This race is over, but the conspiracy theories are about to begin. And, boy howdy, are things going to get ugly.
To wit, Mitt Romney will defeat Barack Obama for the presidency on November 6, after which there will be hysterical blowback. The election result is quantifiable, with Romney consistently leading in national tracking polls, finding a level at or above 50 percent in many, and closing the necessary gaps in swing states and among demographic groups. Greater evidence can be found, however, in Obama’s sour demeanor and the conduct of his campaign. What a mess.
Opinion-peddlers have noted that the Obama re-election effort has taken on the hallmarks of failed campaigns from previous cycles: scattershot messaging, flailing narratives, ad hominem attacks and joyless mockery. This was never going to work, and Democratic political veterans like Bob Beckel and Doug Schoen will likely admit as much once the polls are closed. Incurables like Alan Colmes and Maureen Dowd, however, will never let it go. And this latter stance — that Obama’s defeat is somehow illegitimate — will take hold in many, noisy quarters.
It is not only the politically interested who will adopt this view — even casual observers will be sucked in. We often see leftist orthodoxy morph into popular convention. This is because, while there are some smart people on the left, it requires almost no thinking to be a liberal. Simply absorb the political sentiments you hear in almost any Hollywood film, or on most any television program or newscast and, presto, you’re in. Repeat these nostrums at school or work and you will be rewarded. Augmented by the emotional satisfaction of the left’s perpetual righteous indignation, this dynamic becomes self-fulfilling and very cozy.
And it’s that snorting indignation warming up in the bullpen that augurs an ugly autumn. After Obama loses, every bellyacher you know will take to the worldwide interwebs to blame the Bilderbergs, Bain Capital, Big Oil, Brigham Young — basically anyone but Obama himself. It will be insufferable. Theories will be all over the map, mutually contradicting one another, but advanced with furious certainty. Again, we see this often. The showerless outrage of the left knows no bounds, and it is impervious to reason.
Whether Romney’s margin of victory is large or small will matter little to the tone of these plaints. Certainly, a resounding win will foreclose the Democrats’ propensity to steal close elections through after-the-fact chicanery (presented as Exhibit A: Al Franken is a senator) but, for Obama apologists, a blowout will simply evince a wider conspiracy, and darker depths of American ignorance, bigotry and credulousness.
This sort of heads-we-win-tails-you’re-a-cheating-moron default is endemic to Democrats and emblematic of the international left. The last time a fabulously wealthy politician from Massachusetts ran for president, he lost fair and square. But John Kerry had the good fortune to be a Democrat (and had the further good fortune to marry into money — twice — making him several times wealthier than the self-made Romney), which is why California Sen. Barbara Boxer, among others, made it her business to overturn the electoral results in Ohio owing to voting “irregularities” she knew, just knew, had occurred. Britain’s Daily Mirror, meanwhile, responded to George W. Bush’s 2004 defeat of Kerry by asking, “How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?”
It will be far worse this time, however. Accusations of racism have been hurled at Obama’s opponents since he first announced his candidacy. While the effectiveness of this tactic has seen diminishing returns, its cynicism and ubiquity remain nonpareil in American politics, and will reach new heights after the election. But if, as Dr. King dreamed, we should be judged on the content of our character rather than the color of our skin, then any such assessment can be either good or bad.
The simple truth is that Barack Obama has been a lousy president — worse than Jimmy Carter, and the most antipathetic to the U.S. Constitution since the despicable Woodrow Wilson (incidentally, one wonders how Wilson, an actual racist, would react to seeing his Progressive Era rhubarb revived by America’s first black president — food for thought).
Obama deserves to lose, and he will. By turning him out of office, the American people will be affording him the same treatment owed any president, regardless of color or creed, whose term has been a failure. In this way, Barack Obama’s defeat will provide greater evidence of America’s racial progress than his election ever did.
Theo Caldwell, an investor and broadcaster, has been a member of the New York Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and the Kansas City Board of Trade. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.