Willard Mitt Romney was fated to win this election from the moment he proved he could fill the shoes of Commander-in-Chief. The first presidential debate was significant not in that Romney dominated a timid and submissive Obama, but that he from that moment earned the trust and confidence of the American voter (an ethos Bill Clinton earned in his 1992 debate answering how the natinoal debt affected him personally, a moment Michael Dukakis definitively never experienced). How voters perceive a candidate is important only insofar as it impacts the votes of the Electoral College; with the help of voter I.D. laws, Florida’s 29 Electoral College votes turned red.
The Republicans effectively resorted to cultural warfare in the nick of time. “This is a huge election,” Paul Ryan stated on Monday (today). “Please know that Mitt Romney and I understand the stakes … stakes of where this country is headed … The stakes of our fundamental freedoms being on the line, like religious freedom — such as how they’re being compromised in Obamacare … a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty and compromises those values — those Judeo-Christian, Western civilization values that made us a great and exceptional nation in the first place.” What an artful and direct appeal to the socially conservative faction of the Republican Party: those who might have seen both candidates as centrist and so equivalent. With the base and moderates in two, there was no question of Romney’s victory.
Barack Hussein Obama will serve his country as President for another four years — a conclusion that I am sure was as clear to everyone as it was to me. The campaign based on micro-targeting appealed to the middle and lower classes in a way that Romney was never able to replicate. Obama turned to issues and tensions related to socioeconomics with such poignancy and authority that it is no wonder he stole the popular vote. The active Democratic voter operation enabled their student base to make a broad difference: calling places like Ohio and Virginia. If his tested method of campaigning was not enough, Obama importantly had his trusty running companion to thank, Vice President-elect Sandy. To stand with the president in a time of crisis is as natural to us Americans as the voting process itself. The meaningful way the president met with our Republican Governor Chris Christie, putting aside all political ties for the health and well-being of these United States, made my heart swell with admiration.
How did Romney expect to win an election when he kicked his campaign to full gear with six weeks to the vote? A day late and a dollar short. And even once Romney did get going, what did he stand for anyway? It was clear that both candidates are centrist, but President Obama had no primary challenger. He never had to jump to the left; he never had to appeal to a base, and then try and appeal to the rest of the country.
For those that are voting in the State of New Jersey, or have seen a local ballot, it was surely obvious that Jeff Boss of the “N.S.A. did 9/11” party was to be the clear and nearly uncontested victor. According to Boss’ official website: “I WITNESSED THE N.S.A. ARRANGE THE 9/11 ATTACK. I NOW HAVE OVER 500 PEOPLE ON DVD SAYING THE N.S.A. GAVE THEM $20,000 TO KEEP QUIET & THREATENED TO KILL THEM IF THEY TOLD ANYONE THAT THE N.S.A. DID THE 9/11 ATTACKS.” (The capitalization has been kept in order to fully replicate the presentation on the website.) Once the educated voters realized who was truly to blame for 9/11, how could they vote for anyone in the establishment? For those of us that have at all been affected by the war on terrorism, Jeff Boss for President was a conclusion long foregone.
That my predictions and assumptions of causation will be at least partially correct and mostly ridiculous I have no doubt. This article has lived and breathed and changed alongside an important moment in modern political history. We have all been lucky to have a say and to have made one of the above statements come to fruition.
Aaron Applbaum is a Wilson School major from Oakland, Calif. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reader Comments (0)
No comments yet. Be the first to post your opinion on this article.