Douglas Wilson’s Letter From America

If Obama Wins . . .

Culture and Politics – Obama Nation Building
Written by Douglas Wilson
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

If Obama wins — which is a real possibility — certain things follow. I mean certain things will follow other than the zombie apocalypse which will tragically end with a horde of them eating the republic’s brains.
One of the results will be the chortling comments pointing out that I predicted this wouldn’t happen, which is true, and that I ought therewith to shut up with the punditry, which is false, and that my observations on the subject have been nothing but glorified wish fulfillment, which is false again.

My conviction that Obama is going to lose, and that Romney is going to take it walking away, is my considered opinion. If I were a betting man, which I am not, I would be willing to put a $25 steak dinner on it. That is, a steak dinner for one of you out there, probably the noisiest one, not a steak dinner for all of you. That would work out to five Starbucks for 5 of you. That is the level of my conviction on this. Here I stand.
So let me state a few observations about an Obama win — which is a real possibility — and then state again why I think he is going to lose.

If Obama wins, look for certain things to follow.
One is for the blame to fall on those conservatives, like myself, who sat it out. We didn’t rally around Romney when it was time to rally around. It would be more to the point, albeit less convenient, to lay the responsibility on the kind of Republicans that the Republicans nominate, the kind which inspire principled conservatives to say meh.

We have gotten to the point where the Republican Party is tagged with the label of “extreme,” and they have managed to do this with candidates like George H.W., Bob Dole, Dubya, McCain, and Romney. Everybody thinks the Republicans are out on the skinny branches when all they do is hug the trunk. On top of this, in the last 24 years we have had 12 years of Republicans and 12 years of Democrats . . . and 24 years of steady growth in statist encroachments and outrages. It is true that Republicans sometimes slow down the growth of this cancer state, but they usually manage to do so in ways that set us up for a pent-up rapid growth when Tweedledumber is then elected.

In short, I grant that Obama is terrible. But it seems apparent to me that Bush II handed us Obama. I grant that Romney would be better than Obama — unless he hands us somebody worse than himself, and worse than Obama. Hard to imagine, I know, but work with me.

If Obama wins, he will have an uncooperative Congress. But he will still have executive orders and a compliant, servile media. If Obama wins, he will no doubt have some new Supreme Court appointments to make, and might conceivably appoint somebody as bad as . . . John Roberts, say. If Obama wins, we might lose three ambassadors.

So now that I have discouraged everybody mightily, let me say why I don’t believe he is going to be elected. If this view of mine turns out to be erroneous — as it quite possibly might, see above — I will still want to maintain that this was a reasonable position to maintain, given the available facts. And here they are, as I see them.

By all the objective criteria, Obama’s is a failed presidency. But he has the good fortune to be a failed president with a media that has no worldview categories for a failed socialist president. This explains why his failed presidency is not discussed in those terms. This is why the election still seems close. Obama seems to me to be a sunk president being artificially kept afloat with digital imagery. But the realities still are what they are.

In the best of times, political polling is a species of haruspicy, and in this situation, the pollsters are not  only reading the entrails of a goat, but it turns out to have been a diseased goat. Polling is the practice of rendering general by induction — interviewing 2,000 Americans and telling us on that basis what 200 million others think. A lot rides on the sample size, and the “scientific” ways in which that sample size is selected and arranged. Pollsters in this go round have been baking 2008 turnout levels into their polling, and it is unlikely in the extreme that those levels are anywhere close to accurate. I don’t want to say that polling tells us nothing, but I don’t think it tells us anything near what we assume that it can tell us. Throw in the fact that polling is a legacy (read, dinosaur) industry, relying a lot more on landline phones, for example, than it ought to.

Moreover, when we get the objective results in (on election day), and the results are quite different from what the polls were telling us the week before, it is rare for us to conclude that the polls were all messed up, or going beyond that, that the whole process of polling is suspect. No, we conclude a late break for one candidate or the other. Anything less would threaten the livelihood of those providing us with the goats. In short, I don’t trust the polls.

That doesn’t mean we can’t analyze numbers with an eye on the election, but they ought to be numbers like the unemployment rate. When was the last time an incumbent president was re-elected with an unemployment rate above 8%? Throw in the fact that the Middle East is burning down. Throw in the fact that we are trillions deeper in debt and no better off. Throw in his insufferable conceit and tip-tilted nose. Throw in . . .  but this takes us back to the failed presidency point above.

But I will say this. If Obama is elected again, we will deserve everything we get, good and hard. No fair feeling sorry for us. Remember FDR’s “we owe it to ourselves!” This will be a more sobering “we did it to ourselves!”

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