Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Romney should have used some of his money to buy a calculator

Today I read a line in the New York Times saying that Obama's easy win is the result of the "McGovern coalition coming of age." I would say the victory is the result of trends predating 1972.

Forty+ years of turning public schools into factories for manufacturing politically correct robots has worked. Doctrinaire egalitarianism now starts in kindergarten, not college. College is merely the honeymoon after thirteen years of egalitarian courtship. Today even cultural conservatives unthinkingly use the language their opponents have prescribed for them.

Why haven't conservatives won a lasting battle in thirty+ years? Under Bush II, when supposed conservatives had all three government branches, the government expanded dramatically. The clock was hardly “turned back.” Why?

Because the war of ideas was lost a very long time ago, through the children. The very premise of even nominal conservative government could only be upheld so long as there were enough Americans with a less jaundiced view of pre-sixties America to keep voting to preserve what was left of it. They are now dead or outnumbered.

Home schoolers comprise a very small sliver of the population, and they are viewed with some suspicion (even by some conservatives). The vast majority attend public schools, where the war of ideas is long over. Yet conservatives continue to pat themselves on the back each time some minuscule home school "victory" happens somewhere. And they complain about liberals being unable to do math...
The conservative platform as it now exists can't be effectively transmitted to children. Vague lines like "class warfare" and "We're on the road to socialism!!!" aren't ideas, and certainly have no resonance with kids. Liberal principles are easily converted into talking points that can be repeated and spread. Example: Climate change and its implications is an idea. Saying it doesn't exist isn't. A kid can't really make an "I don't believe in climate change" macaroni and paste mosaic for his parents' refrigerator (and if he did his teacher would flunk him).
As for entrepreneurship being "the American dream," most humans don't have the constitution to be entrepreneurs. Most people hate their boss (they see themselves as the little guy oppressed by their boss), so pinning your fortunes on a campaign that emphasizes bosses as "the backbone of America" is numerical folly. Saying "entrepreneurs built this country" makes many younger people automatically think wicked robber barons. Saying "rugged individuals built this country" makes many younger people automatically think murderous pioneers (famed "pioneer" state Colorado went to Obama). Thus, building your platform around these memes is a horrible strategy. America is a mob rule republic. Numbers matter.
Nearly all of the money and cultural influence now resides in NY, MA, DC, and CA. The most conspicuous liberals are elected there; Pelosi, Schumer, etc. These politicians roughly reflect the opinions of those who set the national agenda. This doesn't look likely to change.
The war of ideas is lost for conservatives, and with it the numerical battle. John Galt ain't gonna show up to save anybody.

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