A friend of mine, a person whose opinions I deeply respect, said to me “you know it’s really sad that McCain got more votes than Romney.” And this struck me as very odd, because, if you go and look up the actual totals you’ll see that Romney (60.933 million votes) got more votes than McCain (59.948 million)…about a million more for any liberals who may be reading this (I know you guys have problems with basic math, so I’m just trying to help).
So yes it would have been sad if a conservative like Romney had done worse than a RINO sack of shit like McCain among Republican voters, but it simply isn’t the case. What is sad, however, is that this vicious lie has been repeated so many times that even intelligent people have begun to believe it (like McCain’s lies about Romney being liberal, or most of what Barry has done to further the philosophy of the Big Lie).
And most responsible for this is a certain group of pundits who seem dedicated to this lie that Romney did worse and the secondary lies that go on to explain why Romney got fewer votes–that we lost because we didn’t focus more on social issues, that we have to become isolationists, that we need to have versions of welfare and cronyism of our own, that the government needs more power in certain sectors–you know the Santorum platform…oh, wait it’s all those Ricky supporting dipshits who are the ones who are primarily behind this lie. It is the same reason that these pundits need to latch onto the minutiae of actual conservatives and scream bloody murder over small problems, but will conveniently ignore the multiple and serious problems of their new Tea Party darlings…not because they’re doing this out of deep conviction, but out of fear. The fear that if an economic conservative actually wins at this point then their insane social “conservatism” will be discarded by the whole of the nation. Fear that at this point if a real conservative wins in an environment that they can do something then their meal ticket of peddling anger will dry up. They’re afraid of the truth that economic and foreign policy conservatives can win, then all the nutty ideas proposed by these pundits will fall by the way side.
But why am I ranting about this? I’m ranting about this because this is a very illuminating piece of the conservative movement’s larger problem: We need to look at what does and doesn’t work in elections for Republicans. And this is something we haven’t done in quite some time.
Even the postmortem of the election by the RNC Party didn’t really get to the heart of what the actual message needs to be. So let’s look at the history of the Republican Party and what candidate victories actually are.
The history goes something like this: Republicans don’t tend to do well. Just accept that. At least conservatives don’t do well compared to liberals on the whole. We don’t do well getting people out, we don’t tend to inspire. This is not because we have bad messaging, this is not because we have bad candidates, this is because all we have to offer is a lot of what people don’t want to buy. We offer responsibility. We offer hard work. We offer gains through effort, merit, work and trial of blood, sweat and tears. We offer real gains, but real gains aren’t easy compared to Democrats and progressives just promising the world. ‘We’ll take it from the rich and give it to you, yes you.’ To hell if it will actually work, it’s such a nice dream that people just want to hear it over and over and over again.
But let’s look at the actual cases.
Here are the numbers.
Here we have the elections, winners, the number of people who voted for both parties, the percentage of the vote and voter turnout. But raw numbers like this are kind of meaningless. And we have to consider all three, because a candidate who loses with a high turnout rate might actually have been a better candidate than a candidate who won with a low turnout rate. Think of it this way: you have two salesmen. One salesman only sells 25 items to a group of 100 people, another salesman sells 30 items to a group of 200 people. Now you might want to say that the salesman who sold 30 items is a better salesman–but he’s not because he only got 15% of the group that he was talking to, the other salesman got 25% of the people he was talking to. So if we just like a percentage of the votes we’re just looking at the 30 and 25– but if we look at the percentage of the vote in context of the voter turnout it begins to look a little different.
And the numbers go like this from the Republicans who got the largest share of the general population.
Now who got a larger portion of the population than Romney to come out? Obviously not most Republicans…but let’s look at the specific instances…You have W.’s 2nd run, Reagan’s 2nd, Eisenhower’s 2nd and Nixon’s first run against Kennedy. Now while not a firm rule, the fact is that the prestige of being president or being Vice President does help (and you see this with Democratic candidates as well). That leaves Wendell Wilkie (who was running against FDR’s third term, so some of the outrage against the idea of a President running for a third time might be somewhat to blame), and Eisenhower’s 1st run. Now with Eisenhower, you have something almost better than being President, you have the title Supreme Allied Commander. Also you just have to generally exclude Eisenhower’s runs and Nixon’s first run as they weren’t running so much on a platform of policies, but on the name Eisenhower.
Now you can disagree with my logic of excluding some or all of these, but you have to admit that Romney got a larger portion of the nation to come out and vote for him than most Republicans.
