See Gandelman’s article here detailing Eric Erickson’s… pretty accurate set of insights prior to election outcome that sent the harpoons straight to the broadside of the whale, predicting that Romney would not win the election.
It is bad luck to not heed useful warnings about one’s own family going down the wrong path. Ask Oedipus.
Looking back at Erickson’s pre-election sets of analyses [Erickson is a co-founder of the conservative site, Red State, also a CNN commentator] I wondered how GOP managed not to listen to EE’s down to earth observations. They’re not whimsical prophecies. I’ve not yet read his larger body of work, but in these pre-election articles, he lists certain true facts that even a first year GOP-oriented poly sci student would analyze and thereby change tack accordingly.
The ‘why’ of ‘not listening’ within one’s own family, is probably many layered.
I tend at the moment to be looking more at who stood to make a ton of money from all the advert money coming from the handful of BIG spenders in this campaign. For some voters, their votes were as much made against those who thought they could buy the election, influence foreign policy with Israel, and other matters of throwing their adipose around, as ‘not for’ or ‘against’ Romney.
… But back to a party heeding its own familial fact-finders. Or not.
Maybe it was, in part, this: In psych., there are several diagnostic symptoms re holding onto an ideal and eschewing all facts to the contrary that might defeat or make that one ideal seem not so golden. This configuration is sometime notably present in persons who are otherwise functioning well. It appears in many cases, the person holding such ideal that is easily defeated by facts, fears more than anything else, being shunned by the subset of ‘believers’ who insist upon the same unstable ideal.
Fear of ostracism after enjoying enthronement. That’s understandable in any family I think. Or maybe a more clear civie diagnosis, as Mullen [Shaun] proposed re GOP, “I am dubbing the Romney-Ryan debacle as The Campaign Of Magical Thinking. No one in a position of importance, including Mittens himself, ever considered that they would lose.”
Dont know if we will ever know for certain all features any self-illusion/ delusion by anyone is built on, just that the strong sense of being ‘undefeatable’ by not listening to inner-family members who say ‘not so’ may be the most obvious thing left standing after the burn down. Like the chimney being all that’s left of the manse after the fire.
Erickson points to several substantial truths in these pre-election articles: one being that some in the machine of GOP are completely unaware of the conservative [and many many others, I'd add] in ‘fly over states’… that is the true daily, weekly, monthly lives of people in the middle class and especially HUGE numbers of working class people who often are struggling so.. and dont think in “K-street’ vernacular.
And that GOP picked a French-cut suit guy (nipped in at the waist to show off physique, a small conceit… my father was a tailor) who had no straw, no mud on his shoes except perhaps from watching dressage practice, was not a choice that most could immediately or eventually warm to.
Add to that ‘the crazy uncles”statements on the periphery about rape and women, about ‘illegals’ and the 47%… and with no Mitt speaking up about not demonizing nor denigrating others… hard to do after the 47% remark, all credibility as ‘in-touch and trustworthy person’ went down the toidy.
I think we can see sharply now, that the old way of the last century’s silk top-hats ‘running’ for office while pal-ing around with one another… and the great unwashed going along for promises of jobs, or 40 acres and a mule… are over. [Though many of us would probably be deleriously happy to gain 40 acres of good pasture and orchardland and a mule in good health, most any day.]
Mr. Erickson in his pre-election points of fact also implies that people of the masses are ‘different’ now than long ago. I’d concur. More aware, more weighing of not how the candidate speaks in generalities, but how the candidate speaks SPECIFICALLY about the many kinds of conundrums and community and personal hopes people/voters can find in his/her platform.
Here in Colorado, for instance, there was not even one specific useful platform idea from Romney for ranchers and flat land farmers, for growers of peaches and melons along the western slope and southeast corner of the state, nor for those newly arrived in the San Luis Valley.
There was no platform plan for those put out of work from the long defunct baron-made steel mills in Pueblo, nor how Romney would specifically help to retrain men and women and their children for good jobs, where to go, how to go, how long it would take, what one would wind up doing, and the amount of bacon brought home to take care of family and self. Romney said over and over he was going to create jobs. But with no specifics whatsoever. So, as we say out here: the bigger the hat, the fewer the cows.
There was nothing for senior citizens to hope for in their last years, except cuts to already thin gruel SS they PAID into all their working lives. For women, military [we have several bases, deployment stagings, air fields, including the Academy, in Colorado], children, there was Nothing. Nada.
Candidate failure to not ‘convert to votes,’ but rather no making of honest relationships with people at the level at which THEY live, no speaking ‘real’ about their hopes and hardships. Romney’s feet never touched the ground here except for the collection plate.
