So, how’s that whole, “Let’s nominate the next in line, moderate, GOP establishment candidate” working out? Answer: Not good. Not good at all. You know, sooner or later you cranky Republicans pulling the levers and switches of the party are going to listen to me. That is, if you ever want to win another Presidential race.
I mean, seriously, with as unpopular as President Obama is, and with the horrid economy which is slogging along, it should have been a cakewalk to defeat him. But Hell, instead you nominate a guy who couldn’t even match uber wishy-washy, moderate John McCain’s voter turnout in 2008! How is that even possible?
Well, it’s possible because Romney simply did not enthuse conservatives. The numbers don’t lie.
John McCain got 58,343,671 votes in 2008. Mitt Romney, the reinvented Mitt Romney who waved his magic wand to make his liberal ways go bye-bye, only garnered around 58,228,980 in 2012 (as of November 9th @ 5:08 PM). How do you explain that with anti-Obama sentiment running so high? You can’t, other than to say that Romney was the same, or worse, than McCain from the perspective of conservative leaning Americans.
The funny thing however is that he wasn’t. Romney was actually better than McCain. Yeah, he’s still a left leaning, moderate, north-east style Republican, but better none-the-less. Even despite this, enough conservatives obviously made a stand and said no more to the plague of inferior candidates who won’t actually solve America’s problems. Like it or not, Romney wasn’t going to pull America back from the brink. Sure, he understood the problems (high spending and big government). But he didn’t fully grasp how to solve those problems and at best only proposed half measures.
And while I have heard a lot of pundits blame conservatives not showing up for Romney’s loss, the simple fact is that Romney lost because of who he is. It is not the job of conservatives to keep rolling over and vote carte blanche for whomever the Republicans nominate. You want their votes? Give them a candidate they can actually get behind rather than blackmailing them with the pathetic campaign strategy of, “Yeah, our guy is bad, but he’s not as bad as the other guy!”
Consider that Obama got just 61,301,691 votes this year. He received 66,882,230 votes in 2008. That’s 5.5 million fewer votes! Even eight percent of the people who voted for the messiah in 2008 didn’t like him enough to vote for him again! Hell, Obama is so unpopular that even people who did vote for him again were so depressed and ashamed of him. Tthey didn’t dare put Obama yard signs up or slap bumper stickers on their cars. I could count the number I saw on both hands with fingers to spare.
The GOP couldn’t get just 5% more people to turn out in 2012? No! Because they gave us another candidate that didn’t inspire anyone to really vote for him. The only motivating factor was to vote against Obama. You don’t win elections that way. At least not reliably. And certainly not when the opposition is enthusiastically voting for their man because he promises to shower them with all sorts for free stuff. Hey, moochers are motivated people! Unfortunately, they are motivated to mooch.
Now, I know what some of you might be thinking. You’re thinking that I’m only saying this after the election. Where was I before the election, you ask?
Well, I was warning about Romney for over a year. I rated him a “D” in terms of viability and proudly displayed that rating at the top of my website (LibertyReborn.com). So I was all over the bad candidate that was Mitt Romney from day one. No, I’m not some Johnny-come-lately. And I am certainly not one of those talking head, pseudo conservatives who hated Romney as a candidate in the primaries, then loved him once he became the nominee, and now hate him again. Nope. I thought he was a bad candidate from the beginning.
Look GOP, we’ve tried it your way for a long time. And all that’s happened is that we have a trail of moderate (even left leaning) corpses, politically speaking, to show for it. Maybe it is time to try the winning philosophy of putting conservatism on the ballot against liberalism?
How about we give that a try in 2016? Well ... if America survives that long ...
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts The Right Things. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn