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my thoughts on the outcome of yesterday’s charade

Are you at all surprised by the results in the 2012 elections? No? Good, you should not be. And if you are surprised, you have not been paying attention.

To begin with, the majority of Americans – or, at least, the majority of Americans who vote – have abandoned the individualistic, do-it-ourselves, pioneering spirit that made America great, and now they just want to know how much "free" stuff they can get from their government. Obama promised them more "free stuff"; Romney promised them less. Of course, "free" is a misappropriation of the English language; someone is going to have to pay for all of that, and that "someone" just turns out to be anyone who dares produce something of value in the country.

Moving on, did you honestly believe a big-government-supporting, "gun control"-supporting (up to and including another "assault weapon" ban), socialized-medicine-supporting, Social-Security-supporting, flip-flopping not-really-"conservative" would do well against a raging Marxist with functionally all of the same credentials? If you did, you deserve the election outcome you got. As Weer’d says, we are a nation of extremists, not moderates, and attempting to cater to the barely-there moderates gets you loss after loss after loss.

Finally, if the Republicans could ever bother to get off their "ZOMGABORTION", "ZOMGDRUGS", and "ZOMGGAYS" kicks, they would probably sweep the polls wherever they competed… Just like the Democrats would probably sweep the polls if they ever got off their "ZOMGGUNSAREEVIL" kick. Bear that in mind.

Or, hey, you could just keep putting up your Romneys and your McCains and your Doles and your other idiots and see how well that works out for you. I have stopped caring about/for the Republicans, so do whatever you please.

Oh, and before some benighted imbecile comes crawling out of the woodwork to blame Romney’s failure on third party voters like myself, I would like to quietly point out that not even in Florida did any one third party candidate receive enough votes to change the outcome of that state’s election, much less the nation’s as a whole, and that assumes all third party voters go to one candidate or the other. In other words, Republicans have no one but themselves to blame; own it.

So, with all that said, let us resume our normally scheduled programming and continue planning and preparing for the societal and economic collapse we all know to be coming and we all now know to be functionally unavoidable. Oh, I am being overly melodramatic, am I? You might have a point… except other countries have been in nearly the same position we find ourselves in now.

The only bright spark in all of this is that it is finally over.

20 comments to my thoughts on the outcome of yesterday’s charade

  • I raged similarly this morning, about the third party whipping boy status. If they want independent or specifically Libertarian voters to check their box, pick a candidate who checks ours. If not, dont whine about us not playing along.

  • Hoplophobic Healer

    The Republicans were not serious about winning. If they were, they would never have let Romney have the nomination. I remember the last time, when McCain was the guy: I thought to myself, “Is this really the best they have to offer?” Obama did not win the election – Romney and his cheating fool Republican base lost it.

  • Volfram

    [Preface]Well that’s odd. I’d like to note that Wolfram from above and I are two entirely different people(though our handles are pronounced exactly the same)

    I actually talked to one guy(a Mormon, even!) who said he was going to write in Arnold Schwartzenegger. When I commented that Arnold can’t legally be President, he said “We’ll just amend the Constitution, easy!”

    Perhaps it’s just as well I didn’t bother trying to argue with someone that irrational.

    I agree that we lost this year because Romney. All the candidates I really like seem to get kicked out early(I was pulling for Herman Cain, personally). This election and last one. It’s frustrating.

    This is why we need to come together as a unified force. For the primaries, we need to vote for the guy who closest matches our ideals, but for the real deal, we seriously need to go all-in on one candidate.

    Even if it still couldn’t have won us the election this year.

  • Tom

    I had to look this up last night: Obama had fewer popular and electoral votes this year than in 2008, the the only winning incumbent to do that in 32 years. Bush got more in 2004 than 2000. Clinton got more in 1996 than 1992. Reagan got more in 1984 than 1980. The only thing I heard last night was a giant, national “meh”. My suspicion is that the votes that went to third-party candidates came from people that simply wouldn’t have voted otherwise. I know I would have had a hard time doing so.

  • Volfram

    @ Tom:
    I did note there were about 15M fewer votes total this year than 4 years ago. Obama got as many popular votes this year as McCain got 4 years ago.

