The Sad News of A Bad Bet

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The sad news is that Republicans have added to their list of the left’s conspiracies: the latest being the notion that Barack Obama actually won reelection as the President of the United States. Of course, Barack Obama received 62.26 million popular votes, won 26 states with 332 electoral votes—an electoral vote number that GOP pundits Dick Morris, George Will, Newt Gingrich and others predicted and called a “landslide”—for Romney! When the President actually achieved those numbers, becoming one of only five Democrats in history to twice receive 50 percent of the vote, the same bokors of make-believe called it a close election, becoming one of the few conspiracy groups in history to ignore the obvious.

Conspiracies are usually built around things unseen. In the dark mysteries of human ideas, conspiracies are born when people spring to action to carry out evil and destruction to gain power and turn human suffering into a demonic benefit that destroys the cherished good of freedom and prosperity. Conspiracies attack a life reasonably free of want, and crush to ruins a pride based on person production and skill.

History is filled with the great societies of prosperity and pride with a legacy of inside and outside conspiracies; ancient Egypt, the Mayans and Incas, the Dynasties of China and Persia, the Iroquois and the Sioux nations. These early societies had material wealth and superior knowledge, exhibited fantastic engineering success beyond their spectacular buildings. China and Persia, and the Mayans, for example, had extensive underground water systems, with reservoirs. But conspiracists no longer embrace global, historic or infrastructure success. For many conspiracists, these successes are an a priori sign of an invisible cabal, whose power is multiplied by the depth of its secrecy.

So of all the conspiracies attributed to Barack Obama, it was obvious that socialists carrying clipboards with petitions, illegal ACORN registrations, or backdoor gifts from socialist Europe or radical communist countries like Cuba, Estonia, Russia or China didn’t win the election. (Although the Romney-Sheldon Adelson connection offers fertile ground for outside influence by China and Israel!) It was obvious that the million mailed releases of a DVD tying Barack’s mother to Chicago labor leader Frank Marshall Davis, claiming a new baby daddy for infant Barack (one which incidentally would have firmly established his American citizenship—at odds with birther conspiracies!), didn’t work, either.

It’s also hard to claim that a President with a good mid-range jump shot and an arching, floating lay-up, who picks his own NCAA Final Four brackets (men and women’s), regularly invites Stevie Wonder to the White House, and brews his own pale ale from White House honey needs “to learn how to be an American.” So as all the conspiracies failed, falling one by one, it was obvious: Barack Obama won due to a yet-undiscovered-conspiracy even more wrongheaded and subversive than the GOP overpaid crybabies had thought!

Before we say “good riddance,” let’s do a careful review. For Karl Rove and many others, race has all minuses and no pluses in national politics. They assume a wider distribution of doubt and lingering worry over race than the actual election results revealed. What they missed is that as race once magnified negatives—the stereotypes of criminality, morality and personal ethics—it now also multiplies the character of success, skills at speaking, reasoning, caring, leadership and vision.

Rove and others assume these positive traits are dampened down by race. As they see it, race limits the upside of the positive narrative while acting to amplify and enlarge mistakes and negatives. But their cultural calculus is passing from a changing American national community; the new American national identity is a patriotism that proactively seeks to include all heritage communities and build a national community of trust and tolerance. In this America, stereotypes have almost no impact on the acceptability for leadership among members of heritage communities. Stereotypes do still exist, but as jokes that ridicule old-school thinking as much as they do the targeted group. Look carefully: much of contemporary humor uses stereotypes to laugh at the notions and distortions that stereotypes imply—and mock the stereotypes themselves!

But for Rove and others, the old ideas are still life and death. In a great irony, they see the election of a black man as President as the death of liberty rather than its celebration. Liberty has killed itself, they think, by going too far and becoming imprudent. Thus, their campaigns are always about the dangers of democracy: the decisions and acts that are, in their defective world view, excesses, bad, condemned.

Unfortunately, this closes off the Rovian system and shuts down a progressive vision for conservatives. They are left mired in fear, anger and hate, rather than rationally examining policy to further secure the transitions they argue are only possible under consevativism. But these transitions are at odds with the ideas of race most conservatives hold dear. If you think blacks are incapable of self reliance and a work ethic, the transitions you propose will fail, as Romney clearly articulated in his view of the 47 %.

Republicans are fond of holding up the few exceptions to their core beliefs, not realizing as these exceptions are widely touted, they only serve to further prove the rule. And rarely do these exceptions advance. Utah’s Mia Love lost her Utah congressional race. (Democratic Super-PACs are being blamed for her defeat in a newly drawn district by the Democratic incumbent, Jim Matheson, the son of a popular former Utah governor.) Rove’s views further separate conservative ideas from campaigning and from the actual agenda of conservatives in power, an agenda that stifles transitions, restricts mobility, denies rights, and consolidates rather than shares power—all while blaming others whom they suggest deserve suffering and real pain, even as the rich inflate their bank accounts and fantasies, reveling in power and wealth.

Race is key to this separation and justification; its linchpin. The perceived negatives of race are the source of conservative solidarity; yet these views are increasingly the basis for losing campaigns. Yet on the heels of the President’s victory, the White House website received petitions by citizens from 23 states calling for state secessions!

I do have a conspiracy to add, one of the oldest found in history, whose moral made the election outcome easy to predict. The Republicans, the inner circle; Romney, the Mormon; Sununu, the Cuban; crossed the invisible line and made a deal with evil. Not evil the adjective, but evil the noun, the darkest, most destructive of divine forces, that legend says is only activated in human affairs through the dark and secret hearts of men. As Romney boldly abandoned truth, a stance touted by his communications director, Romney’s campaign increasingly turned to the dark side, violating every covenant, teaching, precept, lesson and commandment of wisdom found in all global tradition. His was not a good campaign by Zen standards, Yoruba belief, Islam, Buddhist wisdom, the I Ching, or even the secular classic, The Art of War.

The deal Romney, Rove and others made ignores the famous fallacy of evil: evil cannot (never!) help you win;  by its definition, once it is embraced, it can not produce final results that are good for those who serve it. Simply, even for its faithless operators, evil can not do good. (If it does good, it’s no longer evil!) Yet, my daughter points out, always one person or a group convince themselves they are the exception, that evil on their side will work for good, as they have promised to rule in its name. History’s myths and legends have recorded the names and characters who struck such a deal. They always  fail. A pact with evil is never mutual, nor can it bring good results. It does not violate its own character by permitting an outcome that can be seen as good (the outcome deserved by its junior partners!) for the chance at greater impact. It is solely satisfied with devouring what it is given—to evil, it’s all the same. The Bishop Romney thought, like him, evil had a driven ego. It doesn’t. It is egoless. Its only compelling purpose is to avoid good as it carries out its ruin. So Romney, like so many others, thought he would be the exception to evil’s premise and commands. It is evil’s ultimate seduction, to persuade the ego of those under its spell that rulership will be a joint tenancy. It never is. Evil wins. It destroys those in league with it, doubling its satisfaction by the joy of the deception that leads to its engineering the fall of those who turn to it. Evil thrives on those who engage, who believe evil will honor their work to increase and expand its carnage.

So my theory is Romney made a bad bet. With evil. No great society turns a morally blind eye to attacks and assaults on women and the failure to care for the sick and elderly. That’s why he lost.