*It has been quite entertaining watching the post election results analysis, particularly among Republican strategists, pundits and commentators.
“The pollsters lied to us.” “The Romney campaign operatives lied to us.” “The party leadership lied to us.” The Republicans, including the likes of Newt Gingrich, Joe Scarborough and other prominent conservatives, are looking for someone to blame for their election day embarrassment. Obviously, none of them have a mirror in their homes. If they did, they wouldn’t have to look very far. Their false reality has been exposed. The Anti-realism that they created to take back power was a cloud that dissipated with true reality blew through it. Nobody lied to the Republicans. They lied to themselves. Now they’re lying about how they can’t figure out how and why they lost.
Figures. Well, here’s how the Republicans lost…
They couldn’t sustain the extreme rhetoric that was coming out of the party…some of which was beyond real. Unbelievable beyond reason. Yet, the Republicans lied to themselves and said this was good for the people and were convinced the American people were believing their non-sense. They weren’t. Mitt Romney seemed neither rational or reasonable, and flipped so many times—he didn’t seem credible. Romney and Ryan couldn’t “Etch-A-Sketch” away their policy records and their ideological pasts. Romney as a moderate, playing conservative, and Ryan as an arch-conservative, trying to play reasonably conservative. America didn’t buy.
Why did the Republicans lost?
Because they were trying to “gangster” the election with the Super-PACs, and the Voter Suppression policies and the racial and class-based scape-goating. Having twenty-six to thirty people drop hundreds of millions of dollars in political action committees to buy elections is not democracy. It’s plutocracy (rule by the wealthy). The Plutocrats (which we call the 1%) owned the media, owned the pollsters and owned the strategists for the anti-real message Romney advanced. The Republicans tried to act surprised that the polling didn’t hold up. Well, the polling was skewed from the outset when you disproportionately poll in the South and only among “likely voters,” of course Romney is gonna be ahead. The flawing was in ignoring 35 million young voters (unlikely voters) who follow Obama as a “pop culture” figure (and not a politician) and ignoring 50 Latinos who you frame as illegitimate voters. Asians were invisible in the polling. That’s why the Republicans lost. They couldn’t bring themselves to see the new realities in America’s culture shifts. They pretended that these segments didn’t exist and got blown up.
One of my favorite scenes, in one of my favorite movies, Hoodlum, is when Vanessa Williams’ character (Francine Hughes) is about to leave Laurence Fishburne’s character (Bumpy Johnson) after she discovers the extreme realities of his gangster lifestyle. Francine screams, “You lied me,” to which Bumpy retorts, “You lied to yourself Francine. When you left that stiff in the bathroom.” His point was, she knew who he was when she lied with him. She contrived her own reality to cover the conflictions she had with his true reality. That’s what the Republicans were doing. They had convinced themselves that their political gangsterism was an acceptable form of politics, just because it has worked for them on some levels (largely during the anti-intellectualism period of George W. Bush). The Republicans have constructed a political reality that some of them believe with all their hearts. No taxation. Small government. Individual accomplishment. Personal responsibility. Family values. No (racial, gender, sexual) “favoritism.” They even created lexicon to justify their reality of maintaining the social, political and racial status quo. Terms like “colorblind,” “Trickle down,” “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” “Job Creaters,” “Amnesty,” “Obamacare” (which was meant to be a bad thing) and “Constitutionalists.” The Republicans just make up sh#t to rationalize their anti-realist positions.
Well, they went overboard this election with extremist lexicon like “birthers,” “Self-Deportation,” “legitimate rape,” “rape being God’s will,” “the 47% being ‘freeloaders’.” Oh, they got besides themselves this time. They offended every identity group they could offend, except white males—and even offended some of them when they tried to convince them that the same corporate raider that closed their auto plant was the same one that would bring their jobs back from China. Really!!?? Yeah, there was some crazy talk goin’ on. And you can only insult people’s intelligence for so long. The nation separated crazy talk from reality. The post election discourse refers to them as the party’s “loonies,” but “cra cra” is what they are.
It is what the Republican party has become known for, when Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are the party’s opinion leaders and frame the media discourse for all to follow. Crazy is as crazy does. Then they found some crazy millionaires and billionaires to bankroll that crazy message and they convinced themselves that they could inspire enough crazy people to get out to overturn the truth with false political doctrine. Well, that was the old (20th Century) America.
It almost worked. Had Hurricane Sarah not come along, it might have been a different story. That’s how you know God is in this mix. President Obama demonstrated a rationale, pragmatic (and effective) response to disaster—to which the highest profile Republican (not running for President) reciprocated and chose not to play politics with people’s lives. Chris Christie couldn’t pull off the anti-realism agenda when, as the people say, “Sh#t just got real” for the people of New Jersey. Christie could give a damn about politics at that moment and it should what politics should look like (cooperation) outside of the rhetorical, anti-real construct. The American people observed this and they said, “this is real.” True reality showing what was best for all people in a time of desperation. Compassion trumped politics and realism prevailed.
The Republicans lost because they lost sight of the truth and their sense of true reality.
Anti-Realism can’t keep reality from being REAL for very long—though the Republicans have mastered it going on 30 years. But…at some point in time, it has to be exposed. A lie cannot live forever. That point in time was November 6th, 2012.
Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., is a national columnist, managing director of the Urban Issues Forum (www.urbanissuesforum.com) and author of the upcoming book, REAL EYEZ: Race, Reality and Politics in 21st Century Popular Culture. He can be reached at www.AnthonySamad.com or on Twitter at @dranthonysamad.