    It’s not really a good sign. It isn’t a bad sign either. As someone once said many years ago…

    “This forest bodes.”
    “How so?”
    “It just does.”

  • Tom

    I just read an article on CNN about the sophistication of Obama’s data crunching to target and assign probabilities to voters. The author tried to emphasize how advanced the models were, but I suspect they were just some regression models. What struck me, though, is that the guy who ran the data analysis did the same thing for supermarkets. It turns out we Americans select our president much the way we select our dish soap. Slap a picture of George Clooney on a mailer, and you nudge the middle-aged woman to vote for you. This leads to such constrained thinking, where new, un-tested, ideas to solve our countries problems are shunned. I don’t blame the campaigns, the media or the politicians themselves for this. They’re just giving us what we want.

  • I recall the Reason vid Weerd linked yersterday.

    The public hates the status quo but they just voted for it.

    Hell you want to look at catering to moderats. Romney won the independents if I recall. Just by nowhere near enough, and he didn’t have as much of a base.

    Again free peanuts will win.

  • Yeah, I never really thought he could get elected either. Of course, I am biased a little in my predictions, as I am the only person on my entire floor in my dorm who wasn’t celebrating every electoral vote for Obama like it was a home run in the World Series. When that many people who are going to be our future are excited for the President and his policies, I worry a little.

    Caught lying: I worry a lot.

  • @ Wolfman: And a good rage it was :).

    Hell, on the Twitters, people have been accusing me of being just like a “leftist” on account of my being borderline libertarian, and for voting for Obama on account of voting for Johnson. The former is so laughable it is absurd, and the latter… well, what can you do with a person that deranged? From that behavior alone, though, I am starting to wonder if the Republican party rank and file, much less its administrators, stand a chance of learning/understanding why they lost.

    @ Hoplophobic Healer: Yup, they lost the election the moment they chose that man, especially since they screwed Johnson to do it and successfully alienated whatever base he might or might not have had.

    @ Volfram: Herman Cain would have been interesting, if only to see the “progressives” choke on their cries of “racism”.

    In any case, I will happily support the candidate who most closely represents my beliefs and who will fulfill the duties of the office the best. Romney may have had a chance at the latter, but he had no chance whatsoever at the former, so I went looking for alternatives. I will continue to look for alternatives so long as the Republicans insist on putting up big-government liberal-lites.

    @ Tom: And, likewise, I have to wonder how many of those people who did not vote would have voted for a third party if they had bothered to go to the booths… I mean, I can completely understand the mentality of “he is not going to win anywise, so why bother?” I just wish we had made that 5% marker, but then I would have to deal with even more Republican shrieking about how the third-partiers “cost” them the election.

    @ The Jack: Yup, I realized it this morning – the voting populace has finally realized they can, in fact, vote themselves free shit, and will continue to do so for as long as possible. Given that, no fiscal conservative stands a chance of being President, and, furthermore, given that, the demise of our country is itself a given.

    @ ProdigalSon: I hate to say it, but join the club. I remember being disconcerted that the people I went to college with were going to be the future around me… I can only imagine how much that situation has deteriorated in the past eight years. Like I said, those who cheer the “free stuff” train are the very architects of our destruction.

  • On the “upside” things that can’t go on forever… won’t.

    At where I work we have problems keeping headcount because engineers of our type are rare and there simply aren’t as many new graduates of the right inclination or capability as there used to be.

    It looks like 2008(or pick your own date) was the last train out.

    There’s also the mix of fatalism and entitlement. If it’s all gonna burn why not get while the getting is good?

    Though then you have the hard-eyed true believers and skull-measuring “architects” that are gleeful about the flexibility to be “compassionate”.

  • Finally, if the Republicans could ever bother to get off their “ZOMGABORTION”, “ZOMGDRUGS”, and “ZOMGGAYS” kicks, they would probably sweep the polls wherever they competed… Just like the Democrats would probably sweep the polls if they ever got off their “ZOMGGUNSAREEVIL” kick. Bear that in mind.

    I agree. To me, this just boils down to “stop trying to deny people their basic human, constitutionally-protected rights”. IME, being an asshole is almost never in one’s own interest. However, neither of the dominant parties has, at least in my lifetime, done anything that leads me to believe that they’re willing to give up their “my unconstitutional law that enforces my cultural values and bans yours is not only ok, but a moral mandate” ethos, and that, IMO is the problem: not so much specific issues, but the shared tenet of the validity of unconstitutional dictatorship.

