Last Tuesday night, Mitt Romney conceded the Presidential election to Barack Obama. Obama, ever the snide, self-serving narcissist he is, was quick to praise himself and promise even more of the policies which nearly bankrupted America in his first term.
This was a strange election. Not the GOP losing, but the fact that Romney and his supporters were blind-sided. In 2008, most Republicans saw it coming but this year most Republicans genuinely believed Romney would win. And there was reason to believe as well, with most national polls showing Romney ahead until the last few days before the election. Exactly what happened to give Obama a second term will be examined and discussed for quite some time. Either the national polls were wrong until the very end, literally millions of voters changed their mind in a matter of days for no significant cause, or something else happened that defies easy explanation. The sneering derision from the Left, that America is leaving the GOP behind, is a malicious lie, but something happened.
One thing that does annoy me, though, is the character of the election. Obama’s job performance was so abysmal that he certainly could not be honest about his record and win re-election, but there is also no question that Obama lied, pretty much throughout the election campaign, about what Mitt Romney stood for and what he meant to do. My wife is Asian and some of my friends are Hispanic, and they noted that a lot of TV and radio ads in non-English language which claimed outrageous lies, like Romney wanting to abolish Medicare or defund school programs for at-risk children, that he wanted to deport all immigrants or give billions in tax cuts just to rich people. There’s no justification for such outrageous behavior, even if Obama wants to hide behind the canard that the PACs putting out those ads did not represent his position.
The United States is healthiest when political debate is lively and substantive. Demonizing the opinions and beliefs of half a hundred million voters just so you can win an election is not merely unethical, it damages the framework for effective decision-making, and plays all too often into the hands of demagogues. If President Obama wants to establish a legacy of honor and to build genuine accomplishments, he better back off his hate speech and start listening to other opinions besides his own.