I would have never called for people to stay away during the election. Another four years of Obama would have been too high a price to pay for that. But now that we have that four years, it helps to remember that we never had a shot at making a complete break with the policies of Barack Obama. What we were really trying to do was replace Obama with a man who would carry out many of the same policies, but without a hidden agenda or destructive urges.
What we were trying to do was elect a man who destroy America with the best of intentions, with an open heart and enough practical experience to avoid overreaching and destroying the country too quickly. And that is no bad thing, from one perspective, certainly if we have to choose between high speed destruction and medium speed destruction, it’s best to take the foot off the pedal, but it’s not a solution of any kind to anything. At most it might have amounted to breathing room that would have corrupted us by making us complicit in those same policies.
So here we are again, right back where we were in 2008. The establishment blew another election. The base is angry and frustrated. The country is divided. And a growing number of people reject the policies of the administration. The establishment rejected the Tea Party as a bunch of crazies, but the Tea Party is more relevant than ever.
A day before the election, I wrote, “Even if we lose this election, it will have been worthwhile to make it as close as possible, to bring out massive rallies of people who are waking up out of the daze and realizing that they don’t have to take the occupation and that there are tens of millions of people out there who feel as they do.
“Mitt Romney is a symbol, a convenient shorthand for freedom of expression, enterprise and faith. Whether or not he embodies these values is a secondary concern. As Obama became a vehicle for the left to express its identity, Romney has become a vehicle for traditional Americans to express theirs. If Romney wins, then he will become a politician and if he loses, then the symbolic identity, which transcends him, will go on, because it is an expression, not of one man, but of the values of a country.”
So Mitt Romney has fallen and I will waste no great amount of time either condemning him or mourning him. I have never met him and cannot speak for his character. I believe that he was genuinely motivated by public service, in the old-fashioned sense, but I also believe that, like his father, his instincts tilted to the left. Faced with a new left, his old-fashioned liberalism would have given them a foothold, while destroying him anyway.
Romney ran an effective enough campaign, but it was the campaign that he needed to run, not the one that the country needed. And now that it’s over, we are back where we need to be, fighting the good fight. We have the opportunity to organize and radicalize, to bring together growing numbers of people around opposition to everything that the Democratic Party has come to stand for. That is something we could not have done under a President Romney. It is something that we can only do while in the opposition.
And equally importantly, we once again have the opportunity to mobilize and transform the party. That opportunity may be more than the answer to winning the next election. It may be the means of saving this country.
Originally published at Sultan Knish.