psychpol

February 9, 2013

ANYONE FOR PRINCIPLES?

Filed under: Psychology and Politics — Tags: — psychpol @ 7:07 pm

Whatever happened to principles? Don’t you and I have them in our lives? Don’t they guide our actions and form a foundation for interpersonal trust?

If you examine the issues facing our society, you will find a large number of inconsistencies and just plain lying by our leaders. Given this barrage, it is so easy to simply numb ourselves and turn away.

It can be an awakening when you realize, ” wait a minute, this is my life, and that of my loved ones, present and future. Let me wake up and check this out! Is this true or not?”

Then when the next election occurs, and the machine finds ways to anger you, and if you care to vote as 53% of us did in 2012, we may stop reacting like conditioned pets.

The Obama Democrats have mastered the Blame Game strategy. Consequently, they received many of the ANTI votes from those oblivious to the important issues facing our country.

Like freedom, debt, government control of our lives, personal responsibility, foreign policy and health care.

Anger is way more fun. You know, ” I’ll show them they’re no better than me,” and so on. ” Who do they think they are anyway!”

It turns out that those who fired us up are dumping their “people’s” agenda on our country. Have you checked out the recent decline in your paycheck? Or that, under Obamacare, the CBO projects that 7 million of us will lose coverage? Or that premiums have already greatly increased?

Searching for principles that govern the decisions and statements of our leaders can be quite fruitless. It seems that principled consistency is of no relevance for many politicians. Some still bleat about them in speeches, and others probably started their careers with them. But most seem incapable of logical consistency and standing on principle, even on comparable issues.

Here is one example.

When George W. Bush was president, there was a controversy over the use of what became known as ” enhanced interrogation techniques.” This essentially referred to waterboarding terrorists in an effort to extract information that would protect American lives by preventing attacks. Some Democrats vehemently described this as a form of torture.

The media and the Democrats in Congress, and later the Obama administration, decried the use of such methods. They stated it was inhumane and did not work, in spite of evidence to the contrary. 

One can access a multitude of video clips from the Bush years and Obama’s first term to personally view the furor with which Democrats denounced such tactics. The liberal media, leftist mimics that they are, piled on in print, network and cable television news shows.

So what was the principle? It was simply that to use such measures was inhumane and did not reflect the essence of American law and morality. Perhaps the Geneva Convention was tossed in as another standard that forbade such methods, with that document referring to the treatment of prisoners of war.

However, the Obama administration informed us that these were criminals entitled to the same rights as you and I as Americans. So if they were not enemy combatants, did such provisions for their treatment still apply?

Prior to that, we had the Abu Ghraib prison controversy in Iraq, whereby American guards took photos of prisoners in bizarre positions, some in their undergarments or intimating sexual acts, and subjected them to other activities that were seen as demeaning.

To the Democratic left and their media supporters, this was another example of the horrors brought upon the innocent by Bush and Dick Cheney. A great scandal.

Of course, the enemy beheaded American citizens while they were still alive and videotaped it.  OK, it wasn’t as awful as pictures of people in their underwear taken by those horrid Americans. Still….

There was much hand wringing and finger-pointing in America because of these prison events. Bush and Cheney were guilty of great evils.

In fact, in the first Obama administration, under the Department of Justice headed by the radical leftist Eric Holder, reviews were initiated to prosecute Bush administration officials, though these initiatives eventually fizzled out.

They did manage to destroy the legal career of Cheney aide, Scooter Libby, for “outing” a CIA employee, Valerie Plame. As it turned out, everyone knew she worked for the CIA. Furthermore, she was not an operations agent, and her role was innocuous. Her husband, a well-placed Democratic lawyer in DC, was also part of the outraged leftist gang that successfully went after Libby.

And now? Again, in the search for that rarest of gems, principle, here is what is happening today.

This administration has created a memo that essentially gives the president and his designate, in this case DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, the power to kill any American citizen thought to be involved with terrorist activities.

This includes no due process, such as a right to trial, representation and all the other legal protections afforded to any American citizen, either in civil or military courts, by the Constitution.

The issue is the use of drones to kill suspected or confirmed terrorist operators such as Anwar Al-Alaki. He was an American citizen and radical Islamist tied to attempted terrorist attacks in the US. American drones killed him in Yemen.

In the  current program, the president shall appoint an overseer for such hits. In this case, they have proposed Napolitanto, she of the open borders policy for “protecting the homeland.” Such an action against a citizen will require no Congressional oversight or judicial review before they are attacked.

For those of us paying attention, it is clear that Obama is an Imperial President, probably our first, who has little regard for the people’s Congress, except as an object of blame. He has insulted the US Supreme Court Justices in a State of the Union speech.

By the way, did you know that his last State of the Union speech was geared to a seventh grade education? In fact, you can watch another this coming Tuesday, February 12. Hope we can understand it.

He has overridden the law on a number of occasions, using Executive Authority to do so in areas that had no such precedent. With a few exceptions, the media does not report this, let alone challenge it. Too busy swooning. Wonder what his favorite color is?

Let us not forget that a recent study of 18 – 29 year olds found that only 26% knew there were three branches of government. Let’s face it, this is an easy group to manipulate while abrogating many of the provisions of the US Constitution.

So, where are the voices from the left condemning the capricious murder of American citizens? None. Silent. The same ones, including our new Secretary of State, John Kerry, that blasted Bush/Cheney for waterboarding and Abu Ghraib, are nowhere to be heard.

Where is the principle here? Who stands on principle? Are we forever left to watch the Republicans bash the Democrats and vice versa? Is the principle anything goes if it can be used for political gain and power?

Do we stand for humane treatment of our enemies or not? Can we agree on what is humane treatment? Or can we agree that we should do whatever it takes anytime-anyplace to protect the American people? (a personal favorite)

Can we agree on what to call the Fort Hood massacre by the Islamic fascist psychiatrist? Is it, as the Obama administration has labeled it, an “act of workplace violence?”

Or is it a terrorist act? Since the killer yelled “Allah Hu Akbar” (god is great)while shooting innocent soldiers and civilians, could that be a clue? Is there a sensible principle here? Or is it more Crazy Logic?

And so it is almost impossible to assign credibility to many politicians running America. We have a president who lies with impunity. Most media do not bother to point this out or confront it. But some do, and they of course are blamed by the politicians.  You know, shoot the messenger.

” We’re not lying, it’s Fox News! Let’s shut it down! Who needs that pesky first amendment!” Said the tolerant and caring liberal, lover of all things diverse but thought and speech.

It is quite remarkable, in spite of facts to the contrary,  how credible the president is to a majority of voters and media. He has systematically broken  promises made as a candidate and as president. This pattern is quite remarkable, and even for lying politicians, Obama stands out. Very smooth and practiced.

For our own good, of course…

This is a current example of the Obama administration’s disregard for Federal law. The area is illegal aliens and enforcement of the law by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in the field.

We know that Federal laws require the prosecution of illegals that break into our country or exceed work or educational visa limits. We also know that these laws are not being enforced.

Therefore, some states like Arizona enacted their own law to authorize police to ask someone detained on another offense for proof of citizenship. Some of us know that Arizona was sued by the Obama/Holder Department of Justice. In fact, several states that enacted laws to protect their borders were sued by DOJ as well.

These lawsuits were brought even though Federal law, passed by the people’s Congress, requires enforcement similar to the laws passed by those states.

The states are being abused by 11 – 20 million illegals that drain educational, social service, correctional and health care resources provided though the efforts of working citizens who pay taxes.

Obama unilaterally declared that the offspring of illegals who met certain criteria were given a pathway to citizenship. Because, after all, it was “through no fault of their own” (a favorite liberal mantra) that they were here illegally in the US. And they were even declared to be “Dreamers.”

Of course over 20% of the prisoners in the entire US Correctional System are here illegally. You know, dreaming of breaking into our houses or worse.

Interesting side point. If you try to access FBI or State data on Hispanic crime rates, it is not available. Why? Because Hispanics are defined as an ” ethnicity and not a race.”

Guess where that data goes.  It is lumped together with white crime rates, thus inflating the official crime rates among Caucasians.

Then, the FBI and others compare these numbers to Blacks, Native Americans, Asians and other groups, essentially falsely inflating the rates of one group to minimize the discrepancy with other groups, and hide the rates among Hispanics.

Don’t you just love government logic and uncommon sense?

But back to ICE. In the first Obama term, primarily through word of mouth, ICE field agents were told not to arrest illegal aliens unless they had committed a crime. Of course, it is a crime to be here illegally, is it not?

Under these mandates, ICE could not have detained the 9/11 terrorists that murdered almost 3000 of our fellow citizens.

For the Obama gang, legal status simply doesn’t count. In fact recently, Rep. Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, declared that illegals were actually “New Americans who were out of status.” Do you get it? They are Americans, just like an American citizen born here, or someone who has legally gone through the immigration process and become a citizen.

Just like my relatives and maybe yours as well. Why bother to come here legally, like so many millions are trying to do right now?

However, these illegals are now “Americans,” says Conyers and most of his fellow Democrats. If I break into China, am I now Chinese? Or Costa Rican? Or Russian?

In fact, although the approval rating of Congress is somewhere between 9 – 14%, lower than a colonoscopy or a cockroach in one study, we the people re-elected 21/22 incumbent Senators and 353/373 of the incumbents in Congress. Obama now has an approval rating of 60%.

We have an effective unemployment rate that includes those who have stopped looking for work of over 11%.

Some say we get the government that we deserve.

In this early second Obama term, written policy from Janet Napolitano, DHS Secretary, and AG Eric Holder, now forbids ICE agents from arresting illegals. In fact, if they are criminals, they are only to be arrested if their crimes meet certain criteria, for example, three or more misdemeanors. Some criminals are OK.

But Federal law says they must be arrested. Obama and his radical comrades have declared that law, like the Defense of Marriage Act, invalid and not to be enforced.

Now, several courageous and patriotic ICE agents are suing the Obama administration, claiming they are being forced to violate the law and are unable to do their jobs. It is our tax dollars, those of us who produce, that pay for these programs.

Anyone want to place bets on whether the agents keep their ICE jobs?

This scheme, like the catch phrase ” immigration reform,” is simply designed to increase the Democratic voter base.

Obama’s two primary goals are punishing the successful and wiping out the Republican opposition. He has already dismissed Congress and the Judiciary by making his own laws and invalidating those now on the books.

So, Crazy Logic.  It is clear that power is the only objective. Principle is to be spouted at campaign events. The more outraged and blaming, or smooth and soothing, the greater the effect on the clueless American voter, an ever expanding group today.

“He/she told them off but good!” “They’re no better than me!” “He/she seems so sincere.” “He/she really cares.” “He /she is my friend.”

Finally, let’s look at two tragic contemporary issues involving adolescents.

Today is the funeral of Chicago teen, Hadiya Pendleton, age 15. She was gunned down while talking with a group of friends a few blocks from her school. Hadiya had recently participated as a member of her school’s majorette team at the inauguration of Obama. That must have been a very proud moment for she and her family.

But in the murder capital of the US, Chicago, she was yet another of the almost 45 victims who have died this year. At her funeral, Michelle Obama will be attending. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has talked to the family. And Governor Patrick Quinn of Illinois will be there as well.

The president has not commented on this murder, or the fact that Chicago violence among minorities is out of control. He did not hesitate to comment in the Trayvon Martin case, when it was alleged that a white man had killed the teen. In fact, along with his racist Democratic colleagues, he quickly blamed the shooter.

But  no mention of Hadiya’s death or the slaughter of so many kids on the streets of Chicago. The politicos are all of a sudden very concerned, and will get their photo ops at Hadiya”s funeral. They will show us how”caring” they are.

