewhere in the presumed pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious freedom party who said, “Hey, this doesn’t seem to be working. The voters already know about trillions of debt and high unemployment. What else have we got?”

And that’s what irks me most: The “post-game” analysis by all the so-called experts. And, I guess, that is where my ire starts. Election 2012 was no game. But America, in my humble opinion, lost, and lost big.

So, let’s stop analyzing the process and pointing fingers. We have a two-party system. Let’s stop listening to the Kool-Aid drinking media that tells us that, to win, Republicans must sound more like Democrats. It didn’t work in 2008, and it just failed again.

The Democrats paraded radical goals, radical ideology, and radical people in front of American voters. Common wisdom says this should have been a devastating landslide, but literally, nothing changed.

I want a real choice. Sure, I care about the economy and the fiscal cliff. But, I also know that the large majority of Americans still believe in the bedrock of American success—family, faith, and freedom.

So, as they say in sports, if we want America to win, let’s get back to fundamentals.

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Paul E. Rondeau

Paul E. Rondeau's research and writing on social issures has appeared in law journals, private publications, and  the popular press.  His work has been cited at the U.S. Supreme Court, United Nations and by best-selling authors.  He serves as executive director at American Life League.  He can be contacted at prondeau@all.org.


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