Election Night

Back in the 70’s, the argument for supporting Nixon was that he could win. He was a schemer and he was on the Left economically. Unlike the doves on the Left, he was a hard headed realist when it came to foreign policy, particularly with the Soviets. In the 40’s and 50’s, Nixon was a staunch red hunter so no one could question his commitment to fighting the commies. Goldwater getting crushed in ’64 made winning in 1968 the number one priority.

Amazingly, the same arguments were used to defend Ford against the Reagan challenge in 1976. Mild, stable Jerry Ford was what the country needed, not the rash Goldwater conservative. Much like we have seen recently, the party elders stepped in to put their guy on the ticket instead of Reagan. Ford lost to Carter and the nation dipped further into the dark funk known as the 70’s.

The point of this miserable walk down memory lane is that the old line about electability is not new. The party brass protecting their guys from the wrath of the voters is also nothing new. This has been a dilemma facing sensible voters since the Great Depression. The guys they want to support are thwarted by the party and they are left with two options that they don’t like. The argument is you have to support the least odious choice. Sounds familiar right now, I’m sure.

The old Buckley line was that you should vote for the most rightward leaning candidate that can win in the primary and then vote for the most rightward leaning candidate in the general. That sounds good and you hear a lot of sensible people saying it in this election cycle. “Candidate X may be an open borders fanatic but they are better than the Liberal Democrat! If you are holding out for the perfectly pure candidate, the bad guys will win!” I’ve had this said to me a few times of late when I point out that most of the Republican offerings are just slightly less liberal than their opponent.

The Democrats march further into lunacy while the Republicans trudge along behind them, like the retarded little brother tagging along behind his older brother. Ted Cruz, for example, is now considered a way out on the fringe conservative. Liberal tourettes includes the uncontrolled shouting of “Ted Cruz” along with “Koch Brothers” and “Tea Party.” Yet, in the 1980’s, Ted Cruz would have been a moderate Democrat. That’s how far things have gone in three decades.

If you look at Federal spending in 1968 (circling back to Nixon), adjust for inflation and population to arrive at a spending per capita number in today’s dollars, the leviathan was between a quarter and a third the size it is today.

In the Nixon era, the EPA was created along with OSHA. Outside of the IRS, no federal department has done more damage to the freedom of Americans than the EPA. OSHA is a close second. Of course, the money printing robbed millions of their savings. Watergate looks mild by comparison, but it was the cherry on top of the compromise sundae foisted on us.

The point of all this is that the preferred strategy of the Republican Party and Conservative Inc. has resulted in a steady destruction of self government in favor a corporatist, custodial state. The success of these guys tonight promises to keep that line on the graph heading north until it runs off the page. Our elections have become a perverse game where heads you lose-tails they win.

As I write this the chattering loons on MSNBC are fighting over who gets to hang themselves from the light boom. I’m not going to lie and say I’m not enjoying the site of the heavily sedated lesbian trying to keep it together. Still, I’m not inclined to think this election will make any difference. The long slow walk to the cliff will go on unabated. I will probably live long enough to see Republicans glowingly quoting Obama as a model for their brand of sensible conservatism.


6 thoughts on “Election Night

  1. Compulsory voting is, obviously, authoritarian. Leftist are by nature authoritarian. Universal suffrage being a revolutionary instrument itself, compulsory voting is a one way street to hell.

  2. The Aussies have some things working for them. It is one of the least populated bits of land on earth. Compulsory cooperation rises with population density. They also have a tiny NAM population. The Asian population is somewhere around 10% of the total.

    They also avoided the whole legacy of slavery business that has deranged the rest of the occident. The Aussies also avoided the “terrors” of colonialism. Instead, you have a white population of misfits, adventurers and outcasts.

  3. UKer: Interestingly, Australians always vote on a Saturday and election time has to be either after cricket season in March or after football season in October – and it’s compulsory!! For you to not vote in Australia, there need be a good reason. Australians have always made good choices at the polls through elections and referendums, perhaps because the majority of enrolled voters have had to do it.

  4. As a retired “working man” I’ve never forgiven Nixon for the wage and price controls of the early-mid 70s. From about 1966 until then wage rates were moving up fast along with the purchasing power of the dollar.

    Since then, wages have risen at a much slower rate while inflation and taxes have reduced the value of the dollar to push the living standard of workers downward. All by design, thank you and fuck you Nixon.

    The second major blow to common citizens came in 2001 with the “patriot act.” This prepackaged law, waiting quietly for the correct crises, imposed the police state structure(Gestapo) and the ultimate demise of freedom. I don’t “miss you yet” Mr Bush, and double fuck you.

    All the giddy celebrations about this election will turn to disappointed misery as soon as the next Congress starts lying and reaching out and across the aisle to sellout the fools that elected them.

  5. Walt: In the UK it is Thursday for voting, and Thursday night is traditionally a ho-hum night on TV here so while that seems good, it can rain. Indeed it can positively chuck it down. UK politicians know that the working man would rather stay in on a wet Thursday night and go out to vote, so that balances the books.

  6. The United States has never really wanted its electorate to vote. What a pain for the most powerful government in the world to need to listen to its uneducated and mostly obnoxious subjects.

    The initial idea was to hold elections on Tuesday when the working man would be too busy to turn out. Now that the working man is the perpetually unemployed man, a few more jilted voters have the chance to make their voice’s heard. The only shame is that they are voting for Wall Street and ultimately their own demise.

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