The below video is currently going viral. It features a woman ranting about Obama’s election win. Everything about it perfectly sums up why conservatives lost the argument months, if not years ago.
Notice how the YouTube channel doesn’t allow the clip to be embedded, and comments are disabled? She doesn’t want any actual feedback or dialogue about it. She simply wants to live in a bubble where the black guy is a Muslim / Atheist / Marxist / Communist / Terrorist, and the only opinions which matter are those which reenforce these and many other phantasmagorically stupid ideas about the democratically elected leader of the free world.
The rightwing of the Republican party — which let’s face it now make up the majority of the party which once stood for the noblest ambitions of small ‘c’ conservatism — have been telling themselves only what they want to hear, ever since Obama was first elected. They can’t use the ‘N’ word on Fox News, so they supplement it with isms, which have had their actual meaning completely hijacked by talk radio loons, and attention seeking windbags. Then they act all surprised when the vast majority of their non-insane countrymen cast their vote for reality.
On election night, my living room was like Darth Vader’s bathroom. I had three computer screens split between 6 different news networks. On the main TV I hopped between CNN, the BBC and Sky News. Every single last one of the news channels had measured opinion from both sides of the debate.
On the BBC, sensible articulate Republicans bemoaned the take-over of the Grand Old Party by those enemies in their midst, who are almost completely incapable of understanding why Obama represents such hope and ambition for so many people.
Even Sky News, normally a fairly right-leaning mouthpiece for Murdoch conservatives here in the UK, managed to spell out well in advance of the Ohio and Virginia declarations, why Romney and Ryan were so unattractive to women, minorities, the middle class and anyone with even half an eye on world affairs.
Watching Fox News, however, was like watching an entirely difference series of events unfold. It was as if they’d inadvertently aired a taped rehearsal, of the election coverage they’d hoped to provide.
Every time a result came in, which each of the other networks called unsurprising or in-line with prediction — such as a district which the Democrats had historically held for a long time — they acted like a rabbit trapped in the headlights of reality, barely capable of bringing themselves to acknowledge what was blatantly obvious to everyone else.
At one point, Sarah Palin popped up, to state that she “refused to believe” that so many of her fellow Americans could have voted against a candidate who couldn’t decide from one day to the next what any of his policies actually were — the guy whose own supporters couldn’t tell the exit-pollsters any of the details in his so-called five point plan for economic recovery.
We liberals (another word conservatives don’t understand the actual definition of) may well sit back and chuckle for a while. After all, it’s not every day you get to see Karl Rove swim in an ocean of piss and tears, live on Fox News. But once the dust settles, the truly scary thing about the scale of the Republican defeat, is how extremely unlikely it is that they will learn anything from it. They will spend the next four years blaming everyone other than themselves, and allow the reality distortion field to engulf their candidate selection for 2016.
Whichever side of the fence you sit, this is bad for democracy. A healthy government is one which is held to proper account by an effective opposition — not one which sways to the fantasies of the wilfully misinformed. And while we on the left might be rather happy to accept that this is the route towards total un-electablity Republicans seem determined to go down, some very serious questions need to be asked within the conservative movement, about the figureheads and leaders they’ve allowed themselves to be represented by, if they’re serious about their democratic responsibilities.
Intellectual conservatives, who genuinely do believe smaller government leads to a libertarian ideal for all, need to ask themselves if their tolerance of anti-science, anti-women, theocrats, is worth more to them than being out of the White House for a generation — if their rubbing shoulders with and turning a blind eye towards bigots and racists, at town hall meetings and rallies, is a price worth paying for the illusion of lower taxes.
Sadly, I think this is a conversation well-meaning conservatives just aren’t going to be allowed to have. Their agenda has already been set for them, by the very people who refuse to accept their roll in everything from the financial meltdown, to the wanton destruction of the party of Jefferson and Lincoln, by those who have become the thing they fear the most.