Now What?

If you weren’t paying attention, and I knew you were, Barack Obama won four more years and the Senate while Republicans kept the Congress last night. There were some bright spots such as North Carolina going “red” (unfortunate term) and some big disappointments, such as Allen West loosing in Florida, which, I guess, frees him up to run for President next time.

The consequences of this election are huge, including us being saddled with Obamacare, probably forever and new Supreme Court Justices that will permanently make  collectivist dogma Constitutional. The Congressional Budget Office was already predicting a recession in 2013 and a debt crisis shortly thereafter. Our chance of averting either is pretty slim now. In short, the ruling class and the parasite class have won and the producers have lost. Look forward to Democrats working to make their reign permanent by appointing Leftist  judges, increasing the dependent class at home while making it easier for more dependents to immigrate here. A longer list is provided by The American Thinker.

There is a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking and finger pointing going on. The criticisms fall into these categories:

1) The Romney campaign

2) The GOP establishment

3) Social conservatives and their focus on abortion, immigration and gay marriage or the opposite, fiscal conservatives and their avoidance of abortion, immigration and gay marriage.

I reject all of it, yes, all of it. Let me address the first two together. Romney has been accused of not being aggressive enough or of resting on his laurels after the first debate, and so forth.

The fact of the matter is, whether our candidate is Romney, McCain or even Reagan, if we cannot muster the enthusiasm to vote in greater numbers that we did in 2008 what can we expect? Do we think a more aggressive, in-your-face, Romney would have convinced Obama voters? Would pandering to the conservative base in the final hours, as Obama did to his, make a difference? Should Romney, as Larry Kudlow counseled, have spent more time discussing economic growth instead of unemployment? Or, to be more specific, what could your, personal, ideal, candidate have done that would have yielded a different outcome? More on that later.

On to item 3.  Republican and conservative voters are a coalition, just as the Democrats are. But the Republican coalition is different in some fundamental ways. First, we do not look to government to solve all of our problems. We look to government to stay out of our lives. We are also less pragmatic than Democrats and each faction has moral principals to uphold that may contradict some of the moral principals of our brothers in arms.

A blog post this morning by Ari Armstrong at The Objectivist Standard provides a great example of blaming social conservatives for the loss. And since I love the blog I’ll use this example myself.

To summarize, Ari’s argument is that Republicans can only win if they support individual rights.  I agree, in general. I disagree specifically. To quote from the article:

“…Republicans lose votes and elections because and to the degree that they advocate the violation of individual rights. Regarding abortion, the Republican establishment seeks to violate the rights of women for the sake of the undeveloped embryo inside her. Regarding immigration, many Republicans seek to violate the rights of peaceable people to move to America, and the rights of U.S. business owners to hire employees of their choice. Regarding gays, many Republicans seek to legally deny the rights of gay couples to marry; some even seek to deny the rights of gay couples to engage in sex.”

Ari’s three “rights” are abortion, immigration and marriage. Indeed, supporting these three and others could win Republicans votes. I doubt it. First, any votes they won would be offset by the votes they lost. Second, and more importantly, Republicans have been moving to the middle and the Left on social issues for years and it isn’t working. Why not? Because the Republican brand isn’t controlled by Republicans. It’s controlled by the media and the Democrats.

Specifically, this election was supposed to focus on fiscal issues. That’s why Romney, soft on abortion and immigration but strong on leadership and financials, was hopeful. That’s why he picked Ryan, who’s expertise in fiscal matters is unchallenged among politicians. But it wasn’t Romney or Ryan that set the terms of the debate or brought up abortion, condoms and the rest. It was the media.

For instance, Romney was clearly shocked when, in the early, primary debates, George Stephanopoulos, asked him if states could ban contraceptives under the Constitution.  Other candidates, as well as Paul Ryan in the Vice Presidential debate, were asked about their opinion of abortion. Ryan wasn’t advertising his position. But, the media, marketing for Obama, knew they could use Ryan’s opinion to demonize him

Moreover, that’s why the media circus of the Sandra Fluke testimony was orchestrated. A review of other media cross-examinations and Democrat speeches will reveal a pattern of Democrats and their media allies bringing up social issues that Republicans wanted to avoid so they could paint every Republican as a racist, sexist and homophobic.

This inability to control the narrative exposes one big weakness of the conservative coalition. Every conservative faction shares the same disability: honesty. And even if a candidate can honestly answer that he agrees with the Left on abortion or immigration or gay rights, the media will paint that candidate as posturing or lying or find another way to demonize him. The meme that Republicans want to subjugate women, gays and blacks is part of our culture, at least up until now. But if that meme fails the media will find another weakness to exploit.