They may pontificate about gun control, with no mention of the individuals that shoot the guns and commit the crimes.

The second example of blatant hypocrisy is the case of the Pakistani teen, Malalla Yousefzai. The 15-year-old was released from a UK hospital yesterday.

At age 14, Malalla was an advocate for access to education for girls in her country. The Taliban came on her school bus on the way home and shot her in the head. She was accused of promoting ” Western Thinking.” She called for a more liberal interpretation of the Islamic religion by the Taliban, notorious persecutors of women and girls.

For this, she went through intensive medical care, including a recent skull reconstruction. This was done because the swelling in her brain required removal of a portion of the skull. In addition, she received a cochlear implant to allow her to hear. The shooting apparently damaged the auditory nerve in the brain.

In addition, because bullets entered her brain, she has lost cognitive and other abilities. Now, a news story says she actually read a book. So, Malalla will be impaired for the rest of her life.

Where are the voices of the feminists like Hilary Clinton,  Susan Rice and the liberal Supreme Court Justices? Where is the voice of the president decrying such violence against girls and women in Middle Eastern countries? 

By the way, Hilary Clinton’s popularity is described as “soaring.” Where are the principled voters who know how to think? How about the Benghazi bungling and cover-up of the murder of four of our fellow citizens?

Such unprincipled politicos do not forcefully speak against these injustices. Where is the National Organization for Women (NOW), and their outrage? Have they any principle besides being abortion advocates? Are they pro-woman or not? Where is the voice of the First Lady, the Senators and House members?

Mawalla, courageous girl that she is, has vowed to keep fighting for girls’ access to education.

Where was the president’s voice when several million Iranians attempted to fight back against the fascist mullahs? Where was the outrage when the young Iranian girl lay dying in the streets of Tehran, gunned down by a government sniper? Where is the principle?

If you take an issue and ask yourself if the politician you are about to vote for has been consistent, you may be surprised. You may even awaken to their hypocrisy and lack of true principle if one gets past the phony blame distractions.

In fact, their principle might simply be gathering power, money, influence or whatever the prize of the moment might be. This will not sit well with you, especially if you drop your identification with a party.

Think as an independent and make your choices from that perspective.

As a friend said, ” I feel like we are living in a snow globe world that someone turned upside down, keeps shaking and will not stop.”

We can look for principled consistency and reject those corrupted by the system or lack of personal ethics. We can find other people who will stand their ground.

We can be freed from the Crazy Logic now running our country and our lives. We must first recognize it in order to formulate a plan of action. It is our country and our government. If we just keep doing the same dumb things, we will get the same dumb result.

Be informed. Be awake. Use your eyes and ears and mind to understand what is happening. Question your assumptions. Be a source of power and change for the better, for your principles. Stand up to the lying.

We owe it to ourselves and to those yet to come…

November 9, 2012

ELECTION REFLECTIONS

The election of 2012 is now over. A number of important issues emerged. Those who voted have expressed support for their positions.

How do interested citizens understand what happened, and what the implications are for America?

Liberals are happy with the outcome of the presidential election. Barack Obama won another four-year term. Conservatives are unhappy to see Mitt Romney lose the election.

An independent conservative looks at some of the  factors that drove the Obama victory and the Romney defeat. Which may represent current trends in our society?

MONEY TALKS

The total amount spent on the presidential  campaign was $2.2 billion.

The Obama campaign raised more money than the Romney campaign.

In one case, Romney raised $52 million from a Las Vegas businessman, Sheldon Addelson.

The President, who in 2008 said he would only use public funding and then flip-flopped, was able to raise  huge sums from core supporters such as public labor unions, liberal activist groups and Hollywood celebrities.

The latter included such a noted misogynist as “comedian” Bill Maher who donated one million dollars. This money was welcomed by the proclaimed defender of women, Obama. Liberals did not comment on this contribution.

Although liberals have decried the presence of money in politics, the fact that Obama raised so much money was not an impediment to voting for him.

