I rarely write about politics, for a couple of reasons: 1) I greatly dislike the political game 2) I think most politicians, on both sides of the aisle, are raving idiots who use intellectually dishonest arguments and tactics to win votes and 3) It frustrates me to no end that those tactics work. Small wonder why our system can be as absurd as it is.
But today was sort of a big deal (electing the president and all), so I’ll jot down some thoughts on the race.
I predicted an Obama victory, and I was right, but it was not because I thought Obama’s position was particularly strong. He was clearly embattled, with a flailing economy and a fiasco in Libya looming over him. In some weird way, Hurricane Sandy was a blessing to him because it redirected the attention of the nation from the campaign to a disaster where Americans felt less critical and more brotherly. However, beyond that, the primary reason he won was because Romney did not seem to run a particularly inspiring campaign. I liken the situation to the 2004 elections: Bush won, but not because he was overly popular but because John Kerry wasn’t exactly that strong of a candidate for the Democrats.
I have no doubt Romney is a smart business man, and when it comes to economics, I have far more agreement with him and Ryan than the naive Keynesianism that Obama practices. Fact of the matter is, though, while the economy is almost always the most important topic in an election, most people do not care about nuanced argument or detail; they just want results and they want some charismatic dude that they think can get them there (quite unfortunate, if you ask me). Were many voters excited about Obama this time around, compared to 2008? Not even close. But many people simply found Romney to be some detached rich white dude whom they could not relate. I’m not saying that’s objectively true, but it was a prevailing perception. Again, similar to the 2004 elections, Romney’s voter base seemed a lot more anti-Obama than pro-Romney, and that will do little to convince middle-of-the-road voters to help tip swing states in your direction. Romney didn’t lose all the swing states by much, again speaking to the weakness of Obama’s position, but if you can’t even rally your own base for your cause, it’s going to be hard to convince the independents to side with you.
Conservatives, and many Christians, are very anxious about what the next four years hold. Some stuff they have a right to be concerned about: It is unclear if the government will slow down spending at all, it seems almost unavoidable to raise taxes on the middle class if trends continue (contrary to the promises of both candidates), and Obama is the most pro-abortion president in this nation’s history. Those are big deals, and Obama could very well appoint some new Supreme Court justices that reflect his philosophy. That said, while Obama is no savior, contrary to the very silly and naive notions from certain people on the left, he is no devil either, despite a few wacko pastors out there trying to argue that he is the antichrist. I don’t wish for him to fail at his job, and I hope that he learned good things his first four years and works better with Republicans this time around (and of course, the Republicans are going to have be a bit more cooperative than they have been, though some of their hostility was justifiable after Obama jammed legislation down their throats when the Dems controlled both houses).
Do I have concerns with Obama? Yep. However, I think Christians should pray for the guy and pray that God gives him wisdom, because being president of the United States, despite all the perks, is an enormously stressful and difficult job. I genuinely hope he doesn’t suck at it just so conservatives can prove a point, because that means everyone suffers. Unless something wacky happens with the vote count, we might as well get used to another four years of Mr. Barack Obama. If you don’t like how it’s going, when seats are up for election again, put more Republicans in Congress to balance him out, which is exactly what happened in 2010.
Anyway, one of the most amusing things I read recently was that Joe Biden was considering running for president in 2016. Child, please. Even Democrats try to hide you. If Biden is their candidate in 2016, then something is very wrong within the Democratic party.