There are so many more people educated about the least and the best about human nature nowadays… People are no longer politically or fact-naive if they cannot read well. Or if they havent time to read pundit magazines or astute volumes. The people, the masses, are able to learn from television, from radio. BUT ALSO, they are able to hear and see the insults and overlooking of their interests just by turning on slam-radio or slam-tv…
THAT, to my observation, has led to the downfall of the GOP more than anything, more than any R candidate running for President… the 24/7 spewing of screed from certain GOP authors, talk show hosts, radio personalities, bloggers, about how bad ‘those people’ are, whether they are minorities, people down on their luck, people who are deep in struggle to keep above water, people who want more parity, or take seriously the right to petition the government.
Thing is, those deemed daily, weekly, monthly and yearly to be ‘bad,’ listened to these putdowns, heard that screed, and not trusting ‘the party of put-downs’… voted accordingly.
So again, we may not know the exact reasons put in order by color and hue about why Romney turned many away. But we have good clues. And even the very young are more aware about light and dark and prevarications and hiding of facts [Romney's tax returns: By not releasing them, many felt rightly or wrongly he was hiding graft or opportunism that comes only to the ultra wealthy... and they did not trust anything else he had to say, if he wouldnt, as they say here in the west, 'show his hand,' in order that the next game be dealt.]
Thus, even 14 year olds are educated about who is more trustworthy and who is more in league with prevaricators, those who dont ‘show their hand’ so everyone knows where everyone stands in comparison to one another … for the very young, this new way of seeing more deeply into human nature comes from pop culture, via endless video games and films about some persons having ulterior motives, clubbiness with like-kind only, secretive greed, and wanting to overlook and/or enslave a populace so as to continue in king-shipliness as before…
In gaming and films, the ways and means are clear about unveiling those who have ill motives, and what those motives are, no matter how prettily they are painted. The games and films are filled with ‘unveiling’ the double talk and half-truths and hiding of real motive. The young adults know how to extrapolate to real life.
I dont know that it’s a new world quite the way the GOP are currently imagining. I think in some ways, it’s the same old world of great beauty, great harmony, great challenges, and great opportunities… a world that has some of the same old robber barons, conspiracy theory people, crabbed meanies, doomsday phophet-teers, looking for a slave work force to use… and to believe in the old barons.
The difference is, I think, that many many just regular people are awake about the ways of certain ulterior methodologies and hide-this strategies, and are rowing past the old guard, seeking a new sunrise that has all of us shining in it as much as possible… as able-bodied, free and enterprising human beings– who are seen as human beings, not as chess pieces.
[ In so saying, hopefully GOP will not take up the shallow idea and think we Latinos will respond to Latino faces GOP might run for election, rather than people who have the same values we hold dear, and provably so... Latinos are not chess pieces either, anymore than any other group.]
Let this then be a message to the GOP also: within your ranks there are truth-tellers about your campaigns, like Erikson and others, who are in some way beyond thinking about being ‘on the winning team’ reducing serious business of running a country to Notre Dame vs Army.
Listening to the family truthtellers… then, others who are wholehearted and good people may listen to you also.
If one doesnt choose to listen, one may become therefor like Oedipus who was said that were he not aware, he would do murder to his own father. One night in his chariot, Oedipus was crossing a narrow bridge, and another chariot rider oncoming challenged Oedipus for the right of way. They quarreled and Oedipus killed the man in self-defence… a man who was a stranger to him, a man he did not realize was his father, Laius.
One might think this has to do with all matters of Freudian psychological roil. It could, I suppose. But moreso, the ancient tale is about Oedipus the truthteller…
and in the tale [there are many versions,] the part that is often forgotten, is that in mythos, Oedipus killing his father comes from years earlier when Laius his father, fearing the boy would grow to expose Laius’s weaknesses and prevarications and do away with Laius in order to succeed him, had tried to murder the infant truthteller Oedipus by binding his feet and leaving him to die.
The child truthteller was found by others who lovingly raised him. The tragedy is less that Oedipus killed his unbeknownst to him father, than that the father tried to kill the child truthteller.
Just to say then, within a family, the place of truthteller can be fraught but is also necessarily a position of honor, not an underhanded endeavor, but an endeavor with the motive of shedding light.
With truthtelling, untoward things might happen regardless, as might great good come forward too… but all of these, both brack and bright, will free people to do their best, for in truthtelling, matters then occur for ill or good… in bright daylight, instead of –without all facts present– in the murk and dark.