At 10 million square kilometres in size, you would think it’s pretty hard to not notice Canada: but we all are often amazed …and sometimes bristle … at how little our neighbours to the south know about our country, including their leaders.
Too bad for Mitt Romney and the Republicans, because Prime Minister Stephen Harper could have shown them how to achieve majority government and power with conservative fiscal and social policies: keep the radical right-wingers at bay!
Harper learned very well, in his three years as leader of a minority government, that the road to victory north of the border was by sidelining … or silencing … and NOT advocating on behalf of the anti-abortion, anti-women’s rights, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-medicare rednecks on the right.
After all, he would get their votes anyway (not likely they’d opt for the Libs or NDP!), but Harper knew moderation was the key to success.
Romney and the Republicans went the other way: embracing, adopting policies, advocating and even promising to overturn social and political policies that should have been left behind.
They learned NOTHING from Conservative Harper’s success …probably never even thought about it or examined it … and lost.
The entire election campaign in the US ultimately came down to the eleven or so battleground states … populated very heavily by moderates, urban progressives, unionized and industrial workers, blacks, Latinos and other ethnic minorities and a large demographic of younger, educated voters … the America of the 21st Century.
But Romney instead catered largely to the old white dinosaurs … the Tea Partiers, the religious right, the anti-choice, those with anti-minority and anti-immigrant, anti-gay biases …. demonstrably a declining species in modern US.
And he paid for it dearly. Years of strategizing, 18 months of intense campaigning, thousands of miles of travel, hundreds of speeches, and billions of dollars spent …all lost because moderates rejected the far right message and meanness.
The election results clearly show President Barack Obama was ripe for the picking: the results in the popular vote and even so many swing states that the Democrats carried showed defeating him WAS quite within reach.
If only the Republicans had put forward more moderate policies and an agenda acceptable to middle of the road America …and had not catered to and fallen for the America represented by Fox News.
The voters spoke in the swing states … where it counted most, at the ballot boxes, and in no uncertain way rejected the radical right wing policies put forward for the past four years 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year by the Fox News’ dinosaurs: Hannity, Dick Morris, Charles Krauthamer, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump and the three stooges who host their morning show.
They may be popular with those old white right wingers of the South and much of the mid-West, but they would have still voted Republican, even with more moderate policies. But they scared away those the GOP most needed: the moderates who were up for grabs.
Speaking of Fox, I must say I enjoyed watching their election coverage best: flipping back and forth between the networks, I found myself constantly going back to Fox.
Their reports were fast, accurate, and they had clear, attractive graphics. But those were not the main reason I watched.
For ONCE, Fox had to keep it real: real numbers, real facts, real truth .. in voting numbers and results.
They couldn’t twist, mislead, lie, twist and propagandize like thay have for the past four years; they could no longer pretend Obama was going down, almost everywhere, Republicans were way ahead in the polls, the GOP would make all kinds of gains; Obamacare would soon be overturned etc. etc.
So I enojyeed watching them all squirm, pull all the egg from off their facees, and start saying what WAS REALLY WRONG (there was a FOX FIRST!!!)with Romney, the Republicans and their campaign: that “legitimate rape” quote; push to repeal Roe vs. Wade; anti-union legislation; failure to fully articulate economic solutions; move to the right on immigration legislation; overplaying Obama as a Marxist/Socialist; failure to take into account fewer Americans go to church regularly; fewer are married; lack of outreach or policies towards Latinos; Romney’s refusal to go on radio/tv talk shows; inability to convince middle class the GOP cares about them; changing social attitudes …moving closer to European views; and ..my favorite… they had “a weak candidate field to choose from” … ie.how they ended up with Romney.
If Fox was an HONEST news station, they would have AND should have pointed all these weaknesses/problems out BEFORE the polls closed, during the campaign.
Instead what they have broadcast was the closest thing in North America to what it must have been like in Communist Russia, watching Pravda: a news organization delivering the PARTY line … in this case, the Republican line … regardless of truth.
I could not help but laugh …rare for watching election night coverage … imagining what it would be like for loyal Fox viewers, who believed ONLY the word and the world according to Fox …to wake up and see the voters keeping it real, and giving Obama not only another term, but vistory in the popular vote as well.
The truth is, the US will continue to move AWAY from the old white anti-anything-progressive Republican mythical America. If the GOP wants a chance at EVER winning those key swing states, they have to start embracing the new reality.
And push aside or at least put a cap on the radical right wingers, the anti-women’s policies, the anti gays, the anti-immigrants, the Fox News agenda and reach out to Latinos, blacks who increasingly make up the new voter base.
Maybe they should ask Stephen Harper how it’s done.