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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The end of that hopey-changey thing

So Obama gets his second term, and the hopey-changey thing that sprang up in the hearts of America's Republicans is extinguished. If there is one factor from this election from which we in the UK must learn lessons it is campaign costs. As Mary Riddell writes in the Telegraph "Voters were repelled not simply by a campaign in which billions of dollars were ploughed into disseminating negativity, but by the lack of humanity they discerned in a contest that pitted Mr Romney, who did not much like poor people, against the glacial Mr Obama, who did not much like people of any sort."

The effect of those billions of dollars of campaign spending was nil. Few Pepsi drinkers switched to Coke, and just as few Coke drinkers switched to Pepsi. Brand loyalty won out; blacks and hispanics voted Obama, white folk put their cross in Romney's box. They could have saved the money and the result would have been exactly the same. 

In winning his first term, Obama allowed his supporters to believe that he was genuinely a candidate springing from the grass roots, that he would restore power and democracy to electors. Four years of bitter disappointment followed. US politics, like UK politics, is still all about a small, powerful, political class exercising power and control from the centre. Another death for that hopey-changey thing. 

The calls are coming from our own Coke and Pepsi for more tax money to fund their private clubs, to pay for election campaigning. This US election provides even more evidence, if it were needed, why we should oppose this with every fibre of our ability.


Gary said...

Romney may not have done much to change the direction of US decline. However, he would have returned some semblance of constitutional governance.
Obama will continue to destroy, not only the economy by bad policy, but also the institutions that will be required to try to recover from the coming fiscal and economic crisis (created or enabled by both parties).
For thirty years, I have always voted for whomever promised to minimize the deficit (and always been disappointed, even by Reagan). Whatever, else a president did, not dealing with this overwhelming threat to our nation has made all of the presidents I voted for (or against) failures.
How much longer until the economic collapse of the world economy because of excessive debt (public and private) is impossible to know. But it is coming, and it will not be survivable by most of us.
I also oppose most private debt and have be debt free for half my life (30 years). If this is possible for someone who started with nothing, it is within reach of most. In fact it was the norm for people I grew up around who never made more than minimum wage but owned houses and cars appropriate to their income.
However, what I did will not change the ultimate outcome anymore than my one vote changed the outcome of the election.
One can, as WF Buckley said, stand and shout "STOP!" in front of the on coming train of history, but this normally results only in a greasy spot of the tracks.
One comment on the post: The people who hate poor people the most are those that enable them to act irresponsibly without consequence. That will become clear, too late, I fear. Most of life's important lessons do. Most likely, the correct lesson will not be taken from the collapse but that will not matter to most as they will not survive.

Cascadian said...

Excellent comment Gary.

I fear Raedwald's analogy is wrong, we now have electorates that are split between those who expect government to supply all their Coke and Pespi and those who still expect to work so that they can buy their own soft drinks. Mr Romney unfortunately underestimated the proportion of the former.

I do agree with Raedwald that government has no place funding political parties, for all its faults the USA have avoided that particular idiocy.

Anonymous said...

The average Romney voter was white, male, middle-to-old aged, earning in excess of $50,000 and Mormon.
Saying that 47% of the electorate didn't matter was a major error....
Never mind, there is still hope....Obama cannot stand again so I expect there will be some things going-on that his ardent green supporters may not like much.

G. Tingey said...

"...the hopey-changey thing that sprang up in the hearts of America's Republicans"
Meaning let's tax the poor &^ give the super-rich a free holiday & shaft everyone for expensive healthcare whic is inferior to just about every other developed countries, & start a war with Iran & ....?

SHRUB destroyed the conomy, & it is now, after 4 years' struggle, back to where Obama started with .....
Do try to keep up!

"Poor" people, in the Rethuglicans views are anyone at all, earning less than half-a-million dollars, I'm afraid.

Cascadian said...

You do not concern yourself too much with facts when the opportunity to froth at the mouth presents itself, do you Greg?