The two political parties have become like parents going through a bitter divorce at Christmas time. They struggle to buy their young child’s affection with gifts. Meanwhile, he is barely old enough to open them. Most of the American electorate is like that child. We’ve all seen it before. The kid spends more time playing the wrapping paper then he does playing with the toy, which inevitably cost the parent too many good meals for the entire family.
Recently I read a good take on this election by Bill Donohue, writing for Newsmax. In his article “’Politics of Empathy’ Lifted Obama Over Romney,” he points out that Romney and Republicans lost because of the false impression or perception that Republicans don’t care about people. They voted for Obama because they “feel” that he “cares” about them. Romney on the other hand was painted and perceived as a “Wall Street Tycoon Type” — you know the kind of guy that gets a huge bonus while the rank and file employee and average shareholder gets the shaft.
So it wasn’t the “gender gap,” or the “minority gap,” or the “youth gap.” It was a perceived “empathy gap.” Sure the gender gap and so forth were real. But underlying all those gaps was the misguided notion that Republicans don’t care about women, minorities, young people, the poor, and the “average Joe or Jane”
The impression that Romney, Republicans, or Conservatives don’t care about people couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is Romney was one of the most caring and generous men to run for President in recent history. Republicans and Conservatives espouse our views because they are rooted in real compassion for our fellow man. But perception is reality; especially in a world where people are taught and encouraged to emote rather than think!
This misperception was exacerbated by many gaffes. Todd Akin and Richard Murdock didn’t lose because they were pro-life. Missouri and Indiana are conservative pro-life states: They lost because their stupid statements fed in to the lie that Republican Conservatives don’t care if a woman is raped. Romney’s 47% remark, his offer to bet Rick Perry $10,000, and his post-election comments about Obama winning by giving groups gifts, all play in to the Democrat narrative that Republicans don’t care about average people.
Indeed, the average voter doesn’t even bother to look at the present any more. They are too busy playing with the wrapping paper.
Obama was recently asked what was his biggest failure in his first term. He responded by saying (and I’ll paraphrase): He hadn’t at times done a good enough job of explaining to the American people what it was he was attempting to do. Many of us who paid
attention to the substance of his agenda, laughed at this notion. But instead we should have looked at ourselves and learned from it.
The majority of Americans despise Obama-Care, the signature “achievement of Obama’s first term. Yet he was re-elected. Why? A large percentage of his voters give him credit “caring” about their healthcare. I had many discussions with Obama supporters this election season. When Obama-Care, the failed stimulus, the failed green energy initiative, Dodd/Frank, etc came up, they couldn’t defend these programs. In fact many opposed them. But they still said they’d vote for Obama because — “at least the man is trying to do something” or “he cares about me.”
Barack Obama and the Democrats learned and mastered one valuable lesson from Bill Clinton. They’ve convinced the American people that they “feel our pain.” In fact they feel pain that doesn’t even exist. Or better yet; they feel the pain they purposely create! Their solution for our headache is to stomp on the electorate’s feet. Then they blame the Republicans for not buying us steal tip boots.
But Republicans have played right in to this. We don’t effectively project the authentic compassion and the genuine concern, that drive our policies. We are pro-life, because with out the right to be born, the rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean nothing. We promote and defend free markets because they are the most efficient means of lifting everyone out of poverty. More importantly; free markets utilize the essential human right called freedom to motivate all to aspire to better their circumstance. In so doing, we better the circumstances for everyone. We oppose the bigotry of group identity politics , because it demeans the human dignity of each person, by assigning value to people only on the basis of race, creed, and gender. I could go on, but suffice it say, Republicans don’t hate people. Our values are rooted in love of God, family, neighbor, and nation.
So the issue for Republicans is not changing our positions to acquiesce to identity politics. The issue is that we’ve let the opposition define us. We have an electorate that wants to play with wrapping paper. They’re too busy texting or letting their friends on Facebook know what they just ate for lunch or bought at Victoria’s Secret. And so the Democrats have wrapped our present with a used paper bag. In the mean time they’ve adorned their booby-traps in the shiniest, prettiest, “Festivus Paper” taxpayer dollars can buy!