In a post-election display of throwing one’s hands in the air, Republican pollster and former Clinton campaign advisor Dick Morris, lamented the fact that the 2012 election campaign meant nothing. The hundreds of millions of dollars spent, by both sides, on the 2012 presidential vote were for nought. All of the voter targeting, misleading ads, stump speeches, swing state strategies, focus groups, debate prep, GOTV, and punditry used by campaigns to sway voters didn’t mean a thing. In the end people voted for their demographic, complains Morris.
Noting the demise of television as an campaign influence and the critical role of social media in campaigns, Morris says: “It is bad enough that America is now divided into red and blue states. It is divided into red and blue people as well based, not on their opinions, but on their demographics.”
Demographic voting is the new norm in America. You vote based on who you are, not where you live or how well each campaign has articulated its case. 93% of blacks, 70% of Latinos, 60% of those under 30, and 62% of single people, voted for Obama. And white married couples over 30 years of age voted for Romney. Not much else matters. A president who was elected and re-elected through identity politics has brought about a state of affairs where demographic voting determines the outcome. Our votes are predictable based on our race, ethnicity, age, and marital status well before anybody does any campaigning.
Before social and economic conservatives crunch their back left molars to release the cyanide over such maddening relativism, isn’t the pursuit of self-interest the bedrock of the Declaration of Independence as well as the mainspring of the grinding wheels of Capitalism and commerce?
Plus, it kinda makes sense. Given the lies and false promises from both sides — where Obama can claim to heal the earth, and Romney claim America is the best hope for the earth — in troubled times without true leadership, selecting for one’s mirror image only means that voters are more than willing to have the wool pulled over their eyes by one of their own rather than some stranger. There is no other choice.
Of course people are going to hope that some other guy will pay for their benefits. Of course, unions and well organized special interests will pursue budget wrecking spending. Don’t touch our precious subsidies for food stamps, day care, low-income housing to mortgage interest deductions, corporate cronyism for ethanol, oil (pronounced ul), “sustainable” technologies, banks, and big big Ag and Pharma. No wonder high-falutin’ theories about the common good, and pleas to vote beyond one’s pocket book and kitchen table issues gets the Bronx cheer. We can’t see past our own problems, let alone fathom what a $16 Trillion debt truly means.
In the end, both Republicans and Democrats failed in presenting anything close to recognition of the other side(s) or reality. And and until they do, we’re all on our own.