Readers reacted quite strongly to my suggestion that a Mitt Romney loss would not necessarily spell the end of the world as we know it. Here’s one I find particularly indicative of the dissent to my argument. I’ll split it up and respond point by point.
Matt… here’s my objections.
We already HAD the loss to which you refer that compares to Carter/Ford, etc., and had the effects therefrom (Obamacare) and that was McCain/Obama.
Although this point is well taken, I simply disagree that 2008 was a repeat of 1976 (because 2012 is not analogous to 1980.)
Think of it this way: Had a conservative penned a column in 1976, arguing that America (not just conservatism) might be better off with a Ford loss, he might have been called a traitor. What is more, his position would have looked even more absurd in the ensuing years — when gas lines and hostages, etc. — brought America to an embarrassing nadir.
But would that same writer have been redeemed years later when Reagan won, and proceeded to turn the nation around? It is worth asking the question: Would Reagan have ever become president if Ford had won in 1976? And what would America look like today had that happened?
My point is that life is complex. We see through a glass darkly. Yes, we should work hard to do what we think is right. Participation in democracy is a noble thing. But there is also that trope about thanking God for unanswered prayers…
Perhaps the key point here is that Ford’s loss was as an incumbent? — that two terms of Democratic rule would be much worse than Carter’s one term. Of course, I heard the same claims (that America couldn’t survive) when Bill Clinton was re-elected in 1996, as well.
We must have control of White House or veto proof majority in Senate to toss out Obamacare, and if Romney loses the likely down ticket result would be we don’t take Senate either.
My question: What if Romney wins and does not extirpate Obamacare? What if he tweaks it, making it more palatable and efficient (and thus giving national health care Republican imprimatur)? This is not an absurd possibility. After all, he was the architect of RomneyCare.
If the best-case scenario is that Romney wins and governs as a conservative, surely the worst-case scenario is that Romney wins and governs as a liberal. This would not only not solve the serious problems leftover from the Bush/Obama eras, but it would also further destroy the Republican brand going forward.
I will agree that a Romney loss would eventually turn into a stronger GOP and fielding a stronger candidate at the end of Obama’s 2nd term (assuming free elections still exist then, lol?).
Here’s the biggest issue I have… with all the corruption, incompetence, and vile, unAmerican class warfare and statism resulting from this White House, America MUST NOT reward that with a 2nd term. What it would say about the state of our Republic to reward such unforgivable extra-constitutional behavior from one party and one administration is disgraceful.
Seriously, elections have consequences, we saw what happens when we elected an empty suit community organizer radical with an opaque past – but failure and corruption must have consequences, too.
Again, if you believe an Obama win would bring dire consequences, vote for Mitt Romney. Despite how my post was portrayed, I have not (nor have I ever) suggested that the GOP should abandon its nominee — or that conservatives should opt against voting for Romney.
What I am trying to provide is a bit of perspective — advice that conservatives should not treat every election as the most important of all time — and that other institutions, particularly the senate and even state level governments, should also receive their fair share of attention in November. (Of course, I realize that in the midst of the maelstrom of political warfare, people are much less tolerant of such thought experiments or philosophical discussions. That, I think, explains some of the anger expressed in the comments.)
If there is any daylight between the readers and me, the dichotomy is likely not because they are more conservative. It is instead likely due to the fact that I am more cynical about Republican politicians. In this regard, I have the benefit of hoping I am wrong, and as such, rooting for my detractors.