Somehow, it was righteous money, correctly given.

Although Obama had bashed “the rich” for four years, he had no problem taking their money, being seen with them, charging $40,000 per plate at fund-raisers, etc. These were “the good rich, ” the anointed 1%. The enlightened.

One is left to wonder how many schools could have been built or people given help with so much money raised by both candidates.

CLASS WARFARE IS A WINNER

This strategy, a central theme in the first Obama administration,  demonized “millionaires and billionaires” and “greedy Wall Street bankers” as the source of America’s problems.

In fact, a “millionaire” was someone making over $250,00 per year, a unique mathematical concept, but one which did not trouble Obama voters.

The people were not getting their “fair share” or a “fair shot” or a “level playing field” because of the wealthy and their heartless Republican allies.

Of course, “fair share” was never defined.  To be specific was never Obama’s purpose. The strategy was to enrage the people against “the haves.”

For many, it worked.

While Democrats typically emphasize class warfare, portraying themselves as champions of the middle class and the poor (with many riding in their private jets), the Obama campaign took it to a new level. 

In fact, “rich” has become a four letter word in America. If one is a rich Democrat or contributor to Obama’s campaign, that is good and that person is not the enemy.

But the general strategy is to stereotype successful citizens as “having no heart, cold and indifferent” to the plight of suffering Americans.

By contrast, the Democrats sell themselves as the party of  “the people” and “really do care”.

Consider the meager reduction in America’s poverty rate in the last 50 years (3.3%), in spite of the Democrats public positioning as the  grand advocates for the poor.

Or the rate in the increase of people in poverty and on food stamps (31 million in 2009 to 47 million now) during the first Obama term.

Inconvenient facts that undermine the class warfare strategy..

How many Democratic millionaires are in the US Senate and House, and how much has their wealth increased since they were elected to office?

DEMONIZING ROMNEY

In the “Kill Romney” strategy, he was correctly portrayed as a rich guy, but he was painted as a heartless person who doesn’t care about the less fortunate.

It was repeatedly said that he couldn’t “relate” or “connect” with voters. It is as if voters were looking for a new parent or a therapist.

Obama was seen as “caring” and “connected” to the people.

Oddly, many of those who meet Obama describe him as aloof and professorial.

He has no international leaders as close friends, as have other presidents.

The father of the Navy Seal murdered in Libya described Obama’s handshake as “like a cold fish,” and his eyes “as looking distant over my shoulder.”

During the campaign Obama or his surrogates, such as David Axelrod and Stephanie Cutter, angrily described Romney as “a murderer, a felon, a calloused exporter of jobs to China, a heartless capitalist, a liar, a flip-flopper,” and even someone who put his dog on the roof of his car!

One TV ad even used an African-American waste worker who collected Romney’s trash in a San Diego suburb. His trash!

His wife was mocked by yet another angry feminist for not working outside the home, or for owning horses used as therapy for Multiple Sclerosis, or for wearing an expensive piece of clothing.

On several occasions, Michelle Obama wore the more expensive clothing, but this did not merit a mention for most media.

And what business is it of anyone what someone chooses to wear, or how many houses they have, or whether they own horses?

But the demonization campaign worked. And worked very well.

ROLE OF MEDIA

Many of the above themes were repeated by network news outlets, liberal newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post, pundits on MSNBC and CNN and  talk shows with people such as The View and David Letterman.

If the President was interviewed on such a show, he was rarely challenged.

Interestingly, one of his most challenging interviews was the Miami outlet of Univision. Otherwise, questions were typically softball or feel good in nature.

The print media rarely did its designated job of investigating events like the Libya coverup. It might make Obama look bad, and so was suppressed.

The issue of $16 trillion in debt, up from an unacceptable $9 trillion in 2008, was essentially avoided and not factually addressed in a widespread fashion by the liberal media.

No excessive debt alarm was sounded by most outlets, with a few exceptions.

The troubling part is that biased journalists rarely see their own biases, and those are what determine one’s world view.

