Thursday, November 8, 2012

Last Politics Post for Awhile

Standard politics disclaimer. Below the fold is politics. Do not go there if you don't want to deal with politics. Frankly, I didn't either. But, judging by the Internet, some last few things need to be said.

First: Get over it. Romney did not lose due to fraud. There may have been fraud (there usually is fraud in any large enough election, especially in any area where there's been an entrenched majority, no matter the party.) That's the way of machine politics. But, fraud did not cost Romney the election. You know what did cost him the election? People staying home from the polls. Do you remember how much Democrats were (rightly) mocked for their nonsensical stolen election whines of 2000 and 2004? Yeah. Don't be them.

Second: Burning it all down is the worst idea, ever. Because I like our country, and the people living in it. Because of this, any electoral or political strategy that entails letting things go from bad to worse that leads to our countrymen suffering is bad.

Third: Much of common wisdom remains true. Negative campaigns work; debates don't really matter. There's a chart going around that demonstrates how powerful character attacks on Romney were. Now, you probably are thinking: "But, didn't Romney save a drowning family (literally) and lead an effort to find a missing girl? Hasn't Romney actually physically saved lives? Shouldn't that count for something in the caring department?" The answer is no. No it didn't. Do you want to try and change that in the next election? Find some rich, political folks and pitch this idea: Find your candidate's positives and highlight them. Negative advertising is devastating, especially if you go for months without responding. The only way to combat that is to accentuate the positive, not by trying to out negative the other side. No one wins that, as can be seen by the harsh drop off in voters this time around.

Fourth: Primaries are for principles; general elections are for pragmatism. Everyone says it is about picking the lesser of two evils, and they are correct. If Romney had managed to turn out his people, he would have won, handily. He had a strong showing with independents. All those people who told you they would not come out without a Palin or a Perry or a Cain or a Rubio or a Christie on the ballot? Many were not bluffing. If you want to win, you cannot do it with a fractured base. The Tea Party made the divides between the fiscal and social conservatives bigger; there were similar breaks in Team Blue before, but somewhere around 2010 the Blue Dogs were effectively wiped out. Learn to play nice within the big tent or concede the presidency.

Fifth: There is not going to be a civil war. There is not going to be a post-apocalyptic rush of brown outs and civil unrest. Tax policy and healthcare policy are not just enough causes for revolt or revolution when there are legitimate ways to address those grievances. The voting process has not been forever tainted because of a status quo election with a reduced turn out compared to what everyone was expecting. It may feel good to paint doomsday scenarios, but it makes you as silly as the people convinced Bush was going to declare martial law and stop the 2004 or 2008 elections. America is a strong, good country, no matter who is running it. Get this nonsense out of your system so that you can return to having reasoned conversations about politics.

Finally: The election is over. Get over it (see first.) Now, go out there and spread joy to the maximum. Do something other than politics until at least Thanksgiving. Find a cute guy or girl and go get ice cream. Read a book you haven't had time to read. Get a late start on NaNoWriMo. Take a nap. Finish/start your Christmas shopping. Volunteer or donate blood. Read poorly constructed fiction. God knows with the way things are going, we'll be getting polls for the midterms at the same time it becomes socially acceptable to play Christmas music.

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