    Neither party seems to realize (or care about) the logic/reason trap they’ve set for themselves by taking this approach: either we’re a nation of laws, in which case the constitution means something (and violators are vigorously prosecuted under 18 USC 242, etc.)

  • @ The Jack: Hell, I am sitting here horrified at the rounds and rounds of layoffs and scheduled layoffs that were announced immediately following the elections – Better Half and I are still planning on re-entering the job market in the near future, and I am probably going to be very seriously screwed.

    Of course, then I can just do what so many other folks like me are suggesting, and “go Galt” on the government – quit all employment and live off all the “free” stuff they are handing out. Like you said, get while the getting is good.

    @ Nick: Concur on all points. Both parties want to dictate your life to you – the only difference is how – and yet neither party, but especially the Republicans, can understand why I would not want to support that.

    I like to think the now-almost-1% of the national vote Johnson received might be the start of a trend, but, unfortunately, I know better.

  • Oops. I’ll finish the thought:

    Neither party seems to realize (or care about) the logic/reason trap they’ve set for themselves by taking this approach: either we’re a nation of laws, in which case the constitution means something (and violators are vigorously prosecuted under 18 USC 242, etc.), or we’re not and none of what they’re doing matters because laws are ignorable.

  • Derek D.

    @ Linoge:

    That attitude even exists in the blogosphere–I’m having a discussion right now with a blogger who is evidently a big fan of guns but not Liberty.

    I personally think that people must be allowed to express themselves no matter how repugnant that expression is as long as it is not infringing on the rights of others.

  • @ Nick: Personally, I think we are already past the “either / or” part of that equation – just look at how Congress has “exempted” themselves from most of the major legislation they have passed in recent history, most notably Obamacare.

    If they are not subject to laws, why should I be?

    @ Derek D.: Cannot say as though that particular position makes a great deal of sense, but I agree that they should be allowed to express it – all the better to call it our for what it is :).

  • Volfram

    @ Linoge:
    And that’s exactly what I’m talking about. We need to choose someone we agree with in the primaries, then vote for the consensus in the elections. 2012 and 2008 were backwards: we chose someone we thought would be popular in the primaries, then everyone got disinterested in the election.

    You want to change that? Attend your local caucus meetings, and promote candidates whose values you truly believe in. Enough of us working at the FOUNDATION of the problem will prevent 2016 from being 2008/2012 all over again.

    FYI, I did not vote for McCain or Romney during the primary elections.

  • Derek D.

    @ Linoge:

    Done, and the resulting banhammer has fallen. Darn. 8-)

    No attacks, just asking questions about supporting their position. I guess reasoned discourse isn’t their forte.

    I’m afraid of the opposite over here–your arguments are setup too damn well.

    It’s almost like you make your living by forming a hypothesis and then backing it up.

  • @ Volfram: Ah, no, what I said, is not exactly what you talked about; it is fair to say that we are coming at this problem from entirely different directions.

    If the Republicans do not nominate someone I can vote for in good conscience / someone who will do the job the best out of the field of candidates / someone who does not adequately represent me or what I want America to be, I am not going to vote for him, regardless of what the Republicans or “consensus” want.

    Period.

    I a not going to throw my vote behind someone just because the party engine thinks he deserves to be President, sorry.

    @ Derek D.: Or, if you capitalize it differently, Reasoned Discourse is their forte ;).

    Also, thanks.

  • Volfram

    @ Linoge:
    Best way to improve your odds of getting a candidate you CAN vote for in good conscience is still to attend your local caucus meetings and vote in your local primaries. People like you are the votes we lost in the real election. Getting involved further up the chain will help avert this in the future.

    Seriously, get involved if you aren’t already.

  • I voted in the local primaries. No one I voted for received the nomination of whatever party they were running for. And given that neither of the major parties saw fit to nominate a candidate I felt like voting for, I voted for someone else.

    I am not here for the Republican party, I am not a Republican, and, by and large, I disagree with that party on a large number of things. They are welcome to try for my vote if they want it, but nominating someone like Romney is a surefire way to lose it.