The election is over, and Barack Obama won fair and square, so those of us who supported Mr. Romney will just have to get on with our lives. I'm sure the sun will come up tomorrow morning.
Shortly after the election I received an email that encapsulated what had occurred in perhaps the most concise terms I've seen yet. I don't know who the author was. Nevertheless, I'll quote and paraphrase from that email with a few thoughts of my own thrown in for good measure.
Mitt Romney was the single most qualified candidate for president in our lifetime, but he didn't win because of three factors.
First, the Obama machine simply out-campaigned the Romney people. They took negative advertising to new levels. And while all is fair in love, war and politics, I personally find that type of campaigning (by either side) distasteful. If Mr. Obama had spent as much time fixing the economy these last four years as he did getting himself re-elected, unemployment might be in the 5 percent range today.
Secondly, the Republican Party needs to decide if social issues such as abortion, contraception and gay marriage outweigh the real issues facing the country.
Yes, we know the left used less-than-honest fear tactics in their "war on women" narrative. But guess what, it worked!
Ridiculous rightwing comments like those of Richard Murdock (R-Indiana) and Todd Akins (R-Missouri) who lost to Democrats make the Republican Party look out of touch and downright scary. That said, if the majority of Republicans actually do feel that way, then they really are out of touch and deserve to lose.
Romney needed to make his case on fiscal conservatism, opportunity, prosperity and smaller government - the things that made the United States great.
Legislating morality is a loser. Besides, women have been having abortions since the beginning of time, and frankly what a woman does with her body is between her and her creator. It's no one else's business.
In this economy, a candidate with Mitt Romney's qualifications should never have lost, but he did, and this defeat should be a wake-up call for the right in general and the Republican Party in particular.
Third, entitlements are out of control. Free cell phones, free health care, free college education and massive food stamp fraud are dragging this country down. It's an attitude that says, "We're entitled," and that is terribly unhealthy for this country.
We shouldn't have been surprised minorities and young women turned out in big numbers for Obama.
Everything Romney said in the secretly taped "47 percent" fund-raising speech was absolutely true. History has shown repeatedly that the left has taken control of entire countries by increasing people's dependence on government.
And while the left congratulates itself on its "benevolence," those countries inevitably fall into decline. The supreme irony of the matter is that it's the poor who are always the hardest hit.
Only a strong economy with plentiful jobs can bring this country back to its position of pre-eminence in the world, something Gov. Romney could have delivered. Unfortunately, without jobs, people are going to vote for government handouts.
The results of this election remind me of Alexis de Tocqueville's words: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy."
Before the election, my wife asked our son-in-law, an Obama supporter, what has Obama done for you in four years? His response, our health insurance premiums have gone from $700 a month to $350 a month. My wife responded, "But you haven't had a job in three years!" I guess some people are satisfied living on unemployment and food stamps.
The record of history is clear. There is no alternative way to improve the lot of the masses that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed in a free enterprise system. And the only way to accomplish that in 21st century America is by smaller and less intrusive government.
Quote of the day: "The American republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville
Butch Mazzuca, of Edwards, writes regularly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.