What should be happening is objective and fair reporting, but that is primarily dead in America at this point. Opinion rules.

Media are now rated with very low numbers by the American people.  But, for those who seek information about their world, media is very influential in shaping political perception and opinion.

This is particularly true for designated news programming.

FACTS DON’T COUNT

While Romney was portrayed as “a liar” by Obama strategists such as Axelrod and Gibbs,  facts were not presented to support this.

Reputable fact checkers more frequently identified  lying by Obama, both in the debates and in campaign speeches (see Washington Post columns on Pinocchio awards). This was somehow ignored and acceptable to liberals.

If Romney distorted fact or changed positions relative to the past, a torrent of criticism was unleashed. The ” JEEP moving production facilities to China” story was one recent example.

Some said that Obama could not run on his record because it was essentially filled with hollow promises and failure.

He promised much but delivered little. The facts of high unemployment rates, more people on food stamps, more women out work and in poverty, the highest rate of poverty in 50 years, did not matter to Obama voters.

It was as if analyzing the truth took too much effort. Or, in a favorite Obama tactic, it was George W. Bush’s fault!

Voters should recognize the real enemy and feel sorry for poor Barack who inherited such a mess…

The notion that in four years, our leader should have produced real improvement was ignored. Obama presented employment numbers (“5 million jobs created”) that were patently false.

In fact for every “job created,” 75 Americans were on Food Stamps.

These facts, while very real for everyday people, did not matter to his supporters.

When the Libyan Ambassador, two former Seals and a Foreign service officer were murdered by Islamic fanatics, the Obama administration knew in real-time what was happening. Documents confirm this.

However, they concocted a story about an obscure video that allegedly enraged a crowd of demonstrators already at the consulate site.

No matter that there was no demonstration, as the Obama administration knew, as events unfolded.

Or that they immediately knew it as an organized attack. Or that our fellow Americans were abandoned for 9 hours, only to die.

They had requested additional security for months, and were turned down by administration officials.

Obama then went to Las Vegas to campaign.

Or the fact that two Iranian jets attempted to shoot down an American Predator drone, allegedly over international waters. This occurred 6 days before the election and was suppressed by the Obama administration.

Or, after a photo-op in New Jersey following hurricane Sandy, and being praised for his “leadership” by the media, Obama disappeared and went to play basketball with friends in the midst of the crisis.

The victims of Sandy know firsthand how well FEMA and the Obama leadership have been responding to their dire straits.

And so, in a broader trend in today’s America, facts were put aside, remained hidden and often were not challenged.

They conflicted with Obama’s’ desired image as “caring,” and an effective international leader who had squashed terrorism, and the majority of the voters bought it.

Don’t confuse me with the facts!

EMOTION TRUMPS REASON

The Obama campaign utilized tactics designed to stir up emotion. This revision of the “Hope and Change” theme in 2008 tended to emphasize anger at the opponent and the magical qualities of the President.

For those of us who followed the campaign closely, liberal media rarely challenged the President’s record or his misstatements.

The facts were not presented and debated as central to the country’s future.

The differences between the candidates on their economic plans were rarely discussed. They were irrelevant for many liberal voters.

For example, Romney was regularly criticized for not being “specific.” In fact, he had a 59 point plan for America that had been posted for over 460 days at the time of the election. The plan was very specific as to what he would do as president.

Two weeks before the election, Obama presented a 20 point Plan for America, complete with pictures. It recycled old ideas that did not work in his first term. It was vague and lacking specificity.

Nonetheless, this was not challenged and, like many tactics, served to reinforce the idea that Obama had “a plan” and was a competent leader.

Or consider the stereotype that Republicans are heartless and Democrats really care.

VP Biden, and his wife have donated $395 a year to charity for the past 20 years. Romney and his wife donated $7 million in the last two years,

Romney, a modest man,  is known for helping others through selfless giving. Obama has virtually no record of this in his life.

In fact, Obama talked about his mother “having to fight with insurance companies on her deathbed.” Why didn’t he fight for his mother?

