Are we serious about all those things we go on about? The entitlement train-wreck? ObamaCare as the end-game of Progressivism? Regulatory asphyxiation? Ever-creeping nanny-statism? Selling our children into bonded labor?
Are we really? . . . The craft of campaigns and campaigning, argument and persuasion are driven by good storytelling and political palm-reading done with dials and polls and robo-calls instead of solid, thoughtful science.
I went to my first T.E.A rally in the early 90′s and I have three young children I worry won’t have the faintest idea why the United States was once considered so exceptional when they grow up. It’s not the 90s, and this isn’t Clinton. We have neither the time nor the luxury to ease ourselves into the new paradigm:
The Republican political class could look at so much else working in Obama’s favor—that candidate’s unique appeal, a broad distaste for Bush, voter anxieties about economic crisis, strategic inconsistencies in McCain’s approach—that few undertook the same self-examination that the electioneering left did in the wake of 2004. But in 2012, a seemingly vulnerable incumbent president’s solid victory will be attributed to tactics, and the other side will surely hustle to catch up. But the innovation terrain in politics has changed over the last eight years, and it will be a lot harder for Republicans to return to parity with their opponents.
“It is a rude awakening,” says Blaise Hazelwood, who served as political director of the Republican National Committee during Bush’s re-election and worked this year as part of Mitt Romney’s targeting team. “There was a false sense of security, a sense that we figured out how to do this microtargeting—we’d figured it out how do to it pretty well—and now there are other things for the party to focus on.”
It was a distasteful way for the President to put it, but voting really is the best “revenge.” Well, I don’t want revenge. But I do want policies that I think will help all Americans and make a better country for my kids. Convincing free citizens to vote — and vote the right way — is the most vital task we have to attain that end. And it’s a task that should be obviously serious enough to warrant the application of real science and creativity on our side.