After the Election Hangover

Posted by on Nov 13 2012 | congress, Politics, PPC, Presidency

I’m sorry that it has taken me nearly a week to share a few of my thoughts about the election, but I have only been recently released from suicide watch. As a complete aside, the Hemlock Society sadly only assists the terminally ill, not those who desire end-of-life services due to politics. Apparently, you have go to the Republican Party for that.

Anyway, thanks to a fair amount of self-medication via scotch and Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls, I am able to communicate today. Like you I am baffled over the course of human events in our nation conceived in Liberty.

I know there will be months of second guessing about what went wrong and what should have been done. So here’s my quick take, and keep in mind it might just be the scotch talking.

I believe the elections of 2012 sadly proves the very premise from which we work at the Independence Institute – the right loses because they are all-consumed with the “next election.” The left wins because they are consumed with the next decade. And they have been consumed for decades.

The left wins because they control the narrative. They control the narrative because they invest their resources, their years, and a ton of our money, to build systems, organizations and institutions that tell the stories they want voters in the middle to believe. Capitalism hurts the country. Hydraulic fracturing is an environmental danger. There is a war against women. Blah, blah, blah…

As all of us divorced men know, WE HAVE NEVER made any mistakes in our past decisions. So that of course gives me the authority to say what everyone else did wrong in this election. So here we go. The right’s donors invest too often in personality, not political infrastructure. They invest for the short term.

It is so disheartening to think of the billions of dollars and countless man-hours that were wasted in vien to elect Mitt Romney and take back the senate. Only two states switched away from Obama compared to four years ago, and we lost, not gained, in the senate. Imagine if only that amount were put towards building a permanent infrastructure to leap-frog the Left. Imagine if that amount were spent years ago instead of this year. Imagine what could have been.

I find this somewhat baffling. People on the right understand the importance of investing in and building institutions that will pay dividends in the long term future. As you know I lost my daughter and my son has Down Syndrome. He has needed ten surgeries in his eight years of life. If it weren’t for the long-term thinking donors who gave so much so many years ago to build the Children’s Hospital, I would have lost another child. These donors know the importance of building churches, universities, efforts to end sickness and so much more where the real pay-off might not be seen in their lifetimes.

But in the realm of politics, many on the right can’t see farther than about a year. The money goes to candidates or their support systems. By then it is usually too late. The left has built unions, think tanks, media operations, opposition research groups, voter registration machines, legal harassment firms and so much more.

The sex-appeal and excitement for elections years and personalities drives our side. Winning drives their side.

Until we can better convince investors and activists that the fight for liberty, the fight against the constant allure of socialism’s “guaranteed outcomes,” is a long term, never-ending battle. But it is one we most certainly can win.

We at Independence have worked for nearly three decades on that very premise. We know that ideas have the greatest consequences. Politicians come and go, but the principles of liberty are everlasting. It is our goal to market our ideals far better than the left sells their guaranteed outcomes.

We have created a great start. And this election only serves to tell us we are on the right track. Now we need to do so much more.

The path to fixing Washington is to first fix Colorado. We are more determined and committed to that goal than ever in our 27 years.

Let’s shake off this awful hangover and get to it. Be our partner in this fight.

5 comments for now

5 Responses to “After the Election Hangover”

  1. Anonymous Coward

    > I believe the elections of 2012 sadly proves the very premise
    > from which we work at the Independence Institute – the right loses
    > because they are all-consumed with the “next election.”

    Conservatives and libertarians support a socio-economic system that places priority on quarterly-profits and how quickly executives can earn bonuses, damn the long term consequences.

    The Republicans nominated a candidate for president whose business model was burdening other companies with debt for his own personal benefit.

    Capitalism is no longer about innovation and creating actual wealth, it is about rewarding the manipulation of money; see here

    I was shocked—and upset—when the majority of my students became investment bankers or management consultants after they graduated. Hardly any became engineers. Why would they, when they had huge student loans, and Goldman Sachs was offering them twice as much as engineering companies did?

    So when the investment banks tanked in 2008, I cheered because engineering had become sexy again for engineering grads (read my BusinessWeek column).