So, facts count less and less in America today. Everyone’s opinion is somehow worth considering, no matter its lack of foundation, objective truth or frank ignorance.

It is hatred that must be stoked against the opponent because many voters will not bother with facts or reason. Too much trouble.

More and more, such emotions are exploited and drive elections in our divided country.

FREE STUFF

The fact is that 50% of the people in America pay no Federal income taxes. In the expansion of the entitlement society, the other 50% carry their fellow citizens.

America is now seen by many as the Takers versus Makers.

The Obama campaign and first term emphasized the “unfairness” of the life situation of the bottom 50%, and attributed this to the rich, lack of social and economic “justice,” and other external forces.

They promised that the 50% would be taken care of because this was their “right.”

This was the case for student loans, for example. The first Obama term had eliminated banks from providing loans as part of the Obamacare legislation.

Obama made a moral issue of why students should not have to pay back loans.

The principle of taking responsibility for your decision to secure a loan? It must be the evil bank’s fault. You are a victim.

One of his key constituents in the election was young people. According to news accounts, many could not articulate why they supported the president.

The children of illegals were granted, through Obama fiat and defiance of the law, a path to the job market and citizenship.

The fact that 23 million American citizens are out of work or underemployed was ignored. This feel good tactic, a giveaway of legal status earned by others, may have influenced the Hispanic vote.

The allure of free handouts from the Federal Government, be it cell phones or checks, showed that Obama really “cares.” This tactic drew many voters to his side in the election.

It is a central Democratic theme, but especially prominent with Obama.

Thus, since many have been “unfairly” treated in their lives, they now “deserve” retribution in the form of entitlements. The Obama campaign used this tactic to win the votes of selected voter groups.

RACE AND GENDER POLITICS

This was a central theme in the election and has growing influence in American society. Birth rates are lowest for Whites and Blacks, and highest for Asians and, particularly, Hispanics.

Blacks voted overwhelmingly for Obama, as they did in 2008. Is this because they carefully analyzed the issues? No, it was primarily a race-based vote.

By not naming Marco Rubio as his VP candidate, Romney rejected the idea of race-based politics.

Hispanics voted overwhelmingly for Obama. One issue allegedly involved Romney’s stance on illegal aliens.

Obama was perceived as sympathetic to illegals, although he had proposed no legislation, as he promised, during his term.

For historical perspective, when President Reagan granted amnesty to 3 million illegals, he received 37% of the Hispanic vote. When George HW Bush, another Republican, ran next, he received 30% of the Hispanic vote. Romney received 25% in this cycle.

So the argument that Hispanics vote for Democrats in far larger numbers because of the illegal immigration and reform issue appears to be false.

Paradoxically, could it be that legal Hispanics feel a greater allegiance to their illegal brethren than to American law?  Although they are here legally, the laws in America should be bypassed for their racial brethren.

This is a very touchy subject. Through sheer numbers, racial minorities are playing an increasing role in American politics.

A democracy should welcome the participation of every citizen.

Sadly, Blacks and Hispanics how have high rates of unemployment, crime, illegitimate pregnancies and school dropouts, and arguably use a disproportionate share of public resources.

These issues were never addressed by the Democrats, in spite of pleas from such Obama supporters as poverty advocate, Tavis Smiley.

Nonetheless, a key Obama campaign and governing theme is that some groups are “entitled” to the fruits of the labors of others.

Somehow the latter “exploited” them, and this explains their life choices.

Obviously, many minorities are successful, ironically through the path emphasized by Republicans, that is, self-reliance, personal responsibility and achievement striving.

This was a positive Romney theme and was rejected by the majority.

Regarding the manufactured “war on women,” the Democrats stoked this issue,  receiving more votes from single women.

The centerpiece of the argument was a law student who complained that free contraception should be available to all women.

In fact, this has been the case for 30 years in America. But again, emotion trumped fact, and Romney was stereotyped as anti-woman.

Furthermore, the Republicans were widely perceived as in favor of banning abortion, the existential tenet of the feminist movement.

