…I started drafting a post meant to cheer up the non-batshit-insane portion of the losing camp, namely Classic Republicans.
The gist of my argument was :
• If you hold free market and fiscal frugality as cardinal values, and also agree that not only is a general election a popularity contest-a-looza, but that the nature of political campaigning today has evolved to become so largely fact-agnostic and divorced from reality that it is now a self-contained, self-referential show business devoid of any real ideology and ethical concerns (but what the audience can go for), then you must agree to the following:
Whoever wins an election, by whatever means, however ethically, legally and constitutionally dubious is a priori deserving of having won, since the sole available gauge to judge the worth of a candidate is the proxy of his/her campaigning, and the only true judgement of which campaign is best is the pass/fail test of winning or losing the election.
That was the free market at work part of my case, meant to do away with any after-the-game objections and debates about whether Obama's victory was legit, whether he should have won, whether results-affecting voter fraud had taken place, and so on.
Surely, that kind of whining is only for people who concern themselves with "fairness" of elections, be it only when it suits them (wingnuts), or most of the time (bleeding heart liberals), and would be anathema to staunch free-market believers, for which democracy is truly the marketplace of ideas, and who trust its natural self-correcting abilities to (either/both) digest or negate electoral fraud, propaganda and manipulations so that all is right in the end, at least at the meta-level where it counts.
Thus, the best man-campaign won, and this should be the end of it as far as Classic Republicans are concerned : as soon as they get over their (entirely natural) disappointment of finding themselves on the losing team after the adrenaline has worn of, all will be peachy.
• Fiscal frugality then, was the clincher of my semisardonic attempt at comfort : by all verifiable accounts, Obama's campaign and its supporters made more conservative use of their war chest and won the election.
Not only did the Obama camp arguably spend less (if you put together superpacs, greyish and official campaign funds) in grand total, but they more often than not got a better bang for their buck on individual expenditures, such as the price they paid for airtime, and generally how much they spent by vote they moved around.
In stark contrast, albeit consistent with the republican track record of republican presidential mandates, the Romney campaign was plagued with poor spending decisions, multi-layered leeching of resources by consultants and contractors, showing that CEO in the banking sector may sometimes not be a reliable indicator of one's financial acumen. Never was so much spent by so few with so little results.
…all of which I argued are good news for my Classic Republican friends, because the most fiscally frugal (ergo conservative) candidate won, which made this urban guy closer to their views than the wastebasket of a mormon-robot the ballot market rightfully corrected out of the picture.
At the end of the day, if your major gripe with big governement is ill-advised, inefficient, bloated federal spending, BarryBamz is your guy, so you sorta half-won this one, cheers !
Yeah, I was quite happy with myself, and I managed to milk this spider-demon of a cow to spin my yarn for a page or three before I got kinda bored with the ridicule of it all…
Plowing ahead my line of talking specifically to reasonable conservatives (as opposed to delusional bigots) I kept bumping on the same rock-like question : how could one be reasonable while self-defining as a conservative (Republican is after all just a brand and no longer an ideology, if it ever was) ?
Short answer: one shouldn't, and yet…
Just to get the obvious strawmen out of the way, I'm aware there are many conservatives who show every evidence of being reasonable people, just as I don't even need an effort of imagination to dream up church-going christians and mosq-going muslims who aren't god-crazy holybook-thumpers/burners — I personally know a few, which is enough to disprove a negative. Moreover, I'm (rather self-servingly) cool with quirky people being at large in the genpop, as long as they don't act entitled to do harm to others on the grounds of their feeling threatened by anyone who fails to share their views.
My point being, unoriginal as it is, that it's hard to reconcile being reasonable — as in amenable to reason and rationality — with the belief you can (and should wish to) stop anything from changing, which is what conservatism boils down to.
Plainly, the level of commitment to magical thinking required to uphold conservative views as central to one's political identity (as different from conservative bias on set issues, which is a another matter) seems hard to reconcile with the minimal required intellectual balance to be called reasonable. And yes, that's where the "Reality has a liberal bias" zinger comes from, although liberals in general don't show any greater indication of their views being tied to objective reality, but that's, again, a different topic and not on today's rambling menu.
The contradiction between the last two paragraphs is only apparent, too : one can indeed behave reasonably whilst holding unreasonable views about big-picture issues like political ideology and the (non)existence of sky-fairies playing a part in our everyday life, much like one can be a well-read, seemingly level-headed rationalist and still end up cowardly pleading guilty to a crime of passion in front of a jury. It could be argued most interesting stories revolve around the contradictions between thoughts, feelings and actions.
Where was I going with this ? Not quite sure myself, at this point… mainly, it's about me growing tired of the BS, I guess, starting with mine, pretending I'm content playing smartass while the world is rotting on its feet.
I'll get back to that, I guess.
Meanwhile, merkins of all political creeds should rejoice and/or mourn in unisson : they have a new prez, same as the old prez, who's also a right-of-Reagan Democrat, so there's plenty to go around.
Also, the worse of the two ebils on the ballot has been avoided, for while Mitt Romney may be a non-quantity as an individual, and certainly not the devil, the people who paid for his excursion into big city politics, and to whom he'd had to answer had he been elected, most certainly don't have your best interests at heart (unless you're part of the 0.01%, and then you don't give a toss about who wins, seriously).