So not only did Romney get a larger number of votes than McCain, a larger share of the population than McCain,
and a larger share of the population than most Republicans throughout recent history, let’s not say Romney failed because let’s look at the fact he beat out Reagan’s first run for presidency. Romney got a larger share of the population to vote for him than Reagan did. Romney did better than Reagan did in 1980. Think about that. Also think about the fact that Reagan almost didn’t win the election in 1980. In 1980 there was a third-party challenger who took away a lot of votes from Carter, and that’s why Reagan won, not because Carter was such a bad president—no the American public is kind of stupid in that respect, they won’t even vote out a terrible person??—no it’s that a challenger came in and stole some of the Democratic Party votes. Just as Republicans won in 2000 because Ralph Nader came in and stole votes from Gore, just as Bush lost in ‘92 because Ross Perot came in and stole votes. The sad fact is that in ’80, ’92, and 2000 it wasn’t so much because people liked the winner so much it’s because the incumbent had a challenger siphoning off some of their votes. And that’s a sad fact, had there not been a challenger, in 1980 we would’ve been stuck with two terms of Carter. It’s not an idea per se that people are voting for, sometimes it’s just to feel that they can be different. (It doesn’t appear that (the perpetually appearing to be stoned) Gary Johnson siphoned off enough votes to make a difference, but who knows how many people he convinced to at least stay home, so thanks Gary go fuck yourself.)
So I don’t want to hear that Rodney was a terrible candidate because Romney pulled out people in a way that no other Republican in recent memory seems to be able to do. And one of the reasons he was able to do this was because Romney didn’t really focus on social issues. Yes he said he was personally socially conservative but in no way, shape, or form did he ever give the impression that he was going to legislate on that. Notice that he was not going to stand in the way of law. He did not feel it was the government’s responsibility, especially the federal government’s responsibility, to change and dictate morality in laws. Romney got people out because he talked about the only two issues that are important: the economy and foreign-policy. Liberty here and liberty abroad.
Now yes you can claim that social issues did come up in the form of idiots like Todd Akin (the man should’ve taken Karl Rove’s advice and shot himself)– but that, an issue with social conservatism, if anything, lost Romney votes. Social conservatism and those who preach it are the worst enemies of economic liberty and international peace, not its greatest defenders (they’re also their own worst enemies because good economic policy will create the institutions in society that social conservatives love…and they’ll do it without forcing it via law)
‘But, but, I was told by a single idiotic pundit (who shall remain nameless) that had only the Christian voters come out Romney would’ve won. It’s the fact the evangelicals stayed home, the conservative evangelical voters stayed home and Romney lost. Actually if you look at the breakdown that’s not quite accurate. And in fact most of the groups dipshit pundits want to point to as having been driven off by Romney, actually did better with those groups. All these claims that Romney was a RINO (made only by people too illiterate to actually read his record) or that we needed a more socially conservative candidate are based on the myth, no, not myth, bald face lie, that conservatives stayed home and didn’t vote for Romney. I can’t find any actual evidence that can substantiate the claim that the social conservatives did not turn out for Romney. So anyone who talks about conservatives staying home, and not turning out and not getting out the vote is full of crap. Now granted we may not have been able to make as many moderates come out, but the fact of the matter is, let’s be honest here, Obama was just manufacturing votes in a lot of the swing states. In addition Romney’s grand get out the vote program ORCA seems to have crashed (a little too conveniently on Election Day) which hurt in getting out those otherwise moderate voters who leaned towards Romney (but a lot of these problems seemed to have been resolved through RNC efforts in the 2013 governor elections). The long and short of it is that no one should ever be claiming this bullshit lie that the psychotic populist pundits want to keep proposing that Romney, couldn’t get voters out. He did. People should not be buying this lie that because he wasn’t a social conservative we lost. That is not the case.
We lost for a few other reasons. As I’ve stated before it wasn’t because social conservatives hurt us…so whining to crazy social conservatives or lunatic libertarians is not the answer. The answer is to get another economic conservative like Romney, and do better on the ground game. Do better on getting people out…and this is not entirely the responsibility of the candidate. We cannot be the party of individualists but think that the party on high is the one responsible for winning this thing. We have to be better at being a grassroots party…and thus I am going to start (hopefully weekly, but you know how I get) suggestions that every single conservative should do to help get conservatives into every level of government to help shrink the size of said government.