"Vote for me and you'll get free stuff!" Microsoft Clip Art
This post by a Rabbi in Teaneck, NJ is a powerful reminder why America is in trouble. I've added blue italicsfor emphasis.
By Rabbi Steven Pruzansky "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.
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 –
liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to
moralgreatness - no longer inspire or animate a majority of the
electorate. 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.The lure of free stuff is irresistible. The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation
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
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 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 whyObama 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. 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 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. Obama also knows that the electorate has changed - that whites will soon be
a minority in America (they're already a minority in California) and that
the new immigrants to the US are primarily from the Third World and do not
share the traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th
and 20th centuries. It is a different world, and a different America.
Obama is part of that different America, knows it, and knows how to tap
into it. That is why he won.
Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective sells,
and harsh personal attacks succeed. That Romney never engaged in such
diatribes points to his essential goodness as a person; his "negative
ads" were simple facts, never personal abuse - facts about high
unemployment, lower take-home pay, a loss of American power and prestige
abroad, a lack of leadership, etc. As a politician, though, Romney failed
because he did not embrace the devil's bargain of making unsustainable
It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan - people of
substance, depth and ideas - to compete with the shallow populism and
platitudes of their opponents. Obama mastered the politics
of envy – of class warfare - never reaching out to
Americans as such but to individual groups, and cobbling together a winning
majority from these minority groups. If an Obama could not be defeated -
with his record and his vision ofAmerica, in which free stuff seduces voters - it is hard to
envision any change in the future.
The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a
European-socialist economy - those very economies that are collapsing today
in Europe - is paved.
Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess. It
has lost its moorings and its moral foundations.. The takers outnumber the
givers, and that will only increase in years to come. The "Occupy" riots across this country in the last
two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead - years of unrest
sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want to seize
the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the slow
pace of redistribution.
If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone. And,
sad for the world, it is not coming back."