"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Divided Times Ahead



Cartoon from Legal Insurrection

The AP is reporting:

"With returns from 88 percent of the nation's precincts, Obama had 55.8 million, 49.8 percent of the popular vote. Romney had 54.5 million, or 48.6 percent."

I'll be interested to see the final vote tally, but I imagine the percentages will not significantly change.

This is hardly a conclusive stamp of approval given to Obama. Considering how divisive and bitter this race was, there's a great temptation to think that what will follow is a time of reconciliation, a time of coming together in a great group hug.

As much as I might think that this is the preferable choice, it's unlikely. After the initial shock has worn off, and people begin to come to grips with the fact that four more years of Obama is inevitable, there will be a great deal of frustration.

Much of what will come will depend on Obama. Should he see this election as the nail-biter that it was and work to build a consensus among those who employ him, he might enjoy the support of the majority of the American people.

It is exceedingly unlikely that Obama will take this route.

Obama does not come from a background that requires the building of consensus. As a community organizer, his role is to intensify the existing discontent and then focus it onto the "other," the "source" of community's problems. As an academic, his job was to suck up to those in authority with the ability to further his career, not to manage people, not to lead. I believe Obama is incapable of pulling people together-- even should he have the inclination, and I believe he doesn't have that desire.

Obama's political strategy has been to divide and vilify. Please note, I said "political strategy" for this has not merely been a campaign strategy. Every significant policy offered by this administration has been presented as an answer to some threat perpetrated by some villain. Perhaps these villains are rich bankers cackling as they light cigars with $20 bills and drink martinis seasoned with the tears of impoverished children. Or perhaps the villains are evil doctors who needlessly remove tonsils and legs to pad their bank books. It matters little, as long as the villain is politically expedient. And the president's response to the opposition of these policies is to ignore it, then to cry racism-- and further divide the country.

This is not the strategy of someone looking to unify and lead. Obama famously said that he was ready "to rule" after being elected in 2008. He meant it.

The political reality is that America is deeply divided right now, and emotions are running high. Twitter (who's slogan should be the old heckler comeback: "Speak up! Only the people at your table know you're an asshole!") has increased this divide and increased bad feelings to a fever pitch as people name call one another while threatening to riot, to kill, to assassinate, and deliver death threats daily. I do not see this settling down any time soon.

The raw numbers show an extraordinarily close election. It is political reality, as others have pointed out, that the results are not a mandate for Obama.

Obama's history as president does not point toward someone who has the greatest grasp of political nor economic reality. Repeatedly, from ObamaCare, to the funding of green bankruptcies such as Solyndra, to "you didn't build that," to Benghazi, Obama has displayed the traits of the worst types of academics both in public and in action-- baseless arrogance, conviction of one's opinion as truth, indulgence in the denial of inconvenient facts, and an easily ruffled ego. These traits have demonstrated themselves as he steadfastly keeps true to ruinous policies that have brought about the rise of unemployment, prices, the devaluation of the dollar, the lessening of economic activity, and the dropping of median household incomes.

The fact that Obama won, is all that he will need to double down on his green energy courses which will have disastrous economic results for America. The chaos that will result will be a hodgepodge of lying, faux bold political stances, blame shifting, and stalling. Tempers will flair. Prices will rise. Unemployment and poverty will increase.

There is little doubt that divided times are in store. To what degree tensions will rise I will not predict.

I'm not saying to hold up into the hills and stock up on food and water.

But do be prepared for a type of political turmoil that is quite foreign to us. We're being intentionally put onto a course into dangerous waters. These next four years will not be like the last four.

UPDATE: Added the Branco cartoon from Legal Insurrection.

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