As an Objectivist myself, I think the “rights” Ari lists are problematic. But I’ll discuss that another time. For now, can you imagine Ari’s perfect Objectivist candidate trying to defend self interest and individualism? Obama referred to a philosophy of “every man for himself.” So he was already ahead of our mythical Objectivist candidate in setting the debate agenda.

I picked on the Objectivist position because I’m most sympathetic to it. But the same arguments apply to the social conservatives who claim that if only Rick Santorum were the candidate. Ditto the libertarians and fiscal conservatives who claim that if only we could push the social issues aside or adopt the Left’s position on them all would be well. In every case, there is a large constituency of conservatives (and even Democrats) supporting a different view than your own. Don Watkins and Yaron Brook have pointed out in their new book that the TEA Party doesn’t have a clear, coherent agenda or policy prescription.

However, the fact we have disagreements is not the important point. To be blunt, in retrospect, nothing Mitt Romney could have done was likely to have changed the outcome. If you can’t sell America on free markets what can you sell them on – free stuff, that’s what.

No, the problem is not with our candidates or our philosophy, even if we disagree with each other. The problem is we live in an environment where the other side owns virtually all of the media, educational institutions and the popular culture.
I submit that the solution is not finding the perfect candidate, formed in the image of whichever one of us is suggesting that candidate. The solution is not to find an Evangelical, a Fiscal Conservative, a Libertarian or an Objectivist. Nor is the solution to craft a platform that reaches out to women, gays, blacks, whoever.

No, the first solution is to capture the machinery of political marketing and make our candidate, whether he or she be Romney, Bush, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin or Daffy Duck the uncontested frontrunner and our ideas widely known. Arguing about the candidate or the party or the platform is to fight on the wrong front. The war is not a war of ideas, as I thought most of my life. We win that fight whenever we have a fair contest. Instead of a fair contest, we are being outflanked. The war is a war of message and marketing. We have to learn to better fight that war combined with a strategy and tactics that are force multipliers on the media battleground.

Let me expand on that last sentence. We cannot hope to replace our corrupt and biased media. Instead, we have to learn to manipulate them. I know, you don’t like that word, manipulate. But the only way for 300 Spartans to hold back the Persian army is to have some kind of tactical advantage. We need ways to escalate our issues, such as the Benghazi scandal, into the limelight. Only Fox News and a couple other outlets reported on it. Most reporters participated in the coverup. Ditto the, so called, fast and furious scandal.

We should certainly support the alternate media including social media, where we mostly preach to the choir. But, I submit, without a basket of tactics that essentially compel  the old media to cover our issues and agenda will we ever win the eyes and ears of the public.  Maybe we have to embarrass them or shout them down. Maybe we have to do ambush interviews of media personalities, infiltrate their gatherings, I don’t know. Or perhaps we have to use Judo, feigning weakness so they ask a “gotcha” question only to pivot and take them down with the planned answer they can’t edit out.

If we can’t change course with marketing and media tactics, the only tactic we have left is the nuclear option and it isn’t even in our control. That is for government checks to start bouncing, bouncing for government union workers, bouncing for beltway lawyers, politicians, Medicare and welfare recipients, bouncing for bond holders. And this has to happen while Obama is still in office.

Not only will that last option take out many of the good guys who draw government checks, as well as the rest of us, but even that will fail if we cannot control the narrative. Obama will blame the crisis on Republican foot-dragging. This has already happened. When a Republican is President a government shut down is blamed on him. When a Democrat is the President a shutdown is blamed on the Republican Congress. Same exact situation. The only difference is the media. If Bill Clinton says, “It’s the economy stupid” then the media convinces the electorate that it’s the economy. When Republicans think they are clever by running on the economy, “It’s the condoms stupid.”

For a lifetime I’ve looked for the perfect candidate or the perfect platform. I would call it “Waiting for Superman” if the title were not already taken. But no. Instead, a dutiful media can make a destroyer into a benefactor and a recession into a boom. Bush had 5% unemployment and it was the “worst economy since the Great Depression.” Target the media people. Target the media.


2 Responses to “Now What?”

  1. Lupo Says:

    i agree BUT there is no way to stop the media, because the average intelligents of americans is 19yrs old many cant read they only can listen to the news

    • libertyphysics Says:

      Depressing, isn’t it. So maybe we can take advantage of that anyway. How about a reality show where everyone with salable skills or a job is voted off the island and we watch the remaining 47 percenters starve to death? Sorry. That wasn’t nice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: