Trust a Rabbi from New Jersey to get it right. You will not be complete until you read this plain-speaking review of WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICA on November 6th. Rabbi Steven Pruzansky of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun, in Teaneck, New Jersey says even Ronald Reagan couldn’t have won this one:
The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is that Americans voted for the status quo for the incumbent President and for a divided Congress. They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence, economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility. And fewer people voted. As I write, with almost all the votes counted, President Obama has won fewer votes than John McCain won in 2008, and more than ten million off his own 2008 total.
But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the chattering classes. Romney did not lose because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy that devastated this area, nor did he lose because he ran a poor campaign, nor did he lose because the Republicans could have chosen better candidates, nor did he lose because Obama benefited from a slight uptick in the economy due to the business cycle.
Romney lost because he didn’t get enough votes to win.
That might seem obvious, but not for the obvious reasons. Romney lost because the conservative virtues “ the traditional American virtues “ of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate. The notion of the Reagan Democrat is one cliche that should be permanently retired.
The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff.Every businessman knows this; that is why the loss leader or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool. Obama’s America is one in which free stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who, courtesy of Obama, receive two full years of unemployment
benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote; so too those who anticipate free health care, who expect the government to pay their mortgages, who look for the government to give them jobs. The lure of free stuff is irresistible.
Imagine two restaurants side by side. One sells its customers fine cuisine at a reasonable price, and the other offers a free buffet, all-you-can-eat as long as supplies last. Few, including me, could resist the attraction of the free food. Now imagine that the second restaurant stays in business because the first restaurant is forced to provide it with the food for the free buffet, and we have the current economy, until, at least, the first restaurant decides to go out of business. (Then, the government takes over the provision of free food to its patrons.)
The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation (by the amoral Obama team) of the secretly-recorded video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of winning an election
in which 47% of the people start off against him because they pay no taxes and just receive money & free stuff from the government. Almost half of the population has no skin in the game they don’t care about high taxes, promoting business, or creating jobs, nor do they care that the money for their free stuff is being borrowed from their children and from the Chinese. They just want the free stuff that comes their way at someone else’s expense. In the end, that 47% leaves very little margin for error for any Republican, and does not bode well for the future.
It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such overwhelming odds. People do vote their pocketbooks. In essence, the people vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President who will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.
That engenders the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion that the electorate is dumb, ignorant, and uninformed. Indeed, it does not pay to be an informed voter, because most other voters, the clear majority are unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism. That is the indelicate
way of saying that too many people vote with their hearts and not their heads. That is why Obama did not have to produce a second term agenda, or even defend his first-term record. He needed only to portray Mitt Romney as a rapacious capitalist who throws elderly women over a cliff, when he is not just snatching away their cancer medication, while starving the poor and cutting taxes for the rich. Obama could get away with saying that “Romney wants the rich to play by a different set of rules” without ever defining what those different rules were; with saying that the “rich should pay their fair share” without ever defining what a ‘fair share’ is; with saying that Romney wants the poor, elderly and sick to ‘fend for themselves’ without even
acknowledging that all these government programs are going bankrupt, their current insolvency only papered over by deficit spending. Obama could get away with it because he knew he was talking to dunces waving signs and squealing at any sight of him.
During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson: “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson called back: “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!” Truer words were never spoken.
Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a Romney victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women that their abortions and birth control would be taken away. He could appeal to Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped to Mexico (even if they came from Cuba or Honduras), and unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws. He could espouse the furtherance of the incestuous relationship between governments and unions in which politicians ply the unions with public money, in exchange for which the unions provide the politicians with votes, in exchange
for which the politicians provide more money and the unions provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone. He could do and say all these things because he knew his voters were dolts.
There is SO MUCH more wisdom. Read it all here: