Diary

Election reveals our assumptions about the nation are wishful thinking

Listening to Mark Steyn on with Hugh Hewitt Thursday afternoon, and he made the point that Barack Obama’s appeal is a cultural one. No longer are our elections about perpetuating the vision of our founders, or about our values, or about what makes America unique in the world. Elections are now all about people’s perceptions of their own wants and desires, and validating those wants and desires by electing the candidates who reflect one’s narrow perspective on the culture.

My sense (which I hope is wrong), is that this election was a generational shift. FDR’s New Deal lasted until 1968 (36 years after Roosevelt was first elected); the Reagan Revolution lasted, arguably, until 2004 (24 years since Reagan was first elected). Both periods of time spanned a generation. Unless Obama is a complete disaster (which he may be), the GOP may be on the outside looking in for a generation, starting now.Michelle Malkin had a column on Wednesday entitled “And the Winner Is…Peggy the Moocher,” referring to Peggy Joseph, the Obama supporter in Florida who said that with Obama’s election she’ll never have to worry about buying gasoline or paying her mortgage. At the end of the campaign, she became the poster child of the “We Want Pie” crowd (the chant many Obama supporters took up whenever he’d say that he wants to “give” more people a piece of the American pie). I had an epiphany, if I can call it that, when I first heard this woman’s audio clip: Some people (a majority, apparently) want the government to pay for all of their necessities: housing, health care, food, education, utilities — leaving them free to spend what meager income they have on frivolous wants. It’s the new American Way.

Bush tried to introduce “The Responsibility Society.” No wonder he became so unpopular. What most Americans want is “The Irresponsibility Society” where one gets to do what they want, and the government comes in to mop up the mess.

Mark Steyn, again, was on with Dennis Miller on Wednesday. He said that the real message of the election is that we are not a center-right nation, but that most voters want us to become like Europe in following “Social Democratic” policies (a fancy term for socialism — something even Europeans are having second thoughts about). In wanting to become like Europe, Steyn then commented that all the conspiracy stuff that some on the right were pumping out that Obama is a secret Muslim was absurd. He’s not a secret Muslim, Steyn said, but a rather open Scandinavian.

How does conservatism win in a society that has no sense of history, no idea of or apparent interest in the principles by which this nation was established, where everyone wants a piece of the pie handed to them by government, and where the Democratic Party’s electoral successes depend on keeping the electorate ignorant and keeping the mainstream news media in the tank for their party? Obama and the Dems made class warfare work in this election. They got a lot of mileage out of criticizing “corporate greed.” But what they capitalized on was the personal greed among individuals who voted for them — those who want government to take care of them, and to heck with the greater good.

We’re swimming against the current. We need an articulate charismatic spokesperson for our philosophy. I don’t see anyone who fits the role. Maybe Sarah Palin, but the MSM and the Inside-the-Beltway wing of the Republican Party are doing their best to strangle her political career in the crib.