Romney in fact said that he supported abortion in cases of rape, incest or the health of the mother.

Nonetheless, Democrats emphasized the fear tactic that Republicans would strive to overturn Roe versus Wade. In fact, there has never a serious charge mounted to do so.

Ignorant statements by Republican Senate candidates in Missouri and Indiana were presented as if they represented all Republicans, but particularly Romney and Ryan.

The issue of gay marriage is another example of identity politics. The Republicans opposed this.

Obama had flip-flopped several times on the issue, with this depending on which office he was seeking. His endorsement of gay marriage was seen as a great breakthrough in his “evolving thinking.”

The fact that this and other endorsements came as the campaign developed  was conveniently overlooked by Democratic partisans and liberal media. The obvious opportunism of these actions by Obama was ignored by his voters.

And so, what have we learned about today’s America?

There appears to be a tendency toward emotional, poorly informed decision-making by the electorate.

Emotion, how someone feels, seems to be a desirable basis for choosing a candidate. This would include perceived factors like bring “connected”, how they “relate”, if they are “cool”, and likeability.

Voters today are less informed as to facts and issues than ever before.

Among 18 – 29 year olds in one study, 26% knew there were three branches of government. This would appear to be a further indictment of “self-esteem” based education.

You know, “you are valuable just because you are you. Whether you work and achieve or not. Here, have a trophy.”

Negative campaigns work. Obama’s campaign spent hundreds of millions of dollars portraying Romney as a cold-hearted capitalist who didn’t care about the middle class or the poor.

With an impressionable, poorly informed electorate, demonizing the rich appears to be a winning strategy.

A candidate’s record can be obscured by demonizing his or her opponent. Because the electorate is less and less objective and interested in facts, a record can be blamed on others.

Thus, taking personal responsibility for one’s performance in office can be mitigated by a negative campaign about “obstructionist” Republicans or your predecessor.

The fact that not one single Democrat in the Senate and House voted for Obama’s last three budgets was ignored.

It is the same as blaming others for your personal life choices. A child’s defense mechanism.

We have learned that the “everyone does it” argument is effective. That is, the theme that both campaigns were equally negative and attacking.

Of course, this is not true, as the Romney campaign avoided this type of personal attack, choosing instead to focus on a positive vision and Obama’s negative  record, a  losing strategy.

Look at the research on biased stories in the media.

For example, they could have focused on Obama’s racist “spiritual mentor”, or his association with radicals such as Ayers and Farrakhan. Or the racist policies of Eric Holder and the Justice Department in the New Black Panther party case.

Or the Libyan cover-up. Or the broken campaign promises.

We have learned that one’s primary identification may not be as an American. In spite of the rhetoric regarding “togetherness,” racial and gender identities are the preference of many groups.

Ideas of cultural diversity and political correctness tend to reign.

Such a strategy by whites or heterosexual persons would be decried as racist, elitist and homophobic.

It is a new America, but not a better one. When people are easily manipulated by fear, anger and distortion of the truth, creeping fascism can not be far behind.

Modern history is replete with such examples, Hitler, Mao, Mussolini and more.

Will we learn from this? This author believes this to be unlikely.

Those that resist emotional appeals have already done so.

Those that don’t have shown themselves to be vulnerable to deliberate and destructive psychological tactics.

That is quite different from understanding and debating the facts and issues on logical grounds.

The American dream of hard work and financial success has been repudiated in favor of government entitlements and dependency.

This is what many voters want, and why Obama was so successful in achieving re-election.

His is the dream of, at best, a Western European Social Democracy.

We now see the results of such an approach, including riots in the streets, bankrupt governments and heightened class warfare in Europe.

But if facts and reason don’t matter, when you take the entitlement succulence from a dependent person, as with a young child, rage will inevitably result.

And that is where we are today in America, in this observer’s view.

Without transformative educational, intellectual and social change, the price will be great for us all, both in the character of our society, and in the lives and aspirations of our citizens.

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