    But thanks to the hundred-billion-dollar taxpayer bailouts, investment banks recovered and went back to their old, greedy ways. And they began offering even more money to engineering grads (and themselves).

    Kauffman Foundation’s Paul Kedrosky and Dane Stangler have just published a report that analyses the damage this has done to our economy.

    and here

    The most disturbing passage in “Physics of the Future” doesn’t concern the future; it’s about the present. In that passage, Mr. Kaku recounts a lunchtime conversation with physicist Freeman Dyson at Princeton. Mr. Dyson described growing up in the late days of the British Empire and seeing that most of his smartest classmates were not—as prior generations had been—interested in developing new forms of electrical and chemical plants, but rather in massaging and managing other people’s money. The result was a loss of England’s science and engineering base.

    Now, Mr. Dyson said, he was seeing the phenomenon for the second time in his life, in America. Mr. Kaku, summarizing the scientist’s message: “The brightest minds at Princeton were no longer tackling the difficult problems in physics and mathematics but were being drawn into careers like investment banking. Again, he thought, this might be a sign of decay, when the leaders of a society can no longer support the inventions and technology that made their society great.”

    If we were living in an Ayn Rand novel, George Soros would be the hero.

    Add in the knee-jerk tendency of conservatives and libertarians to defend the absurd notion that collective entities called corporations are “people” while ignoring, nay rationalizing, the perverse incentives and market distortions that corporate personhood creates, and is it any wonder that the political Right has lost its way?

    Not that this makes 0bamunism the answer, but your problem isn’t simply a matter of political strategy. The problem is that there are fundamental flaws in your ideas that you refuse to face, and the voters decided that the Republicans were not the lesser of two evils. I never thought I’d say this, but those smelly “Occupy” hippies have more credibility than you do (which isn’t saying much)…

    When I was growing up during the Cold War era, there were a group of people we, rightfully, called “useful idiots”, because they would rationalize any flaws (to put it mildly) of Communism. Those people were on the political Left. In the 21st century, the “useful idiots” are those on the Right who have replaced ideas “economic freedom”, “economic liberty”, and “free markets” with “corporatism” and “repressive libertarianism“.

    You are as ignorant of the real-world consequences of your ideology as your typical college-campus Leftist wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt driving around in a Prius sporting a “Hope and Change” bumper sticker.

    Instead of spending your time plotting and scheming how to win elections, you people need to do some serious soul-searching.

    13 Nov 2012 at 6:02 pm

  2. Enigma

    Caldara,

    It’s exceedingly hard to find any channel by which to communicate with you. Perhaps today’s RPers are all about speaking and never listening?

    You wrote:
    “But in the realm of politics, many on the right can’t see farther than about a year. The money goes to candidates or their support systems. By then it is usually too late. The left has built unions, think tanks, media operations, opposition research groups, voter registration machines, legal harassment firms and so much more.

    The sex-appeal and excitement for elections years and personalities drives our side. Winning drives their side.”

    Personality is important, for there are far too many little old ladies of both genders who think, “He looks like a nice boy; I’ll vote for him.” or, “He looks like a heartless bastard; I’ll vote for the other guy (or not at all).”

    A waffling billionaire with cold eyes will resemble the heartless bastard model. When he dismissed 47% of America as takers, not providers, in an electorate betrayed by H-1B and off-shored jobs, I’m surprised the repudiation wasn’t greater.

    Romney’s amorality aka ‘pragmatism’ signals a sociopath. His support of the Zionist occupation of Palestine and the RP link to the Iraq war-crimes must disgust anyone with an affinity for Biblical morality. An imperialist will not long keep his hands clean.

    In Ron Paul (doubtless in a few of the other candidates), the RP had a real man with none of the obliquity attaching to a billionaire who espouses a peculiar religion. Paul was ridiculed and marginalized, even though he is among those few moderns who resemble the American Founders.

    Go back and read George Washington’s Farewell Address, and see how far American politics have run from good moral principles.

    13 Nov 2012 at 11:37 pm

  3. re: “because they control the narrative”

    That is an understatement. I felt like I was in the twilight zone watching Obama get away with the claims he did, which many liberal papers *never* published anything disputing.

    George Orwell expressed a fear in the book 1984 that leaders would gain so much influence they could: “announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it.” Previously he wrote: “This prospect frightens me much more than bombs”.

    We seem to have reached that point. Obama claimed at the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 6th, 2012: “I’ll use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt”.

    Yet the White House site contains his 2013 budget proposal with a table showing his planned national debt at the end of each year through 2022. It adds at least $900 billion to the debt every year, $9.6 trillion over a decade.

    If a CEO lied about his company’s finances to get people to buy stock, the public would cry “fraud! send him to jail!”. Should we trust someone to run our government that we wouldn’t trust to run a company? This isn’t a one time gaffe, he has repeated it from the State of the Union in January, through dozens of speeches, almost every campaign speech, up to the day before the election and a campaign commercial.

    In fiscal year 2012 the government borrowed $1276 billion. He implies lower war spending will save so much money the government won’t need to keep borrowing. Yet his proposal only cuts $82.3 billion per year by 2014 for war spending compared to 2012. Simple arithmetic (almost as simple as adding “2 + 2″ to get the right answer), shows that is ridiculously far from saving enough money to pay down the debt. The president has been insulting the intelligence of the American public trying to get away with this.

    It is shocking that only a few in the media even bothered to comment on this as: “the biggest lie of Campaign 2012″. They ignored the ranking member of the Senate Committee on the Budget (a former federal prosecutor) explaining: “For the President to say his plan will pay down the debt is one of the greatest financial misrepresentations ever made to the American people.”. The media may have not have realized there is a contradiction based on Obama’s own numbers, it doesn’t require partisan estimates some might think are biased. It seems to be a case of the “Emperor’s New Clothes”.

    You need to get people to be skeptical of the obvious falsehoods from politicians if you hope for them to be skeptical of more arguable claims. He will continue to lie since he gets away with it, its not too late to point this out.

    Why should people care about the debt? It may seem too abstract for many people to worry about, but it isn’t a minor issue. The debt is bad for the economy, the poor, retirees, and the future of this country’s children. For details about this, or to see the issue described in an amusing cartoon&video mashup of Obama’s own words, see the new site:
    Politics Debunked (http://PoliticsDebunked.com)

    14 Nov 2012 at 8:02 am

  4. Jess Stone

    @ anonymous coward,

    Stop lumping Republicans and Libertarians together. Libertarians do not condone the things you mention.

    When Caldara says he is a Republican leaning libertarian, he is lying. You cannot be a partial Libertarian.

    What he is saying is he is State light.

    15 Nov 2012 at 6:20 pm

  5. Anonymous Coward

    > “Stop lumping Republicans and Libertarians together.”

    What term should I use to describe the intersection of Republicans and (small “l”) libertarians?

    Or of conservatives, Republicans, Libertarians, and libertarians?

    > “You cannot be a partial Libertarian.”

    Really? I was a libertarian-leaning Republican throughout most of my 20s. Of course, that was right at the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the Clinton presidency, so the alliance made sense back then. I even used to do some work for the Independence Institute during the late 1990s. Something happened to me a few years ago that made me realize how wrong conservative/libertarian/Libertarian/Republican ideas are: I got to see Jon Caldara’s vision of utopia in action, and the result was not freedom and liberty, but a living Hell run for the benefit of sociopathic lawyers. It doesn’t mean that Democrat/liberal/progressive/socialist ideas are correct, but that’s another topic.

    As for however you want to describe Jon Caldara, keep in mind that he’s been president of the Independence Institute longer than FDR was president of the United States. And FDR’s presidency is the reason we have the 22nd Amendment limiting the president to 2 terms.

    Like a lot of pundits, he’s become a lame, stale, predictable broken record who “jumped the shark” a few years ago. It’s time to get somebody new. I’m sure that somebody of Jon Caldara’s executive caliber and marketable skills could make a fortune in private industry outside the pseudo-academic world of think-tanks.

    27 Nov 2012 at 4:04 pm

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