Barack Obama’s 2012 Presidential election victory is the eighth wonder of the world. The economy was Carteresque, the world was—and continues to be—in disarray, and Romney (while not the ideal conservative candidate) was the evident adult in the race. So what gave?
The temptation is to attribute incumbent Obama’s victory to his skin color. The case could be made that in the waning days of the battle the President came across as a victim of sorts, insinuating through his style on the campaign trail that a vote against him was a vote against racial progress. In fact, when he won, he said, “Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.”
Unfortunately, one man or woman can’t singularly perfect the union, and for Obama to suggest that his re-election has somehow made America more authentic is, megalomania aside, preposterous.
A book could be written on the subject with the thesis being “Liberalism is trumping conservatism in election after election because libertarianism stubbornly refuses to be pragmatic.” In 2012, bona fide libertarians decided that Romney was inauthentic. Some chose to sit the election out, others chose to cast a vote for Gary Johnson, which was roughly the same as sitting it out. No one thought Johnson could win.
A recent Gallup poll revealed that Wisconsin was the most conservative state in the union. Alabama, surprisingly, fell from the number one spot to number ten. On the liberal side, our nation’s capital unsurprisingly came in first.
The numbers on both sides though leave a question mark. Just over half of those who live in Wisconsin identify themselves as conservative; about thirty-eight percent of D.C. citizens call themselves liberal. Where is everyone else?
Gallup’s other option was “moderate,” a vulgar appellation, but one that respondents, given no other options, chose.
So what is today’s “moderate?” A moderate is, first and foremost, anyone who thinks that there is no difference between the parties. Shame on Gallup for not offering “libertarian” as an option. My guess is that this option would have garnered the most votes.
Libertarian candidates are on the ballot every year, and enough conservatives who are fed up with the Republican Party vote for the libertarian candidate with the vague goal of making a statement. Their vote is frustrating but understandable. Republicans in Congress have abandoned their conservative base, and conservatives have returned the favor by abandoning the Republican candidate in election after election. The quixotic impulse is understandable ideologically, but it’s dreadful at the end of each Election Day.
So what’s the answer? Voters should be more pragmatic, and the Republican Party should return to its conservative roots.
By: Will Anderson