Bitterfest 2012



Four years ago, at just this time, I wrote a column headed “Bitterfest ’08.” I pledged a couple of weeks ago that I would not write such a column this year. I pledged to myself, I mean. I said, “If Romney loses, I’m not going to write another Bitterfest column. Just not gonna do it.” I had several reasons, all good.

But here I go . . .

I got started early on this year’s Bitterfest — with an Election Night blogpost, here. I cited an Obama slogan: “Mitt Romney: Not one of us.” Yes, Mitt Romney is not one of them, I said — not one of Obama’s “us.” Neither am I.

What are we, some kind of American remnant? Well, perhaps. But that seems a little dark, even for me . . .

Here is something else from that blogpost (not that I’ll repeat the whole thing): The American public took a look at Obama and his record. They took a look at Mitt and his. And they said, “Four more years!” Four more years of Obama, and all he represents.

You might say they were snookered the first time, in ’08. This time they knew what they were getting — and asked for it. Demanded it.


Every time a Republican presidential nominee loses, I hear the same thing, from Republicans, and especially from movement-conservative types: “The candidate wasn’t good enough. He should have done this, that, or the other thing. Or he should have been someone else. Then the people would have voted for us. Our standard-bearer was defective.”

I think this is baloney, particularly in 2012. The voters had a clear choice. Each presidential nominee was a good — very good — representative of his point of view. The voters had plenty of information, no matter how biased the media are. They had plenty of good, solid information. Conventions, debates, etc.

And they chose.

The Left is winning, in more than the electoral sense. The Left is winning culturally — psychologically, spiritually, if you will. They control education, the entertainment industry . . . need I give the whole list?

We are talking about some deep matters here, not about simple electioneering. I trust you know what I mean.

Some of my colleagues are almost comically incapable of blaming the people — of holding them responsible for their votes. This is charming, in a way, in addition to comical. Some political version of “The customer is always right.”

I don’t have this problem, thank heaven. I think the people are in fact responsible. And often wrong.

As might doesn’t make right, neither does a majority.

I think the people — the holy, sacred people — are wrong about movies, music, morality. A whole range of things. But they’re supposed to be brimming with wisdom when they enter the voting booths on Election Day?

That would be strange.

I think Romney would have made an excellent president — a superb, sterling president. Perhaps an historic one, the “turnaround artist” we needed. There’s no way to find out, of course. It would have had to be tested.

I suppose people didn’t care that he had extensive business experience. In fact, it may have worked against him. Say what you will about Obama’s background: At least it’s not tainted by business! Grubby, unseemly business.

What’s business good for, anyway? Jobs, prosperity, vitality? Hey, who needs business when ya got government?

Honestly, if people don’t respect businessmen, that makes perfect sense. They’ve been told all their lives, through movies and television and everything else, that businessmen are villainous. Sometimes these things have an effect, you know? That’s why people do them — make movies and such.

(I told you this would be a bitterfest. Credit me with truth in labeling, if with nothing else.)

In our culture — as manufactured by Hollywood — businessmen are the villains, time after time. And the heroes? Lawyers, political activists, journalists, environmentalists. You know the deal.

At the end of the ’08 campaign, Obama promised people that he would “fundamentally transform” our nation. Did he mean that businessmen would cease to be villains? No, no. Anyway, the people said, “Go ahead.” And they’ve now said, “We like it. Keep doing it.”

I was tremendously heartened by the tea-party movement. I had thought the country would go quietly unto social democracy. I thought they wanted to be Norway (without the oil, of course, because the people, through their elected representatives, won’t permit the acquisition of American oil). But the tea-party movement represented hope. Maybe there was life in the old gal yet. Maybe people still wanted the Constitution, fiscal discipline, and free enterprise.

They were demonized so quickly and thoroughly, the tea-party people. Tarred as racist. Once they succeed in tarring you as racist, you’re pretty much done.

Some time ago, a young woman was talking to me about a human-rights heroine in the Arab world. She belonged to an Islamist party (the heroine did). But don’t worry, said the young woman: It’s like how you can be a Republican and still not have sympathy with the tea-party people.

Ah, I see.

Anyway, it could be that the tea party was kind of the last gasp of Constitutionalism and free enterprise. A final spasm, before the Left achieves its dream of making our country like Europe.

The main Obama slogan was “Forward.” And “forward,” from these people, means lefter — more toward Europe, more toward social democracy and socialism. More toward collectivism in general. Ever bigger government, ever greater government dependence, an ever smaller private sphere.

It could be that Reaganism was a mere parenthesis — a brief slowing-down in this march “forward” toward Obama’s, and the Left’s, ideals.