The Left's Alternate Universe
The political divisions in America are pretty even. About half of the country votes Democrat, the other half Republican. Neither party usually runs away with the vote—occasionally, as in 1972 or 1984, one candidate wins the election in a landslide, but that is rare. Most of the time, the vote is split nearly fifty-fifty, and the outcome of the race is in doubt until the very end. (In 2000, Gore won the popular vote by a fraction of a point; in 2004, Bush won by three points, and carried fifty-one percent of the vote).
Both sides have some winning issues. Republicans favor lower taxes, back a strong approach to fighting crime, and advocate a strong foreign policy. Democrats support a strong welfare state, push for a more compassionate community, and work for peace. All of these are winning issues—ideological inconsistencies notwithstanding, I would estimate that between sixty and seventy percent of the nation supports all these ideas. Neither party really has a significant edge here.
But the GOP has one massive advantage: the Democrat party simply refuses to admit defeat. That sort of relentless, Vince Lombardi attitude is considered a positive, but it isn’t in this case. The Democrat party is literally incapable of ever admitting that it actually lost an election.
In 2000, George W. Bush won. But Democrats seem to live in an alternate universe where the election was actually stolen because a) there were a number of black Florida voters who were not permitted to vote because of felonies committed, b) the butterfly ballot was really confusing, c) Katherine Harris wouldn’t count all the votes, d) the Republican appointed Supreme Court justices just voted for the Republican, e) the Republican Supreme Court justices had conflicts of interest that should have disqualified them from hearing the case, and f) Diebold rigged the voting machines anyway.
You would think that, if the election was that flawed, somebody not associated with the far left would have noticed, and maybe even done something about it. But no, the “dumb” George Bush managed to brazenly steal an election without anybody really caring.
In 2004, Bush defeated the hapless John Kerry by three points. Though he didn’t really “defeat” him, he cheated again, although the actual method used is a matter of come controversy in Democrat circles. Some believe that the Republican government in Ohio suppressed the Democrat vote, and that Diebold stole the election again. (Democrats have an almost supernatural awe of Diebold—they believe there is nothing that that corporation can’t do). Others believe that Bush won by employing the dirty, nigh-McCarthyesque political trick by “swiftboating” Kerry by casting doubt on his military service. But whatever the method used, the Republicans didn’t really win the 2004 elections—the Democrats won the moral victory, while the Republicans won only by virtue of their legendary unscrupulousness.
In 2006, the Democrats actually won. However, even though the outcome was never really in doubt, Nancy Pelosi provided an out—she decided in advance that if the Democrat didn’t win, it would be due to rigged voting machines.
Democrats are already preparing their excuses this time around, which can’t be a good sign for Barack Obama. McCain clearly did better in Rick Warren’s forum—he was strong, on-message, and decisive, while Obama came across as weak and vacillating. But did McCain really win? Nope, because maybe he wasn’t completely isolated, and could have heard Warren’s question beforehand. There isn’t any evidence to support this, but then, there’s nothing to say it couldn’t have happened.
Of course, the most commonly used justification will be the race card—that the only reason not to vote for Obama is racism. If Obama loses, it will not be because he is an inexperienced politician with some dubious associations and unpopular positions; it will be because John McCain subtly played the race card.
The Republican party will lose elections, and make terrible strategic mistakes. But it will learn from then (albeit slowly). The Democrat party will lose elections and make terrible mistakes as well. But as long they refuse to face reality, they will simply continue to make the same mistakes over and over. And since Democrats don’t seem to have any intention of accepting defeat, no matter how severe, Republicans should be very encouraged for their party’s success in the future.