Ah the election! What a glorious time leading up to the election. It has been a time to shine the bright light on the cockroaches and watch them run – only to see them relentlessly return each day. A time when the American people really feel they have some power, some control in the political process. It has been a time to write, to talk, to debate, to argue. A time to mutually reinforce our own views with those who have agreed with us all along. It has also been a time to attack those who will never agree with our views. Most importantly, it has been a time to try and persuade those on the fence to join our team. Hopefully that has been accomplished.
It has been a time for activist citizens to feel as if they have a say in the electoral process – that is as long as you live in one of the (9) battleground states. But then again, and because of the Internet, a conservative in California can actually influence an independent in Wisconsin. Because of the ability to organize at a grassroots level, with the power of the Internet, passionate citizens can make their voices heard across the country. As bad as Obama has been for our country, you have to give him credit for awakening that sleeping giant (as well as unintentionally helping gun and ammo sales).
There has been so much passion in the pre-election discourse. So what happens with all that passion after the election?
In a couple of days, there are going to be millions of pissed-off people. The “losers” will be passionately angry, bitter, and hopeless.
There will also be millions of passionately ecstatic, jubilant, hopeful, empowered, and vindicated “winners.” They will feel reassured that their guy will now go take care of things for them in Washington. That of course assumes you agree with his full agenda and he actually does what he says he will do.
The winning candidates will be thankful for the organization, the voice, the fight, and the service of the voters. They will be thankful for all the passion and effort. They will be thankful for what we did for them.
I may have a very different view of the appropriate post-election emotion that is reasonable for our country – anxiety and fear.
Anxiety and fear based upon the realistic threats that our country still face. And those emotions are the minimum emotions I will feel if Romney wins and the GOP controls the Congress. At least that will be better than the utter panic I will feel if Obama wins or there is a split Congress.
Unless you are a die-hard neocon who is in favor of the status quo of the GOP’s version of big-government, I propose a re-tooling of your passion if Romney wins.
If we are fortunate to take control of both the House and the Senate it will not be because the GOP has been transformed into small-government constitutionalists. The majority will remain the McCain’s, the Hatch’s, and the Graham’s that will consider this an opportunity to implement their style of failed GOP big-government that has been part of the problem all along. No matter how you slice it, they have been a part of the ineffective political process that has given us the subprime mortgage crisis, bank bailouts, NDAA, violation of individual rights ala TSA and the Patriot Act, implicit consent for any President to wage war without congressional approval, and unconditional funding to foreign countries that have harmed us. They still have not delivered immigration, Medicare, or simplified tax reform.
Most importantly, they share the blame for our national debt, the fiscal cliff and allowing the FED to continue to devalue our dollar. They talk balanced budget, but have avoided actually proposing meaningful cuts that would obviously have to involve the three taboo “career-killers”: Medicare, Social Security, and the wasteful part of our military spending.
The career GOP folks in Washington who will be “mentoring” some of our newly elected constitutional heroes may blame all of the above on the Democrats. Year, after year, after year, after year they’ve had an excuse – and they will be running things now.
They will not want our passion, our hyper-vigilance turned upon them. But that is exactly where it should be focused. The passion and grassroots tidal wave that fought Obama now needs to be focused on tracking each and every important piece of legislation, both proposed and not proposed. That passion can be directed via coordinated mass emails, calls, and petitions demanding they actually fix the problems that threaten our country.
The organization, the voice, the fight, the service, the passion and effort will no longer be for them. They now need to deliver for us.
And God help us if Obama wins.
Image Lower Left: Men of the Wiltshire Regiment waving their helmets as they march along the Acheux road to the trenches; author Ernest Brooks;public domain copyright expired.