Post-election, Republican analysts are attempting to determine "what went wrong" by interpreting voting patterns based on skin color, gender and income, very accessible statistics. Yet, news coverage reveals an electorate expressing a profound moral weariness with campaign rhetoric and expenses.
In this past Sunday's edition of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation, referred to the
Beginning with the Moral Majority and then the
Most discouraging, we saw Senate Minority Leader
In Sarasota, Fla., a sign tacked on to a commercial high-rise read, "Anybody but Obama." Really? Anybody?
More mean-spiritedness came not surprisingly from charming commentator
And as a final example, the unbridled anger and contempt came through even from
Candidates have long embraced verbal assaults and inaccuracies as essential tools for campaign battle and for years voters were resigned to this tactic as a norm. In recent years, it appeared that Republican voters were ignited and delighted by the attacks, looking for blood in the ring. At the same time, Democrats were criticized for their meek response. Their civility, a probable offshoot of their platform of inclusiveness, often made candidates appear unqualified, not tough enough to lead.
This election season, however, was different. The Obama machine responded with a ferocity equal to Romney's and ultimately prevailed.
Still, voters in both parties were sickened by the fortune spent on the presidential campaign, the $100 million self-funded campaign of
Mr. Romney remarked that although he lost the election, his campaign sparked the beginning of a national movement. He wasn't any clearer than that. If there truly is a new movement, hopefully it signifies that Republicans are ready to get to work for something other than re-election. They can no longer tout family values because what's at greater stake is community values. Republicans can't simply focus on courting women, Hispanics and gays. They need to back off on dismissing and denigrating the value of those people who are not like-minded.