Millions of Romney/Ryan supporters watched helplessly as millions of their fellow citizens — most, no doubt, well-intentioned — tore the moral heart out of our shared nation. When the dust settled, the dragon of unrepentant liberalism had been provided another four years in which to trample over our lives, liberties and sacred honor.
My heart was broken as I witnessed the most sleazy, dishonest, and mean-spirited political campaign (since the drubbing of Barry Goldwater) prevail over decency and competence. The voters had been cheated, misled and manipulated; nevertheless many of them opted for ideological purity over common sense.
Now there will be hell to pay. Foolishness and naiveté have consequences. I know this sounds like sour grapes, but I am willing to go on record and predict another four years of economic stagnation, punctuated by a renewed recession, and diplomatic weakness, perhaps interrupted by a Middle-Eastern Holocaust.
The evidence that Barack Obama and his minions have misgoverned this nation has long been visible to those willing to open their eyes. Many, however, evidently preferred to be lulled into an ideological siesta. For them, unpleasant truths have no allure; hence these are driven from consciousness.
But that is no reason for those of us who care about the future to give up the fight. Yes, we have sustained a devastating setback, but no, it is not fatal. One thing I have learned in the course of living many decades is that, as Powell implies, losses are part of life. They must be endured, and, if at all possible, reversed; that is, if one is to maintain one’s integrity.
Nonetheless, it must also be acknowledged that victory is never ensured. However worthy a cause, it may not triumph. But that does not mean that we should give up. Moral uprightness and an allegiance to the truth matter. They are so important that a bloody nose sustained in their defense is worth the pain.
So how long will the fight go on? How long will liberalism be allowed to grind our shared fate into the dust? No one can be sure, but some crucial struggles have persisted for centuries. Unfortunately, this means that many of us will never witness the conclusion.
In the meantime, the battle must be joined. There are many more clashes ahead and if they are to be won, they must be entered with a clear head and a firm resolve. This is no time for recriminations or Monday morning quarterbacking. Rather, it is a time for planning and organizing.
As I am sure Powell would also acknowledge, if you wish to defeat an enemy, you must know that enemy. It is not enough to cast aspersions on those with whom you disagree. We who have been defeated this time around must understand, and counter, the reasons so many folks were attracted to the other side.
It is also essential to understand our own strengths and weaknesses. Winners do not allow themselves to be deceived by rose-colored glasses. Nor do they over-estimate the comparative resources of their opponents. Instead, winners seek to make the truth their ally.
And so I say to readers who are as disappointed as I: It is time to gird our loins. There is work to be done and tactics to be rethought. The good news is that those who have snatched an unwarranted victory from a hard-fought fight tend to be over-confident. Assured of their superiority, they frequently double-down on their mistakes.
If this is what Obama and his allies are about do, they are sure to alienate many of the people who helped them to victory. What I am hoping — indeed, what I am counting on — is that there remains a reservoir of integrity and sanity in the American public that can be tapped in future contests.
Melvyn L. Fein Ph.D. is a professor of Sociology at